Sunday, April 25, 2010

Raiders Sign UDFA FB Tonga of BYU

The Raiders have signed FB Manase Tonga out of BYU according Silver and Black Pride. The undrafted free agent was considered a priority free agent by many. I had him as the top blocking fullback and my number two priority among all undrafted free agents for the Raiders to consider.

And it seemed like a natural fit for the Raiders considering Tonga grew up in nearby San Mateo. It was no doubt was an easy decision for him to make when his home town team, Oakland Raiders came calling. And from the sounds of it, the decision to make the call was also an easy decision for the Raiders as Tonga becomes the first UDFA signing by the team since the draft ended a few hours ago.

In college, Tonga was oftenheld in high regard. Here is what was said about him in the Deseret News:
"At 6-foot and 248 pounds, Tonga is a devastating blocker with powerful drive in his lower body. As a lead blocker in Robert Anae's offense, he was fearless in tracking down and putting a bead on linemen, linebackers, safeties and corners for Harvey Unga. His pass protection is something Anae and position coach Lance Reynolds use as an example, a how-to tape"

The article also points out that just a year ago he was at a low point in his life. He was out of shape and almost dropped out of college and abandoned his dream of playing in the NFL. His onlyother blemish was having been arrested in 2007 due to a warrant out for the arrest of because he had not paid an $82 ticket.

If a little bit of down-on-his-luck and a traffic ticket are the only reasons he dropped out of the draft then that even speaks louder about the level of talent he possesses. But you needn't tell me how talented he is. I have seen him play. You needn't tell his opponents how talented he is, they have been hit by him.

This may just be the best acquisition the Raiders have made this offseason. There were a few great draft picks but Tonga was worthy of one of them so getting him as an undrafted free agent is a big time move.

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