Oakland Raiders Player Profile: Tony Bergstrom
Jimmy Hal – Jun 18, 2012
Typically, when a football team chooses their first pick in the NFL draft, there comes whole lot of media attention. Flashing lights, national broadcasted interviews and what some would call “Hollywood” treatment towards a young player that has yet to take a snap of professional football.
That is because that first player taken by a team is usually a first round pick.
A first round pick brings a lot of media attention. Sometimes an entire draft grade can be traced back to a first round pick.
Well, the Oakland Raiders did not take their first player until the third round of the 2012 draft with the 95th pick, the final pick of the third round. The Raiders selected offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom out of Utah. General manager Reggie McKenzie chose the player he felt was the best player available.
With left guard Stefen Wisniewski making the move to center, the starting left guard position is up for grabs. The Raiders released right guard Cooper Carlisle and replaced him with free agent Mike Briesel. The Raiders then resigned Carlisle to provide veteran depth across the offensive line and possibly start at left guard.
Bergstrom comes into the Raiders camp hoping to keep Carlisle on the bench. He made a name for himself as a right tackle in Utah starting 38 straight games. He was given All-PAC 12 conference first team honors. Bergstrom caught McKenzie’s eye at the senior bowl, when he practiced at the guard position, the position he was projected to play at the NFL level.
At 6’5, 315 pounds, Bergstrom is the ideal guard in the zone blocking scheme. The zone scheme thrives on athletic guards that have the ability to pull across the offensive line. It will be an interesting camp battle between Bergstrom and Carlisle.
Though Carlisle has had his inconsistencies as a Raider, his best year may have been in 2011. Returning to the zone scheme, in which he is better suited, Carlisle’s biggest question may be can he adjust to the left side?
No matter who wins the starting left guard spot, they will have big shoes to fill. Though Wisniewski was merely a rookie, he played at a very high level. Many believe he could have been the best rookie offensive lineman and it has now come out that he played with injury.
“It’s just a matter of getting the playbook down, trying not to screw up and most of the time watching the vets, trying to copy everything they do.” Bergstrom said when asked about the demands of pro football.
Well, Bergstrom is going to have to do that and beyond in order to be a week-one starter for the silver and black.
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