When Hawaii hosted their Pro Day at a Home Depot in Carson, California on March 31st, they drew looks from the likes of Oakland Raiders head coach Hue Jackson and head of college scouting Jon Kingdon according to multiple sources. Were they there to take a closer glance at a potential addition to the Raiders secondary, Warriors' strong safety Keanemana Silva? Silva is a sleeper who has opened the eyes of Al Davis.
How could Hue Jackson not like what he sees when he looks at Silva's details? 4.43 in the forty, 42-inch vertical, 10'6" board jump – there is a lot to like about those numbers from a 6'1'" 212-pound fifth year senior who had eight interceptions in 2010. Silva was selected first team All-WAC in 2010, Sports Illustrated honorable mention All-American, as well as being named to the ESPN CoSIDA Academic All-District VIII team. He set a school record with fourteen career interceptions and managed 159 tackles as a two year starter for Hawaii. He also managed to sneak in a sack in 2010.
Silva is a late round projection as a strong safety, but similar to Chris Culliver, is more highly regarded for his potential to switch positions entering his professional career. Look for Silva's stock to rise a bit more as we get closer to draft day. He could make his way into the sixth round.
Why did he have that?
That was my wife's reaction when I told her that Louis Murphy Jr. had been arrested for possession of prescription Viagra. Turns out that not only was Murphy arrested, but it took three Florida police officers to get him in cuffs. Apparently he is as scrappy off the field as on it. This lends credence to the fact that Louis Murphy is no longer under the guiding wing of Florida Gators legend Tim Tebow. It must be hard for him to not have that natural pick-me-up that Tebow provides.
Murphy is the third in a string of Raider offseason arrests and it appears that the Raiders of the 1970's actually have rubbed off on these new ones. From leading the league in unsportsmanlike penalties to becoming known as gun wielding, drunk driving, sex-crazed maniacs. There may indeed be some suspensions on the Raiders' roster to start the season. But you won't be able to say they don't have swagger.
Dotted line being drawn
Raiders' free safety and former first round pick Michael Huff acknowledged a desire to play for the Dallas Cowboys saying, "That's home but... there are a bunch of things that go into that process."
In other words, the Cowboys must connect the dots so that Huff can dot the I's and cross the T's.
The Raiders are apparently ready to cut ties with both Robert Gallery and Michael Huff, two former first round picks, to take a stab at another former first round pick, Nnamdi Asomugha. If Huff is indeed reunited with former Raiders' defensive coordinator Rob Ryan in Dallas then it would make sense that Mana Silva or Chris Culliver could be brought in to play a more natural safety role for the team than a conversion to cornerback.
Huff had his best year as a pro in 2010 with 94 tackles, four sacks, and forced six turnovers. He could have big money waiting when he hits the open market, but ironically enough, the Raiders may feel they've already given enough time and effort to the former number seven pick and will sever ties with him.
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Silva is a guy I could see the Raiders definitely drafting if he is available in the later rounds. I like him a little better than Culliver, as his game films are very impressive and he is an athletic phenom. Culliver comes from a bigger program and has faced stiffer competition, and definitely has strong potential, but I just have to give the edge to Silva.....