2011 NFL Mock Draft: Silver And Black

Al Davis is a man that I will never understand. Let me see if I understand what has happened with Oakland. For the first time since 2002, the Raiders won more then 5 games and nearly made the playoffs. Al Davis’ response to this is to fire the head coach who led this team to their 8-8 record. Wow. More recently, Al Davis went on an insane spending spree before the CBA expired. Davis signed CB Stanford Routt to a 3 year, 31 million dollar contract, Kamerion Wimbley got the franchise tag worth 11 million, Richard Seymour got a 2 year, 30 million dollar contract, John Henderson got a 2 year, 8 million dollar contract, and Rock Cartwright also signed an undisclosed contract. Al Davis signed 80 million dollars worth of contracts in a few days. By the way, Nnamdi Asomugha is a free agent. The recent spending spree would indicate that Nnamdi is not expected to be back in Oakland. As you can tell by my tone, I do not like any of these moves that Oakland has done so far. To pile it on one final time, they don’t have their first rounder because they traded it to New England for Richard Seymour. This makes improving the Raiders much more difficult because they could really use that 1st rounder. Nevertheless, they have some other draft picks that they can use to address some areas. Let’s take a look at the positions of need in Oakland.

Offensive Line
Last year, the Raiders spent two draft picks on offensive lineman: LT Jared Veldheer, and G Bruce Campbell. This off season, the Raiders are in big trouble if there is no free agency. They are losing their starting Right Tackle, Langston Walker, starting guard Robert Gallery, and starting center Samson Satele. Do not be surprised if they spend their first two picks on offensive lineman.

Cornerback
The Raiders will most likely not be able to resign Asomugha after going on a recent shopping spree. This will leave a very big hole in their defense. Nnamdi was able to lock down an entire side of the field in Oakland. Now, the Raiders will have to try and find a replacement. This cornerback class is pretty good, but the quality drops off after the 2-3 rounds. It really hurts that Oakland doesn’t have their #17 overall where they could draft Brandon Harris.

Wide Receiver
Darrius Heyward Bey is a huge bust. In 2 years, he has just 35 catches for 490 yards and 2 touchdowns. Louis Murphy is a fine receiver but he is not a true #1. Jacoby Ford had a fantastic rookie year, but he isn’t a true #1 either. The Raiders were hoping Chad Schilens could be their #1, but he can’t stay healthy to save his life. Wide Receiver is a big need in Oakland. The question is, what round will they address the area if at all?

Tight End
Zach Miller is a fantastic tight end. However, he is a free agent. Oakland surely would love to have their big, athletic tight end back. He is a favorite of Jason Campbell’s. However, Oakland might have some trouble signing Miller if he wants a big contract. If Miller leaves, it leaves a huge hole at tight end in Oakland. Thankfully for Raider fans, their are a few late round, highly athletic tight ends that Al Davis will surely look at.

Mock Draft

2nd Round- Ras-I-Dowling, CB from Virginia
If Stefen Wisniewski is available here, he will be the pick. However, I’m not so sure that he will be available at this spot. Let’s assume he isn’t for now. With Asomugha likely on the way out of Oakland, the Raiders have to find a replacement CB. Dowling was at one point in discussion for the 2nd best CB title in the draft. However, after losing a majority of his season to injury, Dowling had been sliding down draft boards. That was until the Combine where Dowling ran a 4.46 40 yard dash. He also was one of the top DB’s in the bench press. He excels at zone coverage, has good ball skills and has the speed Al Davis loves.

3rd Round- Orlando Franklin, OT from Miami
As I said before, the Raiders offensive line situation is a mess. They are losing 3 starters on the o-line. Franklin will help fill one of the positions. He is a big boy weighing in at 6 ft 6, 316 pounds. He doesn’t have good lateral quickness and gets beat by speed rusher, but he is a good run blocker and holds up well against the bull rush. He is a guy who will get looks at both Right Tackle and Guard.

4th Round- Ryan Bartholomew, C from Syracuse
Bartholomew fits the Raider draft pick mold. He is big, fast, and strong. He stands at 6 ft 1, 302 pounds, he ran a very fast 4.97 40 yard dash and put up the most reps on the bench press for offensive lineman with 34 reps. The fact that he fits a position of need will help in his odds of the Raiders drafting him. He’s a versatile player who wowed many people at the combine. Sounds like a Raider player to me.

5th Round- Mario Fannin, RB from Auburn
The Raiders’ Darren McFadden had an incredible year last year. He had 223 carries for 1,157 yards and 7 touchdowns. He will be the focal point of the Raiders offense in 2011. His back up, Michael Bush, is a free agent. Fannin was overshadowed at Auburn by Cam Newton, but he opened eyes at the Combine when he ran a 4.38 40 yard dash. He was also a top performer in the vertical jump. He is a young talent that can compliment McFadden.

6th Round- Virgil Green, TE from Nevada
Green blew up the combine this year. He made a lot of teams do some double takes. He was a top performer in the 40 yard dash, Vertical Jump, Broad Jump, 3 cone drill, and 60 yard shuttle. He is an athletic freak, but he is undersized at 6 ft 3, 249 pounds, looked a little stiff in some of the drills, and he is not much of a blocker. Green is the athletic freak that Al Davis will love, especially this late.

7th Round-TJ Yates, QB from North Carolina
The Raiders starting QB is Jason Campbell, but he is average at best. Back up Bruce Gradkowski is always able to make the Raiders better then they really are, but he isn’t very good either. Oakland would be wise to pick a late round guy to try and develop. Yates has a big arm and pretty good accuracy. He’s worth a shot here in the 7th round.

Quick review of the Raiders Mock Draft

2nd Round- Ras-I-Dowling, CB from Virginia
3rd Round- Orlando Franklin, OT from Miami
4th Round- Ryan Bartholomew, C from Syracuse
5th Round- Mario Fannin, RB from Auburn
6th Round- Virgil Green, TE from Nevada
7th Round- TJ Yates, QB from North Carolina

The Raiders are in a very bad spot. They really need that 1st rounder back. Their offensive line is a mess, their best player is on his way out, and there might not be any free agency. They can’t afford to miss on prospects. They will probably have to resign a couple of their offensive lineman. I wouldn’t be surprised if Satele is retained. Either way, this draft gives Oakland depth at areas of need as well as maintains the high athleticism in Oakland.

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Tags: 2011 NFL Draft 2011 NFL Mock Draft AFC West Mock Draft Oakland Raiders Orlando Franklin Ras-I Dowling Ryan Bartholomew

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