The Oakland Raiders 2011 NFL Draft did not include a first round pick on Thursday but they have made up the difference with their late round picks ending on Saturday. The Raiders began their NFL Draft by keeping it in the family with center/guard Stefen Wisniewski. Overall the Raiders addressed several key positions.
Oakland Raiders first NFL Draft pick Stefen Wisniewski C
Stefen Wisniewski, a center and guard from the offensive line for the Penn State Nittany Lions was the first pick of the NFL Draft for the Oakland Raiders. If the pick sounds familiar it should. Stefan’s uncle, Steve is a former Raiders staple on the offensive line that garnered eight Pro Bowl selections and he is now a current coach on staff with the Raiders.
Wisniewski will have an opportunity to make the starting roster with the departure of some key offensive line personnel including Robert Gallery. Wisniewski has quick hands and quick feet and is strong in pass protection as well as run blocking. Wisniewski is also a smart player with superior in-game knowledge.
Oakland Raiders second NFL Draft pick DeMarcus Van Dyke DB
DeMarcus Van Dyke was at the defensive back position may be move to prepare for the possible departure of Nnamdi Asomugha or Michael Huff or both. The secondary for the Oakland Raiders now has a new coach and he knows the position better than any living NFL legend. His name Rod Woodson. Van Dyke will make immediate improvements as soon as he and Woodson are allowed to work together.
Oakland Raiders third NFL Draft pick Joseph Barksdale RT
The Raiders are working towards a youth movement on the offensive line and Wisniewski and Barksdale will lead the charge. The learning curve will be short for the Raiders with the NFL Lockout shutting down all work for the newly drafted NFL rookies.
Oakland Raiders fourth NFL Draft pick Chimdi Chekwa CB
Chimdi Checkwa is a perfect fit for the Raiders. He is a fast moving corner that can close the gap fast on speeding receivers. Checkwa fits the Raiders M.O. for grabbing the fastest athletes in the NFL Draft and he will also be learning at the feet of the legendary Rod Woodson.
Oakland Raiders fifth NFL Draft pick Taiwan Jones RB
Another running back for the Oakland Raiders? Yes, Taiwan Jones may be a running back but he is a fast running back. Jones is comparable to the Raiders rookie sensation from 2010, Jacoby Ford. He can be a return man and he can also be a key third down back in the slot. Jones will be fun to watch if he can stay healthy all season.
Oakland Raiders sixth NFL Draft pick Denarius Moore WR
One rival in the Oakland Raiders division that is not looking forward to facing Moore is former teammate Eric Berry of the Kansas City Chiefs. Berry took to Twitter to praise his former Volunteers teammate, “We used to go at it at practice everyday…now it’s gonna b twice a yr. Oak got a good one. Their track team might be complete.”
Moore responded, “Haha. Chill out Crunch Berry. I appreciate it.
Oakland Raiders seventh NFL Draft pick Richard Gordon TE
Richard Gordon is a stretch pick bit they believe in their coaches to develop the superior athleticism of Gordon. The hope is that he can be molded into a big possession type tight end over the middle much like Antonio Gates or Tony Gonzalez. That is a few years off from where he is now.
Oakland Raiders eighth NFL Draft pick David Ausberry FB/WR/TE
David Ausberry is another possible reach for the Raiders but as a last pick in the NFL Draft if he does make the team or the practice squad it can be considered a successful reach.
NFL Network NFL Draft live coverage April 28-30, 2011.
ESPN TV NFL Draft coverage live April 28-30, 2010.
NFL.com player profiles.