Oakland Raiders’ 2012 NFL Draft Analysis

Tony Bergstrom: The Raiders have a new coaching staff that will implement a zone-blocking scheme. Oakland is mediocre at guard partly because their best interior offensive lineman, Stefen Wisniewski, will be moved to center. Bergstrom was a durable and solid right tackle in college. He lacks power, but possesses the mobility and football IQ to execute in Oakland’s new blocking scheme. The former Ute has to gain some strength, but he was a decent pick by the Raiders.

Miles Burris: Oakland added a good football player who was productive in college, but may 7.62×39 bulk ammo be a step slow to start in the NFL. Burris improved every year in college and plays hard. How well he holds-up in pass coverage will go a long way in determining whether Burris can start in the pros. He figures to be a core special teams performer. Burris was a decent pass rusher in college, but his average burst and limited repertoire of moves could hinder him at next level. The Raiders need a ton of help on defense and the addition of a tough linebacker who can at least be a factor on special teams made sense in the 4th round.

Jack Crawford: The former Penn State defensive end has a good frame and plays hard. His production was average in college and he lacks an outstanding trait (size, speed, quickness, power or instincts) to his game. Crawford can provide depth at defensive end for Oakland.

Juron Criner: This was one of the better 3rd day selections in the 2012 NFL draft. The Silver & Black could use a big possession receiver to help keep drives going. Criner has sweet hands and excels at catching the ball in traffic. He also is a terrific end zone target. He has a little Cris Carter in him, as all he seems to do is catch touchdown passes! Criner slipped in the draft partly because of his mediocre speed. However, he plays faster than he times and speed is not the only way for a receiver to get open. Carson Palmer is going to like to throw the ball to this young man. Criner will be where he is supposed to be on a route and catch the football. Juron Criner could be a 5th round gem for the Raiders.

2012 NFL Draft Grade: B-

Bottom Line: The Raiders new general manager, Reggie McKenzie, did not have much to work with in his first draft. Oakland traded away their 1st, 2nd and 3rd round picks prior to him taking charge. However, McKenzie did a solid job considering the ammo (or lack thereof) that he had. Oakland may have found a steal in Juron Criner. The team added some help on the offensive line (Tony Bergstrom) that fits their scheme. Oakland did not add any impact defenders to a unit that allowed 27 points per game, 34 touchdown passes and

5.1 yards per carry last season. Some depth and special teams help was found on defense, but so much more was needed. Oakland is committed to building through the draft and likely will not be trading away high draft picks in the future. It also bodes well that many of Oakland’s picks were players that had good production and football clearly was important to them. Times have changed in Oakland and it will be interesting to see what Reggie McKenzie and his staff can do in the draft room when they have high-round selections.

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