ALAMEDA - Raiders coach Dennis Allen discussed the Raiders two draft picks from today with the media.
Florida State tackle Menelik Watson was the Raiders' choice in the second round. Connecticut linebacker Sio Moore was the choice in the third round.
Q: How difficult is it to evaluate a guy like Watson who didn't play long?
A: Well, I think that when you look at a guy like that, I mean, No. 1, you look at where did he play? What was the level of competition? This guy played at Florida State at a very high level of competition. He played extremely well. We like his athleticism, we like the fact that he's been a boxer, he's been a basketball player. He's got excellent feet, and he's got great punch, and we think that's a good addition.
Q: Scouting reports say Watson doesn't always know what he's doing.
A: Well, I mean, obviously he hasn't been playing the position for a long time. But we've seen, it's not like we're taking a guy that was just a basketball player and we've never seen him play football. We've seen him play college football at a high level, and play really well. And this was a guy that we had rated as one of the top tacklers on the board, and he was available for us there in the second round, so we took him.
Q: Any idea where you will be placing either Watson or Moore?
A: Well, I think Sio Moore is an outside linebacker. He can play either SAM or WILL. He's a guy that could play either side. I think the great thing about either guys is we feel like both these guys can come in and compete and we can upgrade our football team. And as they get in and as they get a chance to work with our veteran players, they'll settle into exactly where we play them and how we play them.
Q: You like that Moore was mad he lasted until the third round?
A: I like the fact that... I'd rather him say that than say 'Gosh, I wish I'd got taken in the 7th round. I mean, you know, here's a guy that we had an opportunity to spend a lot of time at the Senior Bowl. That's one of the things that when you look at it, we spent a week with this guy; in the meeting rooms with him, in the dining hall with him, watching him interact with the other players. You talk about a guy that loves football. He really epitomizes when you talk about a guy that loves football. So, we're trying to get as many quality football players as we can and he fits that mold.
Q: Did getting to know Moore at the Senior Bowl intimately put him over the top with you?
A: No doubt. I mean, obviously you look at the tape and you see the qualities on the tape and you see the play on the tape - I think he had the tenth most tackles for loss in the NCAA last year - he's a guy that has that type of ability, but just being around that guy for a week, he's the type of guy that we want to bring into that locker room."
Q: Watson's learning curve from Saddleback College to Florida State show you something?
A: Absolutely, I think one of the things you look at with a guy like that is you look at tremendous upside. This guy's got tremendous upside. Having him here and having one of the top O-line coaches in the National Football League in my opinion in Tony Sparano, I have no doubt that this guy's gonna develop into a solid NFL player.