Day 2 Recap

29 04 2008

Do these look like football schools to you?

With only one pick in the first two rounds of the draft, and only four picks through rounds 3-7, the Raiders needed to maximize the value of each pick. As a whole, Oakland drafted small school prospects who are not very polished but have great potential.

To start with, the Raiders traded with Dallas to pick at the top of the fourth round. After they saw two high value cornerbacks slip, Oakland selected Tyvon Branch of Connecticut. This was an interesting pick, since the Raiders are very stocked at this position. But, this pick signaled the end of Fabian Washington’s career in Oakland. In true Raiders cornerback fashion, Branch ran the fastest 40 yard time at the combine. He will contribute mostly on special teams as a returner and in nickle-dime situations. He is fast enough to defend speedy wide receivers.

In the middle of the fourth round, the Raiders traded cornerback Fabian Washington to the Baltimore Ravens in exchange for their fourth round pick. The Raiders then selected wide receiver Arman Shields out of Richmond. Shields was injured for most of his senior season, but showed great upside. Interestingly, Shields was among the leaders in all the major categories at the NFL combine for his position, including 40 yard time (of course). Shields has nice size and can also contribute on special teams as a returner.

In the sixth round, the Raiders selected defensive end Trevor Scott out of Buffalo. Scott played only one season at defensive end but still managed to record nine sacks. Look for Oakland to utilize him in the same fashion that Chris Clemons was used. But, he could supplant Jay Richardson as the starter in a few years.

In the seventh round, Oakland selected wide receiver Chez Schilens out of San Diego State. Can’t really say much about him, but he is a big receiver. I would have liked to have seen wide receiver Marcus Monk of Arkansas getting selected here. He is a more proven receiver and is 6-4 and 222 pounds.

The Raiders did not address some needs that I thought were very glaring. First was the offensive line, when Oakland had the capability to draft left tackle Anthony Collins in the fourth round. Collins is a prototypical zone-blocking prospect and I was surprised that he fell that far. However, I trust Tom Cable’s judgment in who he decides will work in his system. If he feels that the Raiders have an offensive line that can compete in 2008, then I trust him. The defensive line problem was slightly addressed with the pick of Trevor Scott. I would have liked to have seen a draft pick concerning the outside linebacker position, especially with OLBs Ali Highsmith, Wesley Woodyard and Erin Henderson going undrafted.

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