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New GM Reggie McKenzie and new head coach Dennis Allen are trying to right the ship out in Oakland, but it was a tough start considering they didn’t have a first-rounder. Or a second-rounder. Or their own third-rounder.
The Raiders could have selected an immediate playmaker at No. 17 overall, which would have been their original choice had they not traded it to Cincinnati last year to acquire Carson Palmer. They also traded this year’s second-rounder during the 2011 draft and gave up a third-rounder for the rights of Terrelle Pryor.
But all that’s in the past, more or less.
The rest of the Raiders’ draft was actually pretty smart, as they fortified the trenches and took only one skill position in Arizona’s Juron Criner.
Some people will look at the list and think boring. But for the Raiders and a new regime, the approach makes sense.
Tony Bergstrom has a lot of upside on the offensive line and could have a permanent role in the future. Miles Burris is a versatile linebacker who needs to work on his coverage skills. Defensive ends Jack Crawford and Christo Bilukidi are projects, and of the two, Crawford has more of a chance to stick. And Penn State outside linebacker Nate Stupar has enough athleticism to provide some depth at the position.
All of these were logical moves, but perhaps the biggest indication of a new regime was the selection of wide receiver Juron Criner. Criner lacks elite speed, making him the antithesis of what Al Davis would usually look for at the position. He could be a nice red-zone threat, something the Raiders couldn’t get out of Chaz Schilens due to constant injuries.
Ultimately, this wasn’t necessarily a bad draft for Oakland, but the fact that it missed out on so many good players with their original picks in the first three rounds is a bit of an anti climax.
But Raiders fans will take this in stride, see how the prospects pan out and re-energize their batteries for next year’s draft.