By Steve Corkran
Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 at 3:34 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Alabama nose tackle Josh Chapman is scheduled to meet with the Raiders in a pre-draft visit, according to Scout.com.
The interest makes sense, given coach Dennis Allen’s stated intent to be “multiple” on defense. Playing some or all of a 3-4 scheme would require a stout defender in the middle of the line.
That’s where a player of Chapman’s talents come into play. He is 6-feet-1 and 316 pounds and well versed in the 3-4. We also know he’s plenty tough, as evidenced by his playing the final half of last season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Travis Ivey is the only other true nose tackle on Oakland’s roster. Ivey was signed late in the season to the Raiders practice squad.
“We haven’t decided any of that yet,” Allen said Monday, when asked about the 4-3 vs. the 3-4 next season. “We’re still going through the process of acquiring talent, looking into who we’re going to have on the team next year. Once we get through the draft, we’ll have a better feel what we want to do there.”
Several other teams reportedly are meeting with Chapman. He is regarded as the third-best nose tackle in the upcoming draft and should last into the third round, where the Raiders are scheduled to make their first pick.
The book on Chapman is, he shines against the run and isn’t much of a pass-rusher. Regardless, the Raiders need someone of his build and talent if they intend to play the 3-4.