AFC West: Aaron Henry

Coach: Janikowski should be fine

August, 26, 2012
Oakland coach Dennis Allen told reporters Sunday that kicker Sebastian Janikowski had a sore groin, but it does not appear to be serious. Allen expects Janikowski to be ready for the regular season. Janikowski left the game Saturday night after trying to make a tackle on a long kick return.

Further, Allen said, he expects the starters to play some Thursday.

Allen added that he expects starting receiver Denarius Moore to be ready for the regular season. He has had a lingering hamstring injury.

Center Stefen Wisniewski is not expected to play Thursday. He has been dealing with a calf injury.

Rookie safety Aaron Henry tweeted that the Raiders cut him. The team’s first cuts are due by Monday afternoon.
The Oakland Raiders announced their undrafted rookie class Thursday. Most of the signings have been reported, but the team made it official. Here is the list, via a teams statement:

Conroy Black (6-foot-0, 185 pounds), CB, Utah: Played two years at Utah after transferring from Fullerton College. Earned honorable mention all-conference honors as a senior after recording four interceptions to tie for the Pac-12 lead.

Kaelin Burnett (6-4, 234), LB, Nevada: Played at Nevada after transferring from Delta State, seeing action at both linebacker and defensive end. In final season at Nevada, recorded 30 tackles with 4.5 tackles for loss.

Derek Carrier (6-4, 238), WR, Beloit: Played at Beloit, establishing school records with 189 career receptions for 3,111 yards and 29 touchdowns. Also set a single-season school record with 75 catches for 1,250 yards as a senior.

Brandon Carswell (6-1, 201), WR, USC: Native of the San Francisco Bay Area town of Milpitas, Calif., had 40 career receptions for 386 yards and two touchdowns for the Trojans. Played in all 12 games as a senior, totaling 18 catches for 153 yards and one touchdown.

Dominique Hamilton (6-5, 313), DT, Missouri: Named All-Big 12 by the media for his senior season, which he finished with 50 tackles, two fumble recoveries and 2.5 sacks.

Aaron Henry (6-0, 208), S, Wisconsin: Played four years at Wisconsin, earning first-team All-Big Ten honors from league coaches as a senior. Started all 14 games in final college season, recording four interceptions.

Marquette King (6-0, 192), P, Fort Valley State: As a senior, punted 60 times for 2,582 yards and recorded an 80-yard punt in the HBCU Bowl. Averaged 43.3 yards per punt and ranked No. 13 in the nation in net yardage.

Dan Knapp (6-5, 304), T, Arizona State: Started all 13 games as a senior. Made transition from tight end to offensive line after sophomore season.

Mario Kurn (6-2, 238), LB, San Diego: Appeared in 11 games as a senior and totaled 12.5 sacks. Named AP FCS second-team All-American and earned All-Pioneer Football League first-team honors.

Thomas Mayo (6-2, 205), WR, California (Pa.): Transferred to California (Pa.) for senior season after beginning college career at Concord University. Led team with 79 receptions for 1,359 yards and 16 touchdowns en route to Division II All-America honors.

Lucas Nix (6-5, 317), G, Pittsburgh: Played both guard and tackle in four seasons at Pittsburgh. Started eight contests at right guard as a senior and made 13 starts at both right guard and right tackle as a junior.

Chaz Powell (6-1, 207), S, Penn State: Played both wide receiver and cornerback at Penn State, finishing his career with 30 receptions for 403 yards and 54 tackles with two interceptions. Also averaged 25.6 yards per kickoff return, with two touchdowns.

Rod Streater (6-3, 200), WR, Temple: Played two seasons at Temple after transferring from Alfred State. As a senior, totaled 18 catches for 340 yards and two touchdowns and had 30 receptions for 481 yards and four touchdowns as a junior.
While so much attention is paid to NFL draft picks, college free agents are often overlooked simply because they weren’t drafted.

Every year, one or two undrafted free agents seem to make each 53-man roster. I asked college prospect guru Steve Muench of Scouts Inc. to rank the best undrafted free agents who signed with AFC West teams. The Oakland Raiders have not announced their class, but several of the players who have agreed to terms with them have been reported, but still they remain unofficial at this point.

Muench appears to love what the Denver Broncos and Raiders have done in undrafted free agency. At the very least, perhaps we will see some of these players on practice squads come September. Here are Muench’s rankings:

1. Denver, Coryell Judie, CB ,5-11 190, Texas A&M

Judie has had problems staying healthy and he’s coming off a disappointing senior season but he flashed decent man-to-man cover skills and the potential to develop into a playmaker in 2010.

2. Denver, Jamie Blatnick, DE, 6-3 265, Oklahoma State

Blatnick doesn’t have the burst or closing speed teams covet in edge rushers and he needs to play with better pad level as a run stopper. He is, however, a hard worker who is strong enough to set the edge and can get to the quarterback with effort.

3. Oakland, Lucas Nix, OG, 6-5, 317, Pittsburgh

Nix is a mauler who makes up for limited athletic ability with tenacity. He is big enough to engulf smaller defensive tackles and strong enough to anchor in pass protection.

4. Oakland, Aaron Henry, S, 6-0 208, Wisconsin

Henry is a corner/safety hybrid who doesn’t have great cover skills for a corner and is an inconsistent tackler for a safety. On the other hand, he has the potential to develop into an effective sub-package safety that can line up over the slot. He is also physical in coverage making him a good fit for Oakland’s scheme.

5. Denver, Steven Johnson, LB, 6-1 237, Kansas

Johnson is a two-down linebacker at this point. He is an effective run defender who can shed blocks and shows decent range. He just doesn’t offer much as a pass-rusher and he can’t consistently match up in coverage.

6. Oakland, Conroy Black, CB, 5-11 185, Utah

Black’s recovery speed masks his average-at-best instincts and discipline. He flashes the ability to make plays in coverage and his ability to turn and run makes him a good fit for the Raiders’ scheme.

7. Denver, Anthony Miller, TE, 6-4 260, California

Denver has a number of quality receiving tight ends. They needed a blocking tight end and they may have gotten one in Miller. Miller gets into position, locks on and blocks trough the whistle.

8. Denver, Gerell Robinson, WR, 6-4 222, Arizona State

Robinson is a big bodied receiver with above average ball skills. While he’ll have some difficulty separating from man coverage, he is a zone buster who can shield defenders from the ball.

9. Kansas City, Tyson Hartman, S, 6-3, 206, Kansas State

Hartman doesn’t have great cover skills for a safety but he is a smart football player who steps up in run support and can contribute on special teams.

10. San Diego, Christian Tupou, DE, 6-2 289, USC

Durability is a concern and he doesn’t have ideal arm length for a defensive end prospect, especially in a 3-4 scheme. However, he has the low center of gravity and core strength to develop into a tough run stopper.

Other Notables:

Denver, Jerry Franklin, LB, 6-1 245, Arkansas

Kansas City, Dexter Heyman, MLB, 6-3 238, Louisville

Oakland, Chaz Powell, CB, 6-0 203, Penn State

Oakland Dominique Hamilton DT 6-5 313 Missouri

Oakland, Thomas Mayo, WR, 6-1 207, Cal (PA)

San Diego, Jarrett Lee, QB, 6-2 208, LSU

San Diego, Michael Willie, WR, 6-2 218, Arizona State