Oakland Raiders third-round draft pick and DT Eddie Vanderdoes could be the steal of the draft in 2017. He has all the ingredients you could possibly want in a 4-3 DT and a two-gap 3-4 DE. The 6’3″, 305 pounder did 28 reps of 225 and ran his 40 under five seconds at the NFL Scouting Combine.
And along with all that speed, power and agility, Vanderdoes plays technically sound football. He’s a master with his hands and that makes him darn-near impossible to block when he’s in shape. The problem was he wasn’t in shape in 2016, playing way too heavy in the 2016 season.
But that wasn’t a problem he brought on himself because he was lazy or didn’t have the desire to train. He was coming of a torn ACL and didn’t get to a point that he was ready to train for football until late. So he was unable to play up to his talent level after he looked like a beast for his one game in 2015.
Vanderdoes lost 20 of those pounds during the season then lost 20 more after the season. So when he got to Senior Bowl Week he was virtually unblockable again but the NFL wasn’t totally sold. So this top-5 talent fell to the Raiders in the third round, giving him a chance to be the steal of the draft.
UCLA is on the quarter system in school so he wasn’t able to make it to the offseason program at all. But he did sign his rookie contract on Wednesday and will be ready for camp in a few weeks. Vanderdoes has maintained his conditioning on his own so I still expect him to have an immediate impact.
His main competition is 2016 second-round pick Jihad Ward, who just had surgery on his foot. Vanderdoes is already better but this injury has sealed Ward’s fate if Vanderdoes can stay healthy. Raiders fans should look forward to seeing him bring the heat inside along with Mario Edwards Jr.
Just win, baby!