Photo by Scott Grant / CFLPhotoArchive.ca

Former Saskatchewan Roughriders linebacker Derrick Moncrief made a strong impression on Las Vegas Raiders’ general manager Mike Mayock.

Moncrief worked out for the Raiders, Miami Dolphins, Cincinnati Bengals, Detroit Lions, Arizona Cardinals, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers and San Francisco 49ers during his NFL team tour.

“After the workout I talked to the GM, he asked me questions about my family. He said he liked what I did on film. I played linebacker, they run a lot of nickel back in the NFL, it’s a passing league and they like what I can bring to their scheme,” Moncrief told The Rod Pedersen Show about his discussion with Mayock.

The 26-tear-old played three seasons for the Riders. In 2019, Moncrief played 17 games making 69 tackles, four on special teams, four sacks, three interceptions and one forced fumble. He was named a CFL all-star for his outstanding play at the strong-side linebacker position. That production caught the attention of Mayock who flew Moncrief in for an up-close session. 

“It was fairly quick. We did change of directions drills, pass rushing drills, a few ball drills and that was it. It lasted only 15 or 20 minutes,” Moncrief said.

By playing the “SAM” spot in the Canadian game, Moncrief displayed his dynamic abilities as a defender. He can be stout against the run, blitz off the edge, drop back in zone versus the pass and even lock on offensive players in man coverage. In the new era of NFL football with balls being thrown all over, Moncrief fits the style of player who can thrive on defence.

“From a players standpoint, you want to get in where you can make plays. But I put my business hat on too, me and my agent, discussing the numbers and who is coming back, who is under contract until when and possibly who is going to get drafted,” Moncrief said.

“You gotta make a business decision, but a football decision too.”

Moncrief inked a contract with the Raiders on January 9. Saskatchewan released Moncrief to pursue the NFL opportunity. He was scheduled to be a CFL free agent in February. After two seasons at Oklahoma State University, Moncrief went overlooked by the NFL in 2017, but he’s earned his way to the first chance at making an impact south of the border.

“Moncrief is such an instinctual football player. He’s gotta stay healthy and he’s gotta show that he can play special teams,” former Riders head coach and GM Chris Jones told The Rod Pedersen Show.

“He’s going to have to go be a guy that can go be a core teamer down there and prove that he can play and if he does he’s got the instincts.” 

Comments