The 2011 NFL Scouting Combine is now a wrap and the Oakland Raiders' draft picture seems to be a bit clearer. The Raiders have always known who's big but they also now know who's strong, who's fast, who's agile and who's mobile.
They'll find out who's hostile when they open camp this summer.
The Raiders don't have a first-round pick this year and they won't be at the top of each round either. So it was also important to get an idea of who will and won't be available when they pick as well.
Al Davis has his needs and his wants in this year's draft.
Turn the page to see what he and Hue Jackson should come up with in April.
Stefen Wisniewski will come on home to Raider Nation where he belongs. He will be taken by the Raiders in the second round to be coached by his uncle, Steve Wisniewski.
It looks like a perfect situation as he (Stefen) will spend his rookie year being coached by one of his original teachers of the game. At 6'3", 313 pounds, Wisniewki is a good-sized center, but for some reason, he's been tabbed as a zone blocking, Samson Satele-type of center.
I don't quite buy that.
If Wisniewski's size alone doesn't tell you he's different, watch him battle with top defensive-line prospect Muhammad Wilkerson. It was a see-saw battle that was dominated by neither man.
An undersized, weaker offensive lineman would have been dominated by Muhammad. Wisniewski showed he was stronger than Satele coming out as he bench pressed 225-pounds 30 times compared to Satele's 25.
Satele was a bit more agile of an athlete, but Wisniewski's size is more of what the Raiders need.
The Thomas Howard experiment didn't work out so well.
Now enter Dontay Moch in the third round in the 2011 NFL Draft to fill the need for the Raiders at outside linebacker. Moch, like Howard, is a 4.4-second 40-yard dash man but he has a much thicker frame at 6'1", 250 pounds.
He's also extremely agile as he showed in linebacker drills, so he can develop in pass coverage. He only put 225 pounds up 21 times so stoutness against the run may be a concern.
But his aforementioned 40-yard dash time along with his 42-inch vertical leap will guarantee that he becomes a good third-down linebacker. In time, he could very well end up a solid three-down linebacker in the league.
I'm sure Raider linebackers coach Greg Biekert can get something out of him.
I wouldn't be shocked to see Davis take him in the second, but I don't think so.
I believe that the Raiders offensive line will also be addressed in free agency, but the Raiders will grab John Moffitt in the fourth round. The 6'4", 323-pound guard was a first-team AP All-American who blocked for two 1,000-yard rushers.
Moffitt didn't have a combine to write home about as he did OK in the running drills and skipped the bench press. But Davis loves award winners and being an All-American doesn't hurt Moffitt's standing with Davis.
I can see him competing for a starting guard position.
Demarcus Vandyke was projected to go undrafted coming into the combine but ran his way into the Raider's fifth-round pick. I'm saying this in the hopes that they don't end up reaching from even further up in the draft.
Vandyke ran a 4.28 40-yard dash to finish as the fastest man in the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine. This means the Raiders will pick him as they consistently pick the fastest man in the draft regardless of skill.
This may come in handy if Vandyke can return punts.
Plus, you never know what defensive back coach Rod Woodson can teach him.
How about a big tight end that can run?
That's exactly what Davis likes as well as the fact that Weslye Saunders has great hands. Saunders is 6'5", 270 pounds and he still has enough speed to stretch the field vertically.
And with great hands, why wouldn't Saunders be gone sooner?
Saunders was suspended and he didn't play football this season for the South Carolina Gamecocks. To go with his character concerns, he couldn't show his skills in the 2011 NFL Scouting Combine because of a broken bone in his foot.
But if the Raiders pop in the tape, they'll see that he is a match-up nightmare who blocks well when motivated. The Raiders can use a guy like Saunders to pair up with Zach Miller to put some pop into those double-tight formations.
There is a boom-or-bust element, but it's only a sixth-round pick.
There's nothing Carl Johnson did at the combine to make the Raiders have to have him.
Wait a minute...
Yes, he did...
He showed up!
What do I mean?
At 6'5", 361 pounds, all Johnson had to do is show up as Davis has always liked his linemen big. Now that Tom Cable is gone, Davis can get back to finding the biggest guys he can find to intimidate on the offensive line.
Jackson has consistently spoke of building a bully and Johnson could be one piece of it.
So you think Davis had a great offseason last year.
This one might be better because the degree of difficulty goes up, having no first-round pick. But this year's draft has plenty of height, weight and speed in it, so Davis will get plenty of the elements he covets.
With the improved coaching staff, there will be plenty of opportunity to develop these elements into solid players. It is great for Raiders fans to see that there are plenty of players, from late rounds to early, who can fill needs for them.
This must be the Raiders' year.