Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Sio Moore (55) prepares to sack Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo (9) during the first quarter of an NFL preseason football game in Oakland, Calif., Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

Oakland Raiders: Projecting Sio Moore's Second Year

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Oakland Raiders’ strong side linebacker Sio Moore is, inarguably, considered the best pick of the Reggie McKenzie era to date. A good showing at the Senior Bowl, where the Oakland coaching staff was heavily involved, propelled him to the third round despite hailing from a small college like the Connecticut Huskies.

Moore is a flat out playmaker. His career-start mirrors another formidable backer, one from across the bay. Many will ridicule this statement, but I firmly believe No.55 could rival NaVorro Bowman as one of the best at their position. Bowman plays as one of the two inside backers in a 3-4 scheme and Moore lines up playside in a 4-3 system, but differences in their game stop there. For instance, both are around 6-feet, 240 pounds, ran around a 4.7 40-yard dash, around 26 bench reps at the combine, and the broad jump, three cone and short shuttle numbers are similar.

Both players were even drafted in the third round. Their first season in the league puts them on the same course. Bowman had 48 total tackles and zero sacks while Moore just logged 50 total tackles and 4.5 sacks to boot last season. Moore also added a forced fumble to his growing list of achievements along with a collection of pajama pants. Yes, thats right! Apparently, the fierce NFL linebacker has an affinity for Pajamas.

If Moore follows his rookie year with a second campaign like Bowman’s, I believe the Raiders will have found a tone setter in the second level. With the comparison to Bowman we can realize the ceiling of this young player is very high, but what about his floor?At this point, the only thing that could derail the bright future of Sio Moore is an injury. An injury that he may never recover from. Maybe an injury not unlike Bowman suffered?

Off the field, Moore is a model citizen. One of the many that the current regime has assembled together. He generously donates time to various local charities and most importantly, stays out of trouble.

Moore has established that he is a reliable player who will pay dividends for years to come and it will be exciting to see how he fits into the long term plan.

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