Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mistral Raymond's NFL stock rises as lockout continues

The NFL draft begins Thursday and there’s hope that a couple of Palmetto grads will have their name called before it ends Saturday with rounds four through seven.

Receiver Joe Hills is the most likely. Mistral Raymond was considered a long shot, but he is looked at differently now because a pro-long lockout creates a need for a defensive back who can step in at corner and safety.

There are reports the Bears could take Raymond because of the versatility he showed at USF playing both corner and safety at a high level. They need depth at corner behind Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings and could use help at safety alongside Chris Harris.

Raymond is viewed as a hybrid because he can play corner or safety and teams that need help at both are starting to look at the 6-1, 195 pounder more seriously.

The Bucs like to play a lot of nickel and dime defenses and with Ronde Barber not getting younger and Aquib Talib not getting it, you would think they might take a chance on a hometown guy like Raymond.

Tennessee likes Hills and could see him as a fifth receiver with Randy Moss reportedly unhappy and Kenny Britt arrested earlier this month.

On normal years without the lockout those two along with defensive tackle Terron Sanders from Florida/Southeast and perhaps defensive back Chris Smith (Northern Illinois/Palmetto) would be strong bets to at least get invited to camp.

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