Nick Kasa to Raiders: How Does the TE Fit with Oakland?
The Raiders had a number of picks in the sixth round and they led off with the selection of the towering TE out of Colorado, Nick Kasa.
Kasa has prototypical size at 6'6", 270 lbs. He is still learning the TE position, having been a DE coming out of high school and for most of his college career, but he is a physical and punishing blocker at tight end and has good speed when he doesn't have to change direction abruptly.
His biggest struggle will be learning the intricacies of running routes efficiently and catching difficult balls in traffic.
David Ausberry, pictured above, is the presumptive starter at this point based solely on the fact that he has more experience than anyone else on the Raiders roster.
Ausberry, a wide receiver in college, has good hands and is large enough to create mismatches in the passing game, but he's a subpar blocker and his struggles with blocking have limited the amount of time he's been on the field.
Also on the roster is Richard Gordon, who was taken in the sixth round, 181st overall, by the Raiders in 2011. He was supposed to be the Raiders' blocking TE like Kasa is expected to be, but he initially struggled with injury and has seen the field less and less since.
Kasa's Path to the Field
Kasa has an uphill battle to be a starter right away in the NFL. He has good upside and great size but lacks experience at the position.
He can play on special teams—especially on kicking and punting units—and work with the coaching staff to learn the nuances of the position.
The Raiders can start to bring him onto the field in sub-packages where his blocking assignment is more easily identified.
Oakland can also bring him on in goal-line or short-yardage situations where he can either serve as a "jumbo," someone who is larger than normal to assist in running the ball, or as a tall receiving option.