This week marks the beginning of the Raiders training camp and also the week in which the Raiders have signed all of their rookies. Yet, as a football fanatic, I am already beginning to wonder which players the Raiders will draft next year.
First off, I have to thank Walter Cherepinsky and his great site www.walterfootball.com , for all the amazing information on the prospects and their projected rounds. This site is especially useful for diehard football fans around draft season, and I promise you will not find a site for the college prospects entering the draft that is better than this.
This year the Raiders had one of the best drafts of any teams, and I feel this trend will continue in 2011. I will start with the Raiders second round pick (since the trade for Richard Seymour gave the Patriots our 2011 first round pick) and I will be assuming the Raiders will be drafting in the middle of the round (since experts are predicting a 7-9, 8-8, or 9-7 finish). The Raiders will stick to their philosophy of drafting leaders from their respective college teams who hate to lose and will bring that mentality to the Raiders. So without further adieu, the Raiders second round pick of 2011 is . . .
The Raiders defense is solid, yet Chris Johnson is the player that has constantly been exploited and will continue to be until a replacement is found.
Curtis Brown fits the prototype of a Raiders defensive back, being 6'0" with explosive speed, amazing quickness and great agility. He finished as a Big XII honorable mention, and next year is expected to be drafted in the 1st or 2nd round. I am predicting he falls to the Raiders in the 2nd round due to the sheer number of cornerbacks in next year’s draft class, and that fall will be a great thing for Raider Nation.
After Curtis Brown I think the Raiders will draft another defensive player, and in the third round the Raiders will draft . . .
Herzlich is a tough football player, and an even tougher person. After an amazing junior campaign where he won ACC Defensive Player of the year it was discovered that he had Ewing's sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. This hindered his prominent career, and at the time he was ranked as the 45th best prospect for the 2009 NFL draft.
Next year when he comes back he will be a little rusty and this will hinder his draft stock, yet the Raiders can get this steal in the 3rd round and have him develop into a great linebacker along with Kamerion Wimbley and Rolando McClain, those three would become a great young, fast, and talented linebacking corps. In the next round the Raiders get another steal . .
Marsh is a tremendously talented defensive tackle and brings the ability to play end as well. This offseason during training camp we have seen how Tom Cable is beginning to rotate the defensive line to positions they normally do not play in order to exploit mismatches.
Now imagine what he can do with 6'5", 305 pound, 4.91 40-yard-dash (projected) defensive tackle along with Lamarr Houston and Richard Seymour. Marsh had an injured ankle last season, yet once he gets back to full force he can be a handful for any offensive lineman to deal with. All the great players up front will allow the players in the back to make plays, players that could include. . .
As I’ve mentioned before the Raiders secondary relies on tall speedsters, and this may be another gem that fits right into the mold of the Raiders secondary.
Rucker plays cornerback at Michigan State where he earned all Big Ten honorable mention, but it looks as though he’ll transition to free safety in the NFL. He of course will not be as great as the other Raider who transitioned from another secondary position to a new role (Nnamdi Asomugha). But this guy will force Michael Huff to either get better or to get out of his way.
This kid is a ballhawk and has the skills to play in man or zone coverage, though his first couple seasons he’ll be limited to special teams though. The next pick will address the Raiders offensive line concerns and this pick is . . .
Lewis is a small prospect as of now, only weighing in at 288 pounds for his 6'5" frame. Yet his 4.90 40-yard dash time shows his athleticism as an offensive lineman.
With another strong and fast prospect in Bruce Campbell, the line could run pitches and screen passes more successfully then any other team in the NFL. These little short plays could turn into big plays with fast offensive lineman running down field to block for all the speedsters we have on offense. He was all Pac 10 honorable mention, and this kid will only get better. Speaking of another speedy offensive lineman . . .
Starting college as a defensive lineman, Ryan McMahon became a center and an All-ACC honorable mention in 2008. McMahon is another offensive lineman who is expected to run a sub 5 40-yard dash at the combine.
It’s not the speed that has me sold on this player, it’s his toughness. You see him take out that defensive aggression while playing on the offensive side of the ball, and you don’t see toughness like that very often.
That wraps up what I believe will be the Raiders 2011 draft class. Al Davis will continue to build on a solid draft we have had this year, and the Raiders will return to glory faster than imaginable. Yet again, special thanks to Cherepinsky and his great site www.walterfootball.com.
Let me know what you think Raider Nation, comment on who you think the Raiders will draft next year or what positions you think need to be addressed in the draft. As always, thank you for reading!