ALAMEDA -- Only time will tell if the Raiders furthered the vision of the new regime Friday in the NFL draft, but they've definitely made for a more interesting locker room.
The selections of offensive lineman Menelik Watson of Florida State in the second round and linebacker Sio Moore from Connecticut in the third round added two players confident in both their athletic skill, as well as their ability to talk a good game.
Watson played just 19 games of college football, and eight of those were at Saddleback Community College in Mission Viejo, but when asked by conference call if he expects to contribute to the Raiders right away said, "I have no question I can."
Taken with the draft pick obtained Thursday from the Miami Dolphins, Watson was the 42nd overall selection.
Watson was given first-round grades by some analysts but came to the game late, having played soccer, basketball and even giving boxing a try during an odyssey that started in England and went through a basketball academy in Las Palmas, Spain, New York, California and Florida.
As for Moore, a three-year starter in college who played for the Raiders staff in the Senior Bowl, his enthusiasm was evident in his conference call with the local media. He was the 66th player selected, and depending on whether a few hybrid types play defensive end or linebacker, between the ninth and 12th linebacker to come off the board.
"The Raiders got the best linebacker in the draft," Moore said. "I don't care who went before."
Raiders coach Dennis Allen said both players fit the team's profile of athletes with a passion for football.
"The great thing is we feel both these guys can come in and compete and upgrade our team," Allen said. "As they get a chance to work with our veteran players, they'll settle exactly into when we'll play them and how we'll play them."
Watson, 6-foot-5, 310 pounds, played soccer and basketball as a youth in Manchester, England, went to Marist University on a college basketball scholarship, leaving the school to dabble in boxing before being urged to give football a try.
"We like his athleticism, we like the fact that he's been a boxer, he's been a basketball player," Allen said. "He's got excellent feet, and he's got a great punch."
English acquaintances such as Jack Crawford (Penn State and the Raiders) and Matt Williams (Cal) went to prep school to learn football. Watson transferred to a junior college.
During one of his first practices, Watson pushed a defender 10 yards straight ahead during a pass play, unaware of the rules of offensive linemen being downfield. He conceded that he had no idea how to play the game.
"When I got on the field I found a love and passion for the physicality of it and just the history of the sport, too," Watson said.
NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said of Watson on the air, "He has no idea what he's doing, but he's gifted as all get-out."
Countered Watson, "I don't consider myself raw. I just think the way I do things is different than the traditional way."
Moore (6 foot, 245 pounds) flashed on the Raiders coaching staff at the Senior Bowl, where he was a mid-week injury addition to the South team.
Talking about the other linebackers taken in the draft, Moore said, "I play with juice. None of those guys are as hungry as me. None of those guys want to work as hard as me. I'm going to make sure whoever I go with, I'm going to outwork them."
Fourth round (No. 100); sixth round (Nos. 172, 176, 205); seventh round (No. 209)