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BJ Raji

Discussion in 'Packer Fan Forum' started by The Coordinator, Jan 25, 2009.

  1. The Coordinator

    The Coordinator Cheesehead

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    Seem Raji has flown up the draft boards. He is a good fit for the nose tackle for the 3-4. I could seem taking the spot of Pickett next year if not sooner.



    Road block, space eater, and run stuffer are all phrases used to describe the best two-gap defensive tackles in the NFL. All week at the Under Amour North-South Senior Bowl, they have been the terms used to describe B.J. Raji.

    The 6'1" 323 pound defensive from Boston College has been impressing coaches and scouts since day one of practice with his explosive get-off and quick steps.

    As long as he doesn’t end-up on his back all day during January 24ths Senior Bowl, Raji has done everything in his power to become a top-10 draft pick.

    Practices at the Senior Bowl are equally as, if not more important, than the actual game. The North and South teams are coached by NFL coaching staffs. This year, Cincinnati is coaching the North, while Jacksonville is coaching the south.

    The Bengals have the sixth pick in the draft, and it has been suspected that they may take Raji because of his disruptive demeanor on the field. The Senior Bowl is a great opportunity for players to increase their draft stock, by performing in front of NFL coaches and personnel.


    In 2007, Patrick Willis used the game to impress then-49ers and Senior Bowl coach Mike Nolan, and was he was selected 11th overall in the draft.

    In 2008, D-1AA quarterback Joe Flacco proved he could play with the big-boys, and elevated his draft status from the third Round to eventually being chosen as the 18th overall pick.

    Accompanying Raji to the game is his Boston College linemate, 6'3" 329 pound defensive tackle Ron Brace. Like Raji, Brace is impressing coaches despite having more negatives such as a sloppy build and average quickness.

    Raji isn't perfect either; he is shorter than the prototype DT, so although he can get under blockers, it's harder from him to generate ideal power. On the other hand he is roughly the same size as the Patriots' disruptive force Vince Wilfork, and he has a very similar playing style.

    He has a mean streak that he displayed in 2006 by punching a Central Michigan player. He also has a lazy streak displayed by his academic issues.

    As a senior Raji recorded seven sacks, but his height limits his ability to deflect passes at the line of scrimmage. Despite non-ideal size, Raji is the only elite defensive tackle prospect in this year's draft.

    Cincinnati is lacking d-line play and could land him at six, although that may be a reach. San Francisco could continue to sure-up their defense with the 10th pick. Many suspect Raji will land to Denver with the 12th pick, however.

    If Raji falls below 12 don't be surprised to see a team trade-up to get him. Since losing Shaun Rogers the Lions have been lacking an inside presence. The Raiders, Jaguars, Packers, and Bills also had trouble stopping the run and could all benefit from Raji. If for some reason Raji slips, he won't go past the Colts at 27.
    by John Lorge.


    If he is gone I wouldn't mind seeing the packers taking DE Orakpu, LB Maualugu or one of the better OT left in Oher,Smith, Monoroe or Jason Smith.
     
  2. NelsonsLongCatch

    NelsonsLongCatch Cheesehead

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    The new mock draft just posted today on Sportsline has the Packers taking BJ at #9. Maybe they'll be able to trade down and switch with a team that wants to draft Sanchez. Raji might be able to be drafted along with picking up addtional picks?
     
  3. PackersRS

    PackersRS Cheesehead

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    What kind of player is Raji? To whom he compares to (excuse my english )? Do you think he's a guy who could be a perennial pro bowler?
     
  4. NelsonsLongCatch

    NelsonsLongCatch Cheesehead

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    I like Raji and he looks like a great pick and absolute beast, but where would this put Pickett? The good thing with this pick is that it addresses a need. The NT is KEY in the 3-4.
     
  5. GJ85

    GJ85 Cheesehead

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    I have read that Orakpo hurt his stock not taking part in the senior bowl
     
  6. NelsonsLongCatch

    NelsonsLongCatch Cheesehead

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    The most important thing is the combine. If he runs and lifts well, he'll bring his stock right back up. 8)
     
  7. billv

    billv Cheesehead

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    We probably need two quality noseguards - pickett and raji - so they don't get worn down.
     
  8. PackersRS

    PackersRS Cheesehead

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    http://br.youtube.com/watch?v=9UQ2YGE9SLM
    Positives: He's FAST for a DT
    He can bullrush and spin, and is REALLY hard to block

    Negatives: He misses an AWFUL LOT OF TACKLES
    His agility isn't good

    My thoughts: He can be GREAT if proper coached, but he isn't ready to play in his first seasons...
    At least is what I can get from this very complete video.
     
  9. boisenjm

    boisenjm Cheesehead

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    Raji is alright but I think there are more pressing needs like DE and a stud pass rushing olb. I think we should sign Colin Cole and have him share the NT spot with Pickett to keep them fresh. If we had to hopefully we could pick up a big DT like Ron Brace from BC as well or Fili Moala from USC. Also, I'm not sure what Arizona is planning for Gabe Watson and if he's available I think it would be great to try and get him.
     
  10. nelanator

    nelanator Cheesehead

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    Raji has the talent to be a perennial Pro Bowler without question. He really helped his stock at the Senior Bowl as well.

    BUT! He has attitude issues, maybe even major attitude issues. He was well known at Boston College to take plays off. He is played phenomenally Senior Bowl week, but he was playing for draft position and, thus, millions of dollars that he wouldn't be making if not for his efforts that one week. What is going to happen once he gets paid???

    Also, he redshirted one year due to academic issues. I personally don't put much stock into this for two reasons. First, Boston College's academic expectations for their athletes are as high as any university outside of the Ivy League and Stanford. Second, he's a defensive tackle. I sometimes wonder if Pat Williams can even spell defensive tackle and he is the best run stuffer in the business.

    Bottom line: Raji is a major boom or bust pick no matter where he goes. He's a great fit in a 3-4, so if the Packers get him and he works like an NFL player should they will be getting a great pick. But if he busts they could be getting the Derrick Colman of defensive tackles. Even that could be worse, though. Say, for instance, getting another Justin Harrell.
     
  11. Andy

    Andy Cheesehead

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    TT is going to have some intersting choices at #9. And he HAS to get it right. Raji looks to be a good fit, but so do an number of players that might be available at that point. Hopefully by late April, TT has made some moves in free agency that will clear up the drafting picture a bit.
     
  12. NelsonsLongCatch

    NelsonsLongCatch Cheesehead

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    Yeah. Whether it be a DT, DE, OLB, OT, or CB, the pick needs to be an impact, ROY, type player.
     
  13. greenbaypacker80

    greenbaypacker80 Cheesehead

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    this could be a year where TT is able to get alot of extra draft picks. If you look at last 4 drafts, you will notice TT traded alot. One pattern I noticed was we trade with the Jets alot. I would look for that trend to continue. I don't think we will end up with Raji.
     
  14. c_mac

    c_mac Cheesehead

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    I always hate the late "shooting up the draft board" kind of stuff. It seems like it just ends up being hype. If he was a truly dominant collegiate player then he should have highly regarded all along.
     
  15. nelanator

    nelanator Cheesehead

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    I'm in the same boat. And I think that the underlying piece to this probably lies in Raji's poor work ethic in college, as I mentioned above. Raji's personal interviews at the combine are going to ultimately decide where he goes, IMO, because every GM in the league is going to want to know which Bj Raji they are going to get if they draft him. If the Packers are smart they will avoid him.

    Since they are installing a 3-4 scheme with a roster that is not suited for the scheme in the front 7, there are a lot of ways that they can go. Rey Maualuga is a freak of nature and would make a perfect fit as a ILB in the 3-4, where neither Barnett nor Hawk fit that mold very well. As far as OLBs go, it is hard to scout these guys for a 3-4 defense because the elite ones rarely ever play that scheme and position in college. So you end up taking a college DE that is a DE/OLB tweener like Aaron Maybin or Everette Brown. Both these guys are big, fast, and athletic pass rushers that are a tad bit undersized to play defensive end in a 4-3.
     
  16. flyguy4ever4

    flyguy4ever4 Cheesehead

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    TT is under the gun on this one. He likely will do what he almost always does, err on the safe side. Meaning he will take the least flashy guy that can become an okay starter. Raji is somewhat of a risk as is almost every top tier DT pick in history. I was hoping for Curry but looks like he has shot up the charts already, at least Mauluga is a football player. Watch TT shock us all and select Beanie Wells!!!
     
  17. greenbaypacker80

    greenbaypacker80 Cheesehead

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    I can see a trade down coming here especially if TT is locked in on one guy and the guy is gone. TT sees we need line help on offense and defense. He has always gone with quantity not necessarily quality and I think the one year he did try quality, it backfired(Harrell). Rodgers was a good pick by TT, but basically he fell into our lap. But at least TT was smart enough to see the big picture and not be swayed by drafting for team needs.
     
  18. NelsonsLongCatch

    NelsonsLongCatch Cheesehead

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    Raji is CLIMBING up draft boards and has been mocked to go as high as #3 to KC or #4 to Seattle. GB might not even have a chance to talk him.
     
  19. pacman5252

    pacman5252 Cheesehead

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    I agree, I am afraid that he is being hyped up too much... Reminds me of D. Robertson
     
  20. nelanator

    nelanator Cheesehead

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    Which is about as good of a pre-draft comparison as can be made at this point. But pre-draft comparisons don't always mean much...

    Because of the fact that he is gaining so much steam currently I think that it would be a blessing in disguise for Raji to go off the board before the Packers have a chance to get him.

    But I think that the combine week is going to be HUGE for him in terms of maintaining his high draft stock. If he says in shape, which has been a problem of his in the past, he should continue to "wow" people. If he falls out of shape in the coming weeks his stock could fall to the point where he would be a reach at 9. Like I said before, he'll also have to preform well in the personal interviews due to the multiple red flags he has hanging over him.
     
  21. PackersRS

    PackersRS Cheesehead

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    I agree. Agree on the fact that he's way too hyped, but the real reason is that I want us to get an OLB. Peria Jerry and Ron Brace are studs who can be gotten in the 2nd round. Fili Moala is a great DT also, but he isn't heavy enough (295) and is too tall (6'5") to play NT. BUT he could play DE...
    I personally agree that the NT is a key position in the 3-4, but the LBs are the playmakers, the ILB stopping the run (Hawk and Barnett) and the OLB rushing the passer (Kampman and ?), so, in my opinion, a great OLB is more important than a great DT.
     

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