Oakland Raiders Bye Week: 2011 Draft Pick Report Card
Terrell White – Oct 29, 2011Holla at me Raider Nation!
Here at The Raider Nation Times we recently did a report on the 2011 Oakland Raiders at the bye week. This got me to thinking that we should take a quick look back at how Al Davis' last draft class is doing up to this point. We're all waiting and watching to see how Terrelle Pryor fairs, but until he plays, there are other picks we can evaluate.
First Round Pick: Richard Seymour 6'5 310 lbs. - Defensive Tackle.
As we know Al used his 2011 first round pick as part of the Richard Seymour deal. As far as I'm concerned Seymour has been well worth the pick. It's been years since the Raiders had a player of Seymour's stature to anchor the defense.
MinusÂ Seymour's performance in the game against New England (his former team) Seymour has done nothing but provide leadership and stability to our defensive line, and team as a whole. Remember it was Seymour who got members of the team together during the lockout for off season workouts.
Seymour is no longer a "young pup" however, he is a solid veteran and a team leader. Furthermore, I don't expect much drop off in his performance (at least not this season or next).
Second Round Pick: Stefen Wisniewski 6'3 315 lbs. Penn State - Offensive Line.
The pick of Wisniewki more than fills a team need. Stefen is a "second generation Raider." That right, there just about guarantees that he's a solid draft choice. Wisniewski's bloodline aside, he's carving out his on niche' with the Raiders.
Stefen is physical, intelligent and athletic. Moreover, Wisniewski is the only pick of the class to be a full time starter. Furthermore, he's gotten everyone to forget about former left tackle/guard Robert Gallery. Wisniewski has done a good job with his pass protection and is a solid run blocker (a reason why McFadden has had such a great year thus far).
He's starting as a rookie and will only get better.
Third Round Pick: DeMarcus Van Dyke 6'1 , 180 lbs. University of Miami (aka The U) - Defensive Back.
With the NFL being all about the quarterback and offensive production, your team is going to need defensive backs. Combine this with the fact that not only did Oakland lose Nnamdi Asomugha, but the team was stuck with Stanford Routt and Chris Johnson as the starters (neither of whom I'm all that crazy about). Therefore, (as far as I'm concerned) it's obvious why Al went out looking to bolster the defensive backfield.
While Van Dyke does have the speed to contend with NFL wide receivers, his technique needs work (enter Rod Woodson).
He is a talentâ€”a raw talent. It's not easy being a rookie corner back in the NFL. Van Dyke has potential however, as I stated he needs to spend time in the film room studying and he needs to work on his technique (like most rookies doâ€”no matter what position they play).
Third Round Pick: Joseph Barksdale 6'4 325 lbs. LSU - Offensive Line.
Barksdale is a converted defensive tackle who is still learning how to play the offensive line. With that said, he needs better footwork and to enhance his reaction time when it comes to dealing with oncoming defenders. Despite these hindrances, Joseph has seen some playing time as a back up for Khallif Barnes at right tackle, as well as at left guard, and has held up decently.
As I stated, Barksdale does need some work on his technique however he's already seen some playing time. His playing time should continue to expand and I believe that he will develop into a quality linemen.
Moreover, he's got the intangible that you like to have in your offensive line men SIZE; Which of course is something that you can't coach, and he's got plenty of it. Combine size with technique and you have a force to be reckoned with.
Fourth Round Pick: Chimdi Chekwa 6'0 190 lbs. "THE" Ohio State - Defensive Back.
As I stated Oakland was stuck with Routt and Johnson so the drafting of defensive backfield help was mandatory! Chekwa is a player that I happen to like. I was more than happy to see him replace Chris Johnson and I for one hope that (when Chekwa is fully healed) the move is permanent.
Chekwa, I believe has performed well for a rookie corner. He does need to work on being a bit less mechanical and he did have a bad game against Wes Welker however, he is a rookie and the fact that he was covering Welker (to me) says more about the rest of the secondary then it does about Chekwa.
As I said I was more than happy to see him replace Chris Johnson as starter. As I also stated it's hard to be a rookie corner in the NFL. You're out there on an island by yourself, moreover you know that every quarterback and receiver you face is aware of the fact that you're a rookie and is looking to exploit you not just to make first downs, but to get big play. Chimdi Chekwa has held his own thus far and he will only get better with time.
Fourth Round Pick: Taiwan Jones 6'0 195 lbs. E. Washington - Running Back.
Jones is one of those players that you love to have on your team. He provides you with some depth at a few different positions. Jones has great speed and good elusiveness, which helped him (and Oakland) not only in the backfield (taking some pressure off of McFadden) but also in the kick return game (in the absence of Jacoby Ford).
Even though we have McFadden in the back field & Ford to return kicks Jones has been a good player for the team when he's been called upon.
Fifth Round: Denarius Moore 6'0 195 lbs. Tennessee - Wide Receiver.
I don't have enough superlatives to lavish on this kid! Without question Denarius Moore has got to be one of the "steals" of draft day. Moore is athletic, he's got game breaking speed, he not injury prone (see Chaz Schilens for reference) and more importantlyâ€”the kid can catch!! I can't wait to see what happens when him and Carson Palmer get together!!
I don't believe this kid is a "one hit wonder". He's been spectacular and I don't see any reason why he won't continue to be.
Sixth Round: Richard Gordon 6'4 265 lbs. University of Miami (aka The U) - Tight End.
With the addition of Kevin Boss to the Raiders roster I don't expect to see too many passes going Richard's way.Â He was brought in after all as a "blocking" tight end. To that end he has been a good addition to the offensive line in both the running and passing games. However I still need to see him on the field more before I feel comfortable giving him a grade. We'll see how things look at the end of the season.
Grade INC (incomplete)
I just don't feel comfortable really giving him a grade. Not enough raw data on the kid. I will say that the Raiders are a very strong running team, and part of that has to be due to the teams' blocking tight ends.
Seventh Round: David Ausberry 6'4 245 lbs. University of Southern California (USC) - Wide Receiver.
Other than the Browns game, Ausberry has seen no realÂ playing time as of yet. However, at 6'4 and about 250 pounds I think he'd be a nightmare for most defenders. Ausberry can use his massive frame as a great "shield" for keeping himself between the ball and the defender. If Calvin Johnson can be Megatron then I could see David Ausberry being Optimist Supreme (obviously I spend too much time watching the Transformers). Moreover, David not only comes from a very good school he has the frame to play Tight End if Hue Jackson needs him to.
Grade INC (incomplete)
I did see him in the pre-season. As I stated, Ausberry has got good size and is athletic however, like most rookies he's a "raw talent" and is a work in progress who is in need of time to perfect his technique (no matter what position Hue Jackson has him playing).
OVER ALL GRADE : B
I wanted to say that the last draft by Al Davis was an "A," however I don't want to sound like too much of a homer. Moreover, we still need at least one full season (maybe two) before we can really call this a successful draft class. However, it's not too early to say that things are shaping up nicely for Al's last picks.
Al Davis not only drafted play-makers he drafted players that could fill different positions of need for the team. Seymour has been a solid Raider and well worth the price we paid (let's see if we say the same thing about Carson Palmer).
The Raiders need offensive line help, enter Stefen Wisniewski who has become a full time starter and will only get better like a fine wine does with time. Al also picked up Joseph Barksdale, who as I mentioned has also seen playing time.
The Raiders needed help with the defensive secondary and Al addressed that need with the pick of Chimdi Chekwa who, like Wisniewski and Barksdale, has also seen a good deal of playing time, and himself could be on the verge of becoming a full time starter. Al also picked up Van Dyke (remember as far as I'm concerned we have two suspect starting corners).
Combine those picks with the play of Taiwan Jones and that of (draft day steal) Denarius Moore and Al last draft not only provided the Raiders with some much needed help in key positions it should be a good "playing" testimony to the former owner.
Raider from birth.
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