2012 NFL Draft: 5 Running Backs the Oakland Raiders Could Draft in 2012
Elias Trejo – Mar 21, 2012
The 2012 NFL Draft is quickly approaching and just like the free agency period the Oakland Raiders won't be able to make a big splash. The Raiders only have two picks in this year's draft and should be able to get a few compensatory picks. Many fans out there are not happpy with the Oakland Raiders lack of action this year with new GM Reggie McKenzie running the show, but they must remember he inherited a team that was almost $30 million over the cap and had traded away most of their draft picks this year. McKenzie will be able to show the Raider Nation what he can do next season when he has more ammo, but in the mean time he'll make solid moves with the money he has available.
The Raiders earliest pick could come in the last part of the third round with a compensatory pick. Because the picks are so late in the draft and the compensatory picks Oakland will receive are not official yet I will provide you with five names to watch for in this years draft.
Robert Turbin Running Back Utah State University
Turbin has been graded to go between the 3rd and 6th round. The Raiders will need a big back if Michael Bush signs with another team. Darren McFadden and Taiwan Jones are set to be the top two backs next season. Turbin could add more size and speed to the Raiders backfield. He stands at 5"10" weighs 224 pounds and runs a 4.4 40. He accumulated over 3,000 rushing yards in his career at Utah State including 1,517 yards last season.
I can see the Raiders using their late 3rd round compensatory pick on Turbin, waiting until the fifth round could be a risk if they want to draft him.
Marc Tyler Running Back University of Southern California
Marc Tyler is another big back the Oakland Raiders could look at in the later rounds. Tyler would be ideal for short yardage situations. He may not be the fastest guy as he ran a 4.76 in the combine, but he has the size to get those tough yards in short yardage situations. He is listed at 5'11" and 219 pounds. This is a player that could be available late in the fifth or sixth round.
The Raiders are no longer looking for just fast players and they have plenty of speed in the backfield. If they do lose Bush, they'll need another big body to carry the ball and Tyler could provide that for Oakland.
Lennon Creer Running Back Louisiana Tech University
Lennon Creer fits into the big back mold the Raiders could be looking for. He stands at 5'11" and weighs 219 pounds. In my eyes Creer would make the most sense for the Oakland Raiders. This player is a steal and was lost in the shuffle in Tennessee before he transferred over to Louisiana Tech. Creer ran a 4.71 at the combine, but it's his explosiveness that makes him so valuable. His ability to get off his stance is impressive and he can hit the hole hard.
Oakland must take a serious look at this kid as he can be a servicable back for many years. With Rock Cartwright gone from the team, Creer could step in right now and fill that role on the field for the Raiders in addition to help them in short yardage situations. Adding two rookie running backs in the draft could be an option, but if Turbin is unavailable then Creer would make the best choice.
Brandon Bolden Running Back Ole Miss University
Bolden had an impressive combine as he showed his athleticism to teams. He had the highest vertical jump for all running backs and had the fastest time in the three cone drill. Bolden is graded all over the place by varous draft gurus. Character issues come up in most of his scouting reviews, but it's hard to ignore his athleticism and size. He stands at 5'11" and weighs 222 pounds. He runs a 4.57 40 and he likes to punish the defense when he runs the ball.
This is the type of player the Raiders need to replace Bush, if he leaves. A nasty runner that wants to take the heads of defenders, but also has the ability to make them miss. He could be available late in the draft for Oakland to pick up.
Jeff Demps Running Back University of Florida
Demps would almost be guaranteed a spot with the Oakland Raiders if Al Davis was still around. Demps may not be an ideal running back as he is listed at 5'8" and weighs 190 pounds, but this guy could be a weapon on special teams for the Raiders. Jacoby Ford and Denarius Moore are Oakland's best punt and kick returners, but they are two of the top receivers. Having Demps on the squad would give the Raiders another weapon and another dangerous returner. His 40 speed has been clocked a 4.25 which is all Mr. Davis would have needed to see to draft him.
Because of his size many place Demps as an undrafted free agent. Should the Raiders consider him with a late round pick?
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