BA's 2012 Oakland Raiders Mock Draft
Bret Armstrong – Mar 31, 2012
It’s been an up and down offseason for the 2012 Raiders. Some key players have been dismissed as a result of a salary cap crunch due to frivolous spending over the past few seasons. Concessions had to be made.
Now that the Raiders are nearing the end of their free agency spending, it’s time to shift focus to the NFL draft. Sure it can be said the Raiders are not completely done signing free agents. For example, I still see them signing a linebacker or two.
UPDATE: the Raiders have signed SLB Phillip Wheeler to a one-year contract. Read More here: http://raidernationtimes.com/article.php?id=8692
Nevertheless, now that compensatory picks have been dealt around the league, it’s time to see what players are available to the Raiders over the weekend of April 26-28, 2012.
Here is the direction I think would be most adventagous to the team in the draft.
Alameda Ta”amu NT Washington Round 3 – More and more teams are switching from a 3-4 defensive front to a 4-3. A few years ago, the opposite was true and the Raiders held true to their 4-3 scheme. Now that the opposite is trending, it appears as though the Raiders are heading towards a transition to the base 3-4 defense. Leave it to them to be unconventional. Enter Ta”mau, who is a beastly athlete that can be a valuable run stuffer for any NFL team.
The knock in this guy is that he has trouble controlling his weight. That combined with the decreased interest in 3-4 scheming makes me think he will slip down the boards a little on draft day. The great thing about him is his size and power combo. The guy plays at about 330-350 pounds and benched 225 33 times at the combine. The Raiders may have to trade up a bit from this position to get this guy, but if they truly do want to run some 3-4 fronts this year, a guy like Ta”mau is a must have for the team.
Josh Norman CB Coastal Carolina Round 4 – Following a highly successful East-West Shrine Game week, Norman has found his stock on the rise. His safety-like presence combined with his wide receiver-like ball skills make him an intriguing prospect for a team like the Raiders, who are looking for depth and potentially starters throughout their secondary. Norman’s physicality at the point of attack is definitively one of his strong suits.
The knock on the young man is that his 40-times have been a little slow. His official at this point is a 4.66, which really isn’t fast enough to keep up with some of the wide receivers coming out of college these days. Norman, however is confident that he can get it up into the 4.4 or maybe even 4.3 range before the draft. If he manages that, he may find himself as a third round pick.
Matt Reynolds OT BYU Round 5 – Despite the addressing of the offensive line with the re-signing of Cooper Carlisle and Khalif Barnes, the Raiders still need more developable prospects in the trenches of the offense. Enter the fifth-year senior Cougar. One of the things I really admire about Reynolds is that football runs in his family, so you know he has the heart for it.
NFLScout.com said that Reynolds is the most pro-ready BYU player in this draft class. Now that may not be saying much, but his ESPN.com, USA Today, CBSCollegeSports.com, Athlon, Lindy's, and Sporting News preseason All-American ranking speaks volumes for what he is capable of becoming. Reynolds started every game of his career at left tackle for the Cougars, but even if he ended up moving inside, tackles transfer better to guard than the opposite.
Emmanuel Acho SLB Texas Round 5 – You may know Acho’s older brother Sam, who was a fourth round selection of the Arizona Cardinals in 2010. Sam racked up 10 starts, 40 tackles, and seven sacks in his first season. Some suspect that his younger brother may be an upgraded version of the “Macho Acho.”
He is not exceptionally big, fast, or strong, but Acho is a football player and that is just what Reggie McKenzie is looking for to help build up the potential of the Raiders organization. Acho has become known as “the other linebacker” playing second fiddle to Keenan Robinson throughout this drafting and scouting process. That plays right into the hands of the Raiders as they are looking for an underrated strong-side linebacker.
Nick Foles QB Arizona Round 6 – One scout attending his pro day said that the weather only
amplified the fact that he can’t throw a spiral. I think that’s a bit over the top. Sure, his balls are a little wobbly and he could certainly deliver the ball with more power for a guy that is 6’5” 240-plus pounds.
I like the fact that he can read the defense and knows how to find the open man. On top of that, he knows where his guys are supposed to be. Those two attributes tell me he is good in the film room and preparation. Another thing I like about the kid is that he is an exceptional ball faking play-action quarterback. Additionally, with some coaching, his upside is tremendous.
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