Day three of the 2012 NFL Draft came and went yesterday and the Raiders added a number of new players to the team.
Coming into the day, the Raiders had 4 draft picks - one fourth, two fifths and one sixth.
With their fourth round pick, 129th overall and the second of three compensatory picks awarded the team, they took OLB Miles Burris from San Diego St. He has good size at 6'2" 246 and was a locker room leader. He's reportedly an instictive player and good in run support but may be a liability in pass protection. He had some success as a blitzer in college.
When the Raiders got on the clock for their first fifth round pick, 148 overall, they ended up trading with the Lions out of the pick. The Raiders moved down 10 spots to 158 overall and in exchange for moving, they received the Lions seventh round pick.
With the 158th pick the Raiders chose Jack Crawford, a 6'5" 274 DE from Penn St. Despite having only played football for five years, at this time, Crawford is a great athlete with good size and he was a three year starter at Penn State.
Crawford is from London, England, and came to the US to play basketball in highschool. He eventually was recruited to play football and earned a scholarship to Penn State.
Crawford will be used as a DE for the Raiders, GM Reggie McKenzie said.
The Raiders then picked again 10 spots later, at 168 overall, their last of three compensatory selections. They chose a very interesting prospect in former Arizona WR Juron Criner who is a towering 6'3" 224. Criner is a natural WR with above average hands and very good body control. He likely fell to the end of the fifth round due to his 40 yard dash, which was a 4.68.
Teams had questions about his ability to seperate from faster, bigger NFL Cornerbacks. However, McKenzie disagreed that his 40 time meant that Criner was slow, saying "the speed, it was a factor but it was not a red flag. Because if it was a red flag we probably wouldn’t have taken him," and adding, "the guy, for a big guy, he's quick."
Criner will likely fill a role as an underneath route possession receiver and another good red zone target.
Perhaps the most bizarre pick came next, in the 6th round - number 189 overall, when the Raiders chose DL player Christo Bilukidi out of Georgia State. Bilukidi, pronounced "bil-loo-KEY-dee", was born in Angola and has lived in a number of other countries including going to primary school (high school equivalent) in Canada. He went to Junior college in Canada as well before transferring to Georgia State.
Georgia State is not division 1-A but McKenzie wasn't afraid to pull the trigger on him, saying, "Well, for one, it’s not his fault who he plays against. But with that being said, he’s a big man with a great deal of athleticism and he hustles to the ball. You can see that type stuff in watching him play."
He added, "But what you look for, did he dominate at his level? And that he did. Bottom line, he’s a big man with really good athleticism and he plays like he loves to play the game."
Bilukidi is 6'5", 290 pounds and the Raiders plan on using him as a DT, McKenzie said, but it's also possible he'd be a good fit to slide over to DE when the Raiders use a 3-4 alignment. He played DE in college. He was the first player ever taken out of Georgia State.
The teams final draft pick was the seventh round pick they had received in the trade with the Lions, 230th overall. With the pick they selected another Penn State player, OLB Nathan Stupar. He moves very well and was the Combine leader for the 3 cone drill and the 60 yard shuttle for all linebackers for this year.
He's not undersized but at the lower end of what the team wants at 6'2" 241. There are some questions about his ability to hold the point of attack. However, he was a team Captain at Penn State and a high football IQ. He can contribute on special teams and compete as a backup as well.
Those players, along with Tony Bergstrom taken the day before in the third round, completed the Raiders 2012 draft class. The Raiders then turned their attention to Undrafted Free Agents, rookies who were eligible to be drafted but were not. Once the draft ends, any of these players can be signed by any team and it's always a massive free for all as teams offer varying bonuses on top of the basic salary. Last year's new CBA included a cap on the bonuses allowed per team and that cap - a limit to the sum of all UDFA's bonuses per team - is reportedly about $73K this year.
UDFA signing period is always complicated to follow with teams thinking they have an agreement with a player only to have the player work out a better contract with another team. The Raiders' 2012 UDFA class reportedly includes Wisconsin safety Aaron Henry, Fort Valley State punter Marquette King, Beloit wide receiver Derek Carrier, Pittsburgh defensive lineman Lucas Nix, Missouri defensive lineman Dominique Hamilton, Southern California wide receiver Brandon Carswell, East Carolina wide receiver Lance Lewis, Utah cornerback Conroy Black, Penn State cornerback Chaz Powell and California (Pa.) wide receiver Thomas Mayo.
The team will hold a minicamp to get their first real look at the their new players in a couple of weeks at Alameda. It is unknown at this time whether media will be allowed - they were not allowed at the recent veteran minicamp - but it's likely media will have some time to view the players on the field.
For more Raiders news and analysis, follow me on Twitter @AsherMathews
Bergstrom is a nice pick, first team All-Pac12 at RT. A lot of "experts" say he will be a Guard in the NFL, I think he supplants Khalif Barnes at RT.
Criner is another pick I really liked. A big-bruising WR. That is what I liked about Crabtree coming out of Texas Tech, and I wanted Crabtree; but we took DHB instead. Criner doesn't have a lot of speed, but his size and hits on smaller DBs after the catch is what is going to get him more yards after the catch. How do you stop a speedy WR? You position your DBs to get a good hit on them. How do you stop a strong-powerful WR? You hope and pray your DB doesn't get ran over. I think we talk about Criner a lot in the years to come; but as Reggie said yesterday, "Let's get them on the field first."
To be honest, those are the only players I know about in this draft. I've heard some pretty good things about Burris, and can't wait to see him in action. I thought Keenan Robinson would have been a nice pick up, or Ronnell Lewis. I thought Andrew Datko would have been a good late round pick as well, and Terrell Manning would have been a better pick. I think the Saints moved up in Round 6 and stole Andrew Tiller from us.
I also think that Raiders' fans (and the team) dislikes the Steelers because we are a lot like each other. I truly believe they stole our top 2 guys we wanted to draft . Sean Spence, and Alameda Ta'amu. They have also announced that they have signed some undrafted free agents that we have claimed as well (California (Pa.) wide receiver Thomas Mayo, and Beloit wide receiver Derek Carrier). Grrr!
Overall, I give us a solid C grade in the Draft.
I see Berg at RT also unless Barksdale makes huge strides to take the starting RT job. The way I see it Carlisle at LG is more serviceable than Barnes at RT.
Know what the really sad thing is? I am more excited about our undrafted free agents than I am for the guys we actually drafted! God our draft sucked!
giving draft grades before they play a down?
didn't you clowns learn from last years HORRIBLE DRAFT CHOICES? yea, tell that to Wiz and Moore. to say no one in this draft can turn into solid starters like they are, doesn't know what they're talking about.
just because they didn't take the high rated players on the so called "experts" draft boards, means we had a crappy draft?!
Burris looks spectacular, despite who he's playing against. the guy is EVERYWHERE on the field.
all these guys have GREAT VISION and HIGH MOTORS. they love the sport they're playing, and i'm not even religous at all, but the fact they are is very telling on how they were raised. they are dedicated to their craft for their families, which in a very religious faith, is the most important thing of all.
D MOORE AND WIZ II KIDDIES! that's all that needs to be said. our C GRADE IN THE 2011 DRAFT went to a B+ after the year was over... PLEASE TELL ME IM WRONG. thanks.
Glad we picked up some LBs, not real happy about the Division II guy or yet another WR and where are the DBs? Are we going into the season with no backfield again?
@Indy! of course they biffed it a bit on the DBs ... even though Allen is a GREAT UDFA signing. that kid is going to be a contributor one way or another this year. you can bank on it. this staff won't let another Sterling Moore happen in 2012... at least i hope so.
I truly believe they think Pat Lee, Spencer, Bartell, Checkwa, DVD, and Underwood is a good group of guys.
EVERYONE PLEASE REMEMBER: there is still the second round of cuts for current NFL players, and more UDFA signings to come when they get let go during or before the OTAS and TC ... happens all the time. like Blount a couple of years ago. was on 2 teams before he landed in TB ... DA and BigMac know that's when they can find more diamonds in the rough ... i believe he has with many of the defensive players he drafted, and he'll continue to.
@xraided No offense - but so far we have the leftovers from our terrible backfield from last season, leftovers that other teams didn't feel were worth resigning, leftovers that didn't get drafted and now you're telling me to keep my powder dry because there will be even more leftovers after everyone makes their camp cuts? Color me not as optimistic as yourself and the coaching staff.
Indy, you could say all Free Agents are "leftovers" from their previous team. Look at guys like Mario Williams, Eric Winston, Peyton Manning, Carl Nicks etc etc All these guys were either cut or their team made no real effort to re-sign them if any at all. That doesn't make them "leftovers"!
@Indy! xraided (Dark Kush) isn't optimistic, just a total bandwagoner who will change his mind on everything he says. The guy is the biggest blowhard on this site and loves to try to rip on people who actually form opinions and put thought into what they say, thought and opinions that are different from his mindless babble... Don't take anything he says seriously, as everything he says now will change. You will see....
@JarrodRollins it was the same last year probably for you. what's the grade for them now around the league? i'\ve seen as high as B+ ...
It looks to me that the Raiders have drafted like the Chiefs did a couple years back, by going for higher character guys over just talent and speed. It produced great results for Kansas City, at the time, as they were a young team who surprised everyone by making the playoffs...I see a method to McKenzie's drafting, and there is a couple player's who I really like, including Bergstrom, and Criner, the wide receiver from Arizona. Being a USC fan, I am very familiar with Criner, and have watched him play several times, and am definitely impressed with his ability. Just ask fans of Arizona who watched him consistently, week in and week out, what they think of him...The guys I have talked to think he is a solid player, and have nothing but good things to say. He has very good hands, and this speed thing concerning him is rediculous. The guy can flat out play, and will be a productive receiver for the Raiders, especially in the red zone, something which our current receivers (excluding Moore) have struggled with....
@Spartacus BS . these guys have skills ... they just aren't eye popping as some other prospects. you really expect to get a superstar in the end of the 3rd and beyond? cmon kids... they didn't have high draft picks... what did you all expect?
if coached right, they will make it. at very least, we found a really good hitting squad on special teams. these guys all 1. take good angles 2. finish tackles, and have great overall vision... that makes them ST stand outs right off the bat.
Bergstrom will start this year... hopefully in place of Carlisle... while Barksdale comes into his own at RT. that's the dream scenario.
For me, this draft class is uninspiring. Burris was the only decent pick, IMO. I think Lucas Nix is OL, not DL.
@JarrodRollins haha! yea cuz no big names were taken. go watch your BSPN and NFLN.