NFL Draft 2011: Who Have Been the Oakland Raiders Best Recent Value Picks?
As the NFL Draft approaches Oakland Raider fans will have to sit and watch many mock drafts without the Raiders included. Normally, the mock drafts focus on the first round and the Raiders are without a first-round pick.
The first couple of rounds are where you most of the hype comes from. They have even moved the draft into primetime and it is starting to look a lot more like the Oscars than the NFL drafts of years past.
Despite all the flash and hype of the first couple of rounds there are still some great players that are found in the later rounds.
Al Davis and the Raiders have done a fine job and picking some talented players in the later rounds. Let's take a look at 10 players drafted after round two who have had or will have a big impact for the Raiders in 2011 and the years to come.
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Trevor Scott was drafted in the sixth round in 2008. In three years he's accumulated 13.5 sacks and he has started at both defensive end and linebacker.
Scott has been great for the defensive pass rush of the Raiders. In 2009 he led the Raiders in sacks, but only managed 1.5 sacks in 2010. A lot of that had to do with his position change. He was also injured late in the season last year but look for him to be a big part of the Raiders defense in years to come.
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Who's faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap over a Kansas City Chiefs and rip the ball out of his hands?
If you said last year's 4th round pick Jacoby Ford, you are correct.
This man's speed says is what most experts classify as "Raiders Speed." That means he can run a 40- yard dash faster than it took me to write this sentence.
Ford made big plays last year as a rookie for the Raiders. Head Coach Hue Jackson has already said they will find more ways to get the ball in his hands. Last year Ford took three kickoffs to the house and then he hit his Dougie. The NFL may have changed the kick off rules to favor the kicking team and the "Safety" of the NFL players, but look for Ford to get in the endzone plenty of times in his Raider career.
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Speaking of players who can make big plays and hit their Dougie right. Former fourth-round pick Tyvon Branch has been an excellent player for the Raiders.
Working his way to a starting spot his hard hitting and speed make him a perfect fit for the Oakland Raiders. He led the team in tackles in 2010 and made one of the biggest plays in the season when he picked up a Phillip Rivers fumble and got himself six points to seal the win for the Raiders.
Don't be surprised if you see him elevate his game to a Pro Bowl level under new DB coach Rod Woodson.
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Michael Bush was a fourth-round pick in 2007. He was a beast at Louisville, but a broken leg set his career back as many teams passed on him in the NFL Draft. The Raiders had the first pick in the fourth round and chose Bush with their selection.
I have no problem saying that the Raiders have the best running back in the league with the last name Bush. Michael averages more yards per carry, more touchdowns per carry and is only 425 rushing yards behind Reggie Bush despite having 148 less rushing attempts.
Bush and Darren McFadden make one of the best rushing duos in the league. Bush is a big part of the Raiders offense and he takes advantage of every opportunity he gets. He led the Raiders in rushing touchdowns in 2010 and looks to do the same in 2011.
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Matt Shaughnessy was a third-round pick for the Oakland Raiders in the 2009 NFL Draft. He has shown a strong work ethic and has improved every year he has been in the league. In his rookie year he grabbed four sacks and improved that number with seven in his second year.
He is one of the young players who have and will continue to benefit from working with Richard Seymour. The Raiders defensive line is one of the most dominant lines in the pass game as they led the league in sacks.
Shaughnessy is one of the reasons for that. His youth and energy give the Raiders a great rotation. Don't be surprised to see him in the starting line up for a long time.
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Jared Veldheer was a third-round pick in the 2010 draft. Not many people knew who he was, but by the end of the season the Raider Nation knew he was a special player.
In his rookie season he started as a center and as the left tackle. He earned his spot at the left tackle position after playing better than the incumbent, Mario Henderson.
If Veldheer improves and give the Raiders a solid starter at left tackle the Raiders could find themselves deep in the playoff hunt.
Veldheer gives the Raiders a 6'8" 300-pounder that has the ability block anyone in the league. With more experience he could be one of the best left tackles in the league.
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A fourth-round pick in 2009, Louis Murphy has been the Raiders most dependable receiver in his first two seasons. Bringing his championship swagger from Florida he's made big plays during crucial times in games.
He also has a bit of a nasty side on the field as well. He can be seen delivering big blocks as well as getting into it with opposing defenders. His savvy play and "Raider Speed" makes him one of the brightest young stars on Oakland's roster.
He led all receivers in catches in 2010 and is looking to make an even bigger splash in 2011.
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Chaz Schilens was a seventh-round pick in 2008. He has the size, speed and strength that fits into the Raiders mold.
Schilens has been unfortunate in his young career and has suffered injuries that have kept him off the field, but when he gets on it you can see how talented he is.
It appears that Schilens is now healthy after missing the majority of the 2010 season. He will be a major part of the Raiders receiving unit that now looks like it could be loaded with young talent.
If Schilens stays healthy the Raiders passing game will be one of the best in the league.
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A fourth-round pick in 2010, Bruce Campbell appears ready for a starting spot on the offensive line. With Robert Gallery not returning to Oakland next year it looks as if Campbell is ready to take over at the guard position.
In 2010 Campbell put on one of the best performances for offensive linemen in the history of the NFL combine. Many were sure that the Raiders were going to draft him in the first round.
Campbell fell to the fourth and sure enough the Raiders couldn't pass him up. He spend most of the 2010 season developing his skills and trying to adjust to the guard position. He played left tackle at Maryland so the transition to guard was new to him.
He is an athlete with a chip on his shoulder. The fourth round has been a magic round for Al Davis and in 2010 it looks like he was able to grab two great fourth round picks.
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Travis Goethel was a sixth-round pick in 2010 out of Arizona State. Not many people expected much out of him coming out of the draft. Many thought he'd be a long shot to make the roster or would be most likely a special teams player.
Goethel quickly showed he belonged as he won the starting linebacker position out of training camp, but that was later put on hold due to a back injury.
Goethel could be a surprise starter for the Raiders defense in 2011. The defensive unit will be much stronger and will once again try and figure out how to stop the run. Goethel could be a big part of that mission.
Many are quick to call the Raiders one of the worst drafting teams in the league, but if you actually look at their roster it's easy to see that there is a lot of young talent that comes from the early and later rounds.
This team is on the rise and it is because of the draft and the moves that Al Davis has made.
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