Oakland Raiders: Five Potential 3rd Round Picks
David Wilson – Apr 11, 2012
The Raiders don’t have a pick in this years draft until number 95, at the end of the third round (not that this bothers Reggie McKenzie), so predicting who Oakland’s first pick will be becomes difficult. It depends greatly on the players still left on the board when the number 95 selection comes around.
As with any draft, there are plenty of options, and this years crop of talent is thankfully deep in areas that the Raiders need to upgrade.
Tony Bergstrom G Utah: Still my number one choice for the Raiders first pick. He is an ideal left guard, and that is exactly what the Raiders need. Cooper Carlisle is at the end of his career, and a replacement has to be found sooner rather than later. Bergstrom is a great fit for a zone scheme, and has a good character with oustanding work habits. He has the football smarts to pick up stunts and blitzes, and has been very durable. He occasionally plays with his pad level a little high, but he is a coachable player. An excellent choice who could start right away.
Josh Chapman NT Alabama: Chapman might not last this long on talent alone, but concerns about his knee may cause him to slide to the end of the third round. For a team that believes he is healthy he would be a solid investment. With Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly the wrong side of thirty, some fresh young talent is needed. Chapman is a tough, productive, good character player from a national championship team. He does not bring much as a pass rusher, but is a great run defender with the ability to play nose tackle. That would give defensive coordinator Jason Tarver the option to put in some 3-4 looks.
Josh Kaddu OLB Oregon: Philip Wheeler was a great signing, but he is only on a one year contract and there is nothing behind him. The Raiders need some long term help at linebacker, and would not need Kaddu to start straight away. He is fast and aggressive, but needs to get stronger and develop his technique. Sitting for a year behind Wheeler would allow him to do that, and give Oakland a promising player for the future.
Bruce Irvin OLB/DE West Virginia: After losing Kamerion Wimbley, the Raiders need someone who can pressure off the edge, and Irvin has elite speed and burst to get to the quarterback in a hurry. He had the fastest three cone drill at the scouting combine (6.70), which was outstanding. On the downside he lacks a true position and is mainly a pass rush specialist, not having the mass (245 lbs) to anchor against the run. There are also concerns about his character that may cause him to slide to the third round, but Irvin has the potential to be the best pass rusher in the draft, and put real fear into opposing offensive linemen.
Tom Compton G South Dakota: Another dependable, blue collar player who could help out immediately on the offensive line. He displays exceptionally good short area quickness which makes be him a good fit for the zone system, and possesses the strength and aggressiveness that coaches love to see on the interior line. Compton would be a great addition to the Raiders, and would be a low risk pick at a need position.
Other players I considered for the 95th pick were Mitchell Schwartz (T – California), and Jeff Allen (G/T – Illinois), who would be great additions, but my feeling was that their draft stock has been rising and it is very unlikely that they will there when the Raiders pick.
One thing I am confident of though, is that whichever name that Reggie McKenzie writes on that piece of paper with the Raiders selection on it, will be the right person for this team.
McKenzie has continually made good decisions since his arrival as General Manager, and the Raider Nation is expecting great things of him in his first draft.
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