The Oakland Raiders made two of the most surprising picks in this year's draft when they passed on Michael Crabtree for Darrius Heyward-Bey and then selected another workout warrior, Michael Mitchell, in the second round despite most reports that he was a mid-second day prospect. Yesterday the Raiders made yet another shocking move when they cut their sixth round pick, Stryker Sulak. It's not the first time that a draft pick has been cut prior to training camp but in an era where building from within is at a premium, this is just another example of how poorly this franchise is being managed.
Sulak's not a premium prospect by any means and the NFL path of a sixth round pick isn't guaranteed but you'd like to think that he'd at least have the opportunity to put some pads on before being shown the door. He'll almost certainly get another shot very soon so the Cardinals could be in the running to add Sulak if they are interested. He's a decently sized kid (6'5 251) who is considered a good but not great athlete. He was a four year starter at the University of Missouri and actually considered going pro after his junior season. He's improved each year as at Missouri but most scouts still slap the overachiever label on him and wonder if he'll have the ability to hold his own in space. He's dealt with some injuries during his four seasons but in 53 games he's still managed 38 tackles for loss and 22.5 sacks, including 15.5 & 10.5 respectively his senior year.
Here are some quick pro's and con's that we put together before the draft:
Pros - Sulak's a decent athlete with slightly above average speed and quickness but he makes a difference with his non-stop motor and burst to close on the ball carrier. He's got good instincts and awareness and is a hard worker.
Cons - Sulak's not going to blow anyone away with his athletic ability and he'll have to get stronger to maintain the point of attack. He hasn't been asked to drop into coverage very often but he looks uncomfortable and stiff in space.
It'll be interesting to see if he's gobbled up by a 3-4 or 4-3 team but he's certainly got the athleticism and pass rush ability to make the transition to 3-4 OLB. The Cardinals have several options at the position but Sulak could be a guy who spends a year on the practice squad before making an impact in 2010. Anyone interested in him? Should the Cardinals pick him up just so we can have a guy with a cool Star Wars name? Would you be shocked if the Cardinals but their sixth round pick, Will Davis?