The first quarter of the 2012 season has been completed, and the Oakland Raiders have not gotten off to the start that many in Raider Nation had hoped for. This is a team that is relying on its youth to build talent and momentum under the new Raiders coaching regime.
As the Raiders ready themselves with a week off and a renewed determination to rebound before the end of the first half of the season, let's take a look at the progress of the Silver and Black's 2012 rookie class.
(Grades will consist of Oakland Raiders rookies that have played in at least 75 percent of one game so far this season)
Miles Burris, LB, fourth-round draft pick
The Roseville, CA native and San Diego State alum started the season on fire against the Chargers recording nine total tackles (seven solo and two assisted). His production dropped off in Weeks 2 and 3, then all but disappeared in Week 4.
Burris has shown an aggressive style and a nose for the ball, but he holds some accountability for Oakland’s poor run defense and soft pass coverage. With some additional experience, Burris has the potential to be an aggressive, defensive threat for the Raiders defense.
Christo Bilukidi, DT, sixth-round draft pick
This 6’5”, 320-pound behemoth from Georgia State saw just over 30 snaps in Week 2 against the Miami Dolphins with very little to show for it.
For a team that is having so many issues with stopping the run and pressuring the quarterback, Bilukidi will be hard pressed to show more in relief of starter Tommy Kelly.
For what he’s shown with limited play time, I can’t grade him higher than….
Jack Crawford, DE, fifth-round draft pick
Who has been the best performing Raiders rookie so far?
The 6’5” product from Penn State saw his first playing time in the horrific blowout loss to the Denver Broncos in Week 4.
While it may have been a loss for the team, it may have been a personal victory for Crawford as he recorded a pair of tackles in limited action (one solo and one assisted).
Juron Criner, WR, fifth-round draft pick
Week 4 at Mile High Stadium was wide receiver Juron Criner’s first full game, and he caught two passes for 29 yards.
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The Las Vegas native may not have shown the same promise he had in the preseason (four catches for 146 yards and two touchdowns), but there's still plenty of time for him to demonstrate his potential.
Rod Streater, WR, undrafted free agent from Temple
The 24-year-old undrafted wide receiver from Temple, Rod Streater has been the most productive rookie of the 2012 class. So far this season, Streater has eight catches for 68 yards and one touchdown.
Although Streater was shut out in Week 4, he has been pretty consistent ever since he fumbled and dropped a few passes in the first game of the season.
The fact that he shook off those week one mistakes and has been the most productive offensive rookie so far…