The Oakland Raiders have scheduled Houston linebacker Sammy Brown for a visit, according to Scout.com. Brown is a pass-rushing 3-4 outside linebacker who led the NCAA in tackles for a loss last season, with 28. Brown also finished the season with 12.5 sacks. He has both size and decent speed, standing at 6'2" tall and weighing in at 243 pounds, while running a 4.63 40 yard dash.
Slotted to go in the middle rounds, Brown makes a lot of sense for the Raiders. Even though Reggie McKenzie just signed former Indianapolis Colts linebacker Philip Weaver, the Raiders still need more linebackers. First of all, Weaver is primarily a run-stopping linebacker that has not had a lot of success rushing the passer. So while he makes a solid option on early downs, it would be nice to have a pass-rushing option on later downs.
In addition, the Raiders plan on running a hybrid defense that includes some 3-4 base formations. The linebacker position for the Raiders is very thin. If Dennis Allen wants to run 3-4 defensive plays, they will need to add some solid depth to the linebacker position.
With only late-round draft picks available to the Raiders, it appears as though McKenzie is looking at players who, though maybe not ready to start, can contribute to the team right away. By targeting role players like Sammy Brown and Alabama nose tackle Josh Chapman, McKenzie is aiming to get the most out of the Raiders' draft picks. Oakland has enough starters that neither of these guys will be asked to take on too much. They can be used in situations that will allow them to play to their strengths, making them more likely to succeed and the Raiders' defense more likely to be improved.