Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Evaluating the Oakland Raiders 2012 Draft 1 year later

ROUND 1
No Pick

ROUND 2
No Pick

ROUND 3
Pick #95: Tony Bergstrom OT, Utah

Bergstrom was projected as a Guard who may fill in some at tackle by most teams, but to this point he has held onto his desired position at left tackle......as the backup.  That said, he appeared in 9 games, starting the finale and has shown the kind of mean streak that the Raiders knew he had. 

He may still end up at guard if he can't beat out Jared Veldheer, but that may end up to work out the other way around.  The upside is that either of them would likely be an upgrade at one of the guard spots for a team that wants to run the ball.

A solid 3rd round pick.

ROUND 4
Pick #129: Miles Burris OLB, San Diego State

This looked like a reach when the pick was made, but we were all proven wrong.  Burris was known to be a good athlete at linebacker who has the speed to close quickly or run with receivers, while bringing the strength needed for the linebacker position. 

The concern had been around his polish in the position as he had looked to be susceptible in zone coverage and was not a great diagnoser of plays, on tape.

But, he was starting at the end of his rookie season and finished the season with 96 tackles.  This was a great value in the 4th round, and one that was needed in a draft without early picks.

ROUND 5
Pick #158: Jack Crawford DE, Penn State

Crawford is a raw, but athletic prospect with a high ceiling on the Line.  He has a huge frame at taller than 6'5" and very good athleticism, but he is relatively new to the game despite his 3 years starting at Penn State.

As a rookie he struggled to get a regular spot in the rotation but he did impress Oakland Coaches early on and had a defined spot on the depth chart at the end of the season.  He is the kind of athlete that can play any position in a 4 man front and can easily play end in a 3 man front.  In today's NFL where multiple front defenses are becoming more and more in vogue, Crawford was a nice risk.

Pick #168: Jurion Criner WR, Arizona

I loved the value of this pick when it was made.  Criner is a big receiver, who was very productive at Arizona, but his value was hurt by a poor showing at the combine.  He was the receiver that the Raiders did not have.  He is big, and is good with the ball in the air.

He didn't get much time behind Denarius Moore as a rookie, but he looks to be solidly the #2 Split End for the Raiders and should be around for a few years. 

ROUND 6
Pick #189: Christo Bilukidi DE, Georgia State

This was one of those picks that really threw people when it came across.  I saw the size and I had to recognize that their are only so many athletic men this size, but draftable?  out of Georgia State? 

So I read a little bit and I found that what you have here is a raw athlete who played basketball primarily before going to Juco route to Georgia State.  He was easily the best player in the front 7 for Georgia State, to the point that he would occasionally play standing up.  So ok, you can take a chance on an athlete you think might be special, especially in round 6. 

As for what he did his first season, he finished the season 30 lbs heavier than he was weighed at for the draft, and worked his way to the edge of the D-Line rotation.  He is a project, but the first thing a project needs is to make the team, and he did.  The jury is still out.

ROUND 7
Pick #230: Nathan Stupar OLB, Penn State

Stupar was a longshot to make the roster, and was being targeted as a special teams ace who may develop into a rotational player.  He kicked around the league's practice squads this year, landing in San Francisco at the end of the year.

I do not like drafting players to see if they can develop from a special teams player, this is especially true if they are not returners. 

ROOKIE FREE AGENTS

SUMMARY

Kaelin Burnett OLB, Nevada

Burnett was so far under the radar that he wasn't even on the NFL.com list of prospects for Nevada.  He was known to be an athletic player who could bring a lot of pressure off the edge, but he had been derailed by significant injuries.

The Raider gave him a shot to show that he was healthy, and he responded by earning a contract off the scout team.  He is projected as their #2 at one linebacker spot, but has to expect competition in this year's camp.

Lucas Nix OG, Pittsburgh

Nix was a surprise to see go undrafted.  He was known as a huge, road-grading, offensive guard who could envelop defenders

Played at guard and tackle in college.

He does not have great athleticism and there were a few injury concerns, but this is an experienced lineman with good size and explosiveness, if not foot speed.

He is projected as the #2 right guard for the Raiders, and would have been easily justified in the back half of the draft.

Rod Streater WR, Temple

Streater was the gem of the RFA class for the Raiders.  They brought him in as insurance against their pick of Jurion Criner.  He is lighter than Criner, but brings the same kind of height and leaping ability to the passing game.  He also brings good speed however, which has allowed him to have a very good rookie season with 39 catches for just shy of 600 yards.

He is projected to backup DHB, and I think he is solidly set as the third receiver for the Raiders, depending on the health and status of Jacoby Ford

SUMMARY

Overall, the Raiders did a decent job with what they had left.  The problem was, they were starting with no high draft picks.  I give them a C grade on this draft, but I don't think they could have done much better without a first or second round pick.



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