Oakland Raiders: Top 10 Prospects

Darren McFadden (Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Scout.com's Chris Steuber continues the top 10 prospects series and profiles the Oakland Raiders. In this series, an NFL prospect is classified as a player entering their third year in the NFL or under 25 years of age. Find out who the Raiders top 10 prospects are entering the 2010 season.

Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
RB
6-2
210
3
22

It hasn't been the start that the Oakland Raiders expected when they selected Darren McFadden with the 4th overall pick in the 2008 draft, but of all the players on the Raiders roster, McFadden unquestionably has the most talent. In his first two years in the league, McFadden has been used in a situational role and has also endured various injuries, which have limited him to making just 12 starts. McFadden is the favorite to emerge as the Raiders featured back this season, but expect Michael Bush to get his share of carries as the big, change of pace runner.

Drafted by Oakland in the 1st Round (2008).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
SS
6-0
205
3
23

A fourth round pick in '08, Tyvon Branch played in eight games as a rookie, but was placed on injured reserve leading up to Week 10 with a shoulder injury. This past season, Branch returned at 100-percent, shook off the fact that the Raiders selected Ohio safety Mike Mitchell in the second round and produced 124 tackles and a sack. Placing Branch as the second best prospect in the organization may seem a little high, but it's hard to ignore his production from last year.

Drafted by Oakland in the 4th Round (2008).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
LB
6-3
254
R
21

A three-year starter at Alabama, McClain emerged as the premier linebacker in the country in 2009 after he recorded 105 tackles, 14.5 for a loss, four sacks and two interceptions. At 6-foot-4, 256 pounds, McClain has the size/speed combination that allowed him to be the 8th overall pick this year and the game that will ultimately make him an All-Pro. McClain is expected to be the starter at middle linebacker this season and is a favorite to capture the Defensive Rookie of the Year award.

Drafted by Oakland in the 1st Round (2010).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
WR
6-2
210
2
23

It's been a year since the Raiders drafted Darrius Heyward-Bey over Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin, and to this day it's still a puzzling decision. Heyward-Bey has tremendous speed and game breaking ability, but his inconsistency as a pass catcher was evident during his days at Maryland and last season. A starter in 11 games as a rookie, Heyward-Bey caught just nine passes for 124 yards and a touchdown in '09. He missed the final five games of the year with a foot injury. Heyward-Bey has received rave reviews this offseason, as he added 10 pounds of muscle to his frame and has done a better job of catching the ball.

Drafted by Oakland in the 1st Round (2009).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
LB
6-5
255
3
25

A late round gem in '08, Trevor Scott, who was an intriguing sleeper prospect coming out of Buffalo, has developed into a quality starter in Oakland. A situational defender in al 16 games as a rookie, Scott recorded five sacks. And, this past season, he got a chance to start in six of the 16 games he appeared in and registered seven sacks. Head Coach Tom Cable stated that Scott will be a starter this season, and with regular reps, he could be a player to keep an eye on.

Drafted by Oakland in the 6th Round (2008).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
DE
6-5
270
2
23

Matt Shaughnessy was an interesting third round pick by the Raiders last season. He had great potential and the ability to be a standout sack artist at the next level, but injuries plagued his career at Wisconsin. He appeared in all 16 games, starting two of them last season and recorded 29 tackles and four sacks. Shaughnessy is expected to start opposite Richard Seymour this season, and if he stays healthy, he will increase his sack totals from a year ago.

Drafted by Oakland in the 3rd Round (2009).
Michael Bush
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
RB
6-1
245
3
26

Michael Bush was drafted in the fourth round of the 2007 draft, but he was placed on the physically unable to perform list, which cleared his first year from record. As he enters his third (official) year in the league, Bush will likely see more action with Justin Fargas no longer in Oakland, and with McFadden's injury history, he could receive a handful of starts this season.

Drafted by Oakland in the 4th Round (2007).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
WR
6-2
200
2
23

Believe it or not, the Raiders have some intriguing prospects on their roster. As good as Louis Murphy was as a rookie last year, third-year wide receiver Chaz Schilens received consideration for this position in the rankings. It was a toss up between the two, but with Schilens struggling with injuries in his first two years and Murphy ascending as a rookie, it was an easy decision. Murphy started nine of the 16 games he played in and caught 34 passes for 521 yards and four touchdowns. He will compete for a starting job this season, but it's likely that he will be the team's No. 3 WR.

Drafted by Oakland in the 4th Round (2009).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
DT
6-3
305
R
23

One of the more underrated defenders in the 2010 draft and a player that possesses a tremendous motor, Lamarr Houston gives the Raiders the interior presence that they desperately needed in the trenches. Although Houston was a standout at defensive tackle for the Longhorns, it appears that the Raiders will use him at defensive end. Houston will likely see action at both positions and could be a major contributor this season.

Drafted by Oakland in the 2nd Round (2010).
Pos
Ht
Wt
Exp
Age
OT
6-6
314
R
22

A two-year starter at Maryland, Campbell has all the physical attributes you look for in an offensive tackle, but he lacks the overall experience. Even though Campbell played in 27 career games at Maryland, which included 17 starts, he still has a way to go until he’s a finished product. Deciding the 10th prospect in the organization was tough, and it came down to Campbell and Jared Veldheer. Veldheer has great upside, but Campbell could become a premier player if he develops correctly.

Drafted by Oakland in the 4th Round (2010).


For more on the Raiders, check out Silver & Black Illustrated.


A member of the Pro Football Writers of America and the Football Writers Association of America, Chris Steuber has provided his analysis of the NFL and NFL Draft prospects on the web and on the radio since 1999. Steuber’s features are published across the Scout.com network and on FoxSports.com. If you wish to contact Chris Steuber, email him at: csteuber@scout.com. You can also now follow Chris Steuber on Twitter.

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