DT, B.J. Raji, Boston College
|At A Glance|
|Position 1: Nose Tackle||Height: 6-1|
|Position 2: Under Tackle||Weight:325|
|Class: Senior||Age: 23|
|Projected Round: 1st||40time: 5.15|
|Bench reps: 33||Vertical: 32|
|20yd Split: 2.98||Broad Jump: 8'7"|
|10yd Split: 1.69||20yd Shuttle: 4.68|
|3 Cone Drill: 7.90|
Pros: Good bull rush, good at reacting at the line, frequently draws double teams, disengages from blocks well.
Cons: Not a great pass rusher, has missed easy tackles, has a tendency to stay high.
Styg's Broncos "fit": Raji looks to have stormed into the top ten, and with any luck, he will be gone before we pick. The reason I say that, is despite how well he fits what we are doing scheme wise, he is a poor fit for a team looking for character and defensive leaders. Motivation issues abound with him, and he plays inconsistently. Some team will get a talented, but high-maintenance player, and I just hope it isn't us, because if he is there at #12, it will be tough to find anyone else who rates higher than five stars.
commenting on all the juniors Denver may have targeted, except that they chose not to declare:
Well, the draft just got a whole lot more interesting… Mays had to have been targeted by many teams in the draft, some ahead of us (SF, Oakland, Cincy) and many behind us. Maualuga seems like he should fall to us at 12, but there’s no guarantee. If he’s there, we draft him (period). I love B.J. Raji, but not at 12...
From "Boom or Bust..."
DL – The biggest (no pun intended) enigma in my opinion is BJ Raji. This is a man that obviously has the physical tools to be a dominate NT or DT on the next level, yet his lack of commitment to the program and portions of the game where he disappears makes you question his heart and desire. He will likely be a top 10 pick and maybe even a top 5 due to the need for a NT/DT, but buyer beware. This is a kid who, much like Smith, will likely need someone on him constantly and someone who may well eat themselves out of the league.
Raji is a sometimes impossible to move player who can fill running lanes and collapse the pocket. He had impressive stats as a senior (16 tackles for a loss, eight sacks), but got a lot of it in bunches. He fits best in a 3-4 on the nose, but could hold up in a 4-3. Still, though, he has stamina and intangible issues that might scare some teams away. He might also have to play in a rotation. Started 38 career games.
From "Better Know a Draft Prospect" at Big Cat Country
Raji's measurables are outstanding for either a 4-3 or 3-4 defense. He's 6-1, 334 lbs, with an average 40-yard dash of 5.15, which is exactly what you're looking for out of a DT. Of course, we don't have his combine numbers yet, but I'd imagine he'll be in that range.
His 2008 season with Boston College featured 42 tackles, 22 solo and seven sacks on a defense that was 7th in the nation against the run and 5th overall. 12 of his tackles were for a loss, 50% of the teams total.
There's another number that deserves consideration in selecting Raji: Zero. As in the number of games he played in 2007. He was redshirted due to issues with "satisfactory progress", due to his not registering for enough classes in a given semester. It was not, as some are reporting, due to grades, but rather he needed three courses rather than two and was forced to miss the season. While it might be just a simple mistake, it is an error that is Raji's responsiblity to prevent. Another number to remember: One Game. As in how long he was suspended for punching an opponent during the Clemson game in 2006.
Scouting Reports and Offsite Links:
- Despite his size, Raji is deceptively quick. His first step is very impressive and then he will use his strength to simply run over the opposing lineman. Raji does just about everything well that one would hope from a defensive tackle. His positioning and instincts are solid and combined with his athleticism and strength, Raji pretty much has it all. [see more...]
- Outstanding mass and bulk...Excellent strength...Stout at the point of attack...Can fill two gaps...Able to occupy multiple blockers...Tough, powerful and nasty...A beast against the run...Can really collapse the pocket...Able to penetrate and make plays in the backfield...Above average athleticism...Quick and agile...Pursues well and has a burst to close...Good instincts and awareness...Will offer schematic versatility. [see more...]
- Outside of the bull rush, Raji does not have much of a pass rush repertoire ... Does not consistently dominate as much as you want him to as a pass rusher ... Has a tendency to get too high ... Misses easy tackles ... Not much experience. [see more...]
- Raji is the type of defensive tackle who can play in the 3-4 or 4-3 which will only enhance his draft status. Earned 1st team All-ACC honors his senior year while being the main cog in the #5 ranked defense in the nation. Boston College also ranked #1 in the ACC in total defense as well as 1st against the run to include one of Raji's most dominant performances against Maryland which they gave up a net gain of -6 yards rushing. B.J. projects very well to the next level. Raji faced some adversity already in his young career and overcame that with flying colors. He is mentally tough. Coming from a family that migrated here from Nigeria has contributed to his work ethic which he gets from his father, who is about to receive his doctorate in theology and divinity. I don't know about you, but to me that is just an added bonus for this young man. He knows what hard work is, so he will continue to get better at the next level. [see more...]