The Raiders may not have had the last pick in the draft this year, but it was their round seven compensatory pick so it was their own Mr Irrrelevant. And with the 240th pick of the 2011 draft, the Oakland Raiders took USC WR/TE David Ausberry. When Hue Jackson was asked at his post-draft press conference if Ausberry was expected to play tight end or wide receiver, he said he was not sure what role this tremendous athlete would play
“He’s a really unique athlete. He has room for growth,” said Raiders Head Coach Hue Jackson. “He could get up to 255, 260 and be an unbelievable tight end.”
Ausberry’s former coach at USC, Pete Carroll, was once quoted as saying, “We love having the big factor. David is a monster out there. He is so physical. He is hard to cover and hard to tackle and has big plays in him.”
Ausberry played in 42 career games at USC, but never became a consistent starter for the Trojans. He did start a handful of games as a wide receiver, but made the transition to tight end in the spring of 2010. He took very well to the positional change according to his coaches. In spite of never truly finding his niche with the Trojans, he was still very productive in his back-up roles with the team, hauling in 64 passes for 700 yards and seven touchdowns.
His cousin is Tommie Smith, the 1986 Olympic gold medalist in the 200 meters who is long remembered for giving the "Black Power" salute (with John Carlos) on the medal stand. Ausberry himself is very fast for a man his size, clocking a 4.52 in the forty yard dash; thus the dilemma facing the Raiders of whether to keep him on the outside, or bulk him up and stick him with the tight ends.
Ausberry joins a list of two more pass catchers that were selected on the third day of the draft for the Oakland Raiders. The previous two guys were WR Denarius Moore of Tennessee and TE Robert Gordon from Miami.
I don't see him playing wide receiver in the NFL at all. I watched a lot of USC games last year.
You're wrong on the speed. He's pretty fast once he gets going, but he actually looks pretty sluggish and slow for a receiver over the first 20 yards.
His 40 time is a 4.52. But his first 10 yards is a 1.70 and his first 20 yards is a 2.66
What I'm saying is, he's MARGINALLY faster than Mike Williams over 40, but slower than him over the first 10 and 20.
Mike Williams is not slow. But he's not fast. He's never going to beat anyone deep. He's just a possession guy with that speed.
And I'd say Mike Williams runs much better routes, and is much more mobile.
If you watch him on tape, he's a BIG target, and has great hands, but I don't see him starting any time soon at wide receiver. His speed and route running is not NFL standard.
HOWEVER, if you see him as a Tight End, I could very much see him being a great success. IN fact he could be scary good.
His hands are elite. He's an elite target in the end zone. And he has elite speed for a tight end.
Oakland would be crazy to play him at WR
His forty is faster than your editorial states. He actually ran a 4.46 electronic at USC's Pro Day. Which, by the way, was the fastest forty that day. He will be a great addition to the Raider's. He will be a great addition to the Raiders.
He's got a fast time, but he's not football fast.
If you watch some tape, he's pretty slow on his routes. No breakaway speed at all. The guy's just too big to make the elite cuts.
When I've watched him play, he looks like Mike Williams - but without the polished route running. Mike Williams is plain slow by NFL standards at WR.
In fact, if you look at his times, they're very similar to Mike Williams. IN fact he's slower than MW over the first 10 and 20 yards.
He won't play WR. He's not athletic enough.
He'll be a very good project for TE as he has great hands, and top speed for that position