Oakland Raider’s Undrafted Gems 2010: Alex Parsons

Undrafted gems are a good way to fill a team's need. I believe that center Alex Parsons is this year's undrafted gem.

Desmond Bryant was an udrafted gem from last year. He may not have been big time, but he did help the run defense improve a little. The fact that he made the team makes him one in itself.

Tommy Kelly is a bigtime undrafted gem with the bigtime salary. His numbers aren't up, but they will be this year as he finally has some help on the defensive line.

So what makes me think that Parsons is that guy?

Parsons is a high character guy that comes from a football factory called USC.

So what does that mean?

It means a lot of things.

For one, it means he's used to winning. He is less likely to tolerate anything less than his best effort than most rookies will coming in.

Another thing about USC is that they run the zone-blocking system. Parsons probably knows the system better than current center Samson Satele.

Pete Carroll said of Parsons, "He's a really good player that has excellent quickness. He knows his calls and knows the whole system cold."

This was said after he was asked to move to center from guard for injured Kristopher O'Dowd. O'Dowd was an All-Pac 10 center that Carroll wasn't too worried about losing because of Parsons. Carroll also said of Parsons, "We are lucky to have him."

So why wasn't he drafted as a center?

As I just said, he didn't play much center as he backed an All Pac 10 center up while starting at guard. O'Dowd was already at center when Parsons converted from defensive tackle to fill a need.

Why wasn't he drafted as a guard?

Parsons is a 4.93 40 guy, so he has great quickness. At 6'4, 310 pounds, Parsons has great size for a center.

310 pounds is small for a guard. His 25 reps of 225 wasn't anything to raise eyebrows at for...

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