Allen: 'We felt really good about the two picks today'
ALAMEDA -- For all intents and purposes, 10 linebackers were drafted before Sio Moore was selected out of Connecticut by the Raiders.
Just don't tell that to Moore.
"Like I said from the beginning of this whole draft process," Moore said Friday in a conference call with media who cover the Raiders, "there's going to be one team that's going to fall in love and make the right pick and there's going to be 31 other teams that are going to be pissed off.
"The Oakland Raiders got the best linebacker in the draft, I don't care who went before."
Yes, Moore has a bit of a chip on his shoulder after being taken in the third round, No. 66 overall. And Raiders coach Dennis Allen likes it. A lot.
"I think he’s pretty good," Allen said with a sly grin.
"I’d rather him say that than say ‘Gosh, I wish I’d got taken in the seventh round.'"
The Raiders' love affair with Moore, and his with the Raiders, actually began at the Senior Bowl in January, when Moore was a mid-week addition to the North squad, coached by Oakland's staff. Moore hit it off immediately with Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver.
"Coach Tarver knows I can play a bunch of different roles," Moore said. "They’ve seen it first-hand. I think it’s not just (that) I can play, they’ve seen my energy throughout the game when we played. I play with a lot of energy, a lot of passion. You can see it. I’m just glad to be a part of that. Whatever position they have me in, I’m going to do whatever I can to win."
The Raiders have yet to address their need for a pass rusher in their three draft picks, picking up cornerback D.J. Hayden, right tackle Menelik Watson and Moore, but Allen was quick to point out that the Raiders had Moore line up as a pass-rushing defensive end in the Senior Bowl game. He had a sack.
"Just being around that guy for a week," Allen added, "he's the type of guy that we want to bring into that locker room."
One in which Moore will find a familiar face in Tyvon Branch, who actually hosted him on his recruiting visit to UConn.
So why, exactly, does Moore think he is the best linebacker drafted thus far?
"I’ve played every position on the field and done so in a productive manner and have the film to prove it," he said. "I’m not a guy you have to say, ‘Oh, he can do this or we can have him do that.' I’ve done every aspect of the game and I’ve been productive at each and every one. I have the film to prove it, unlike a lot of other linebackers. The coaches know that.
"I take that and use that not to brag and boast but as a chip on my shoulder because even though I can do a bunch of things I’m still overlooked. It’s a shame but it’s also a blessing because it’s the reason why I’m pissed off. Going to Oakland, they’re going to get a pissed-off linebacker that wants to prove why he’s the best linebacker coming out this year. I don’t care about the guys drafted before me. I play with juice. None of those guys are as hungry as me. None of those guys want to work as hard as me. I’m going to make sure wherever I go, whoever I’m with, I’m going to outwork them."