To start, let me just say that my first three round wish list has been sufficiently filled by the staff in Oakland. I have been high on Rolando McClain since I watched Alabama absolutely destroy the defending National Champion Florida Gators in the SEC Championship game in 2009. I called DT/DE Lamarr Houston one of my favorite sleeper defensive tackles prior to the draft. Jared Veldheer is a Tom Cable pick for certain and I absolutely trust his judgement. On top of that, a few of my “Seven Picks, Seven Predictions” have come true thus far.
Just to recap, they were:
- No Taylor Mays…check
- Draft at least two trench players in the first four rounds…check
- Oakland drafts a sleeper in a late round…Bowling Green WR Freddie Barnes might be the guy
- No Bruce Campbell in the first round…check, although he is still out there and might keep dropping
- Oakland will draft a QB eventually…their guy, Mike Kafka is still out there waiting for them. Tony Pike and Dan LeFevour will likely go before him.
- Another LB is high priority…I didn’t think it was going to be McClain in the first, but nevertheless, check
- This year’s class will get the Raiders over the 11 loss hump…That remains to be seen, but odds at this point are in high favor of this happening. Steve Young said that Oakland’s defense this year has the potential to hold opponents under 14 points per game.
So what do I see forthcoming in the next four rounds today? Well my late round wish list includes Cam Thomas who is still out there. He is a player who could fill the shoes of both Gerard Warren and Terdell Sands and still have plenty of foot left for some ass kickin’. At 6’4″ 331 lbs., he is just the right guy to plug the gaping holes that have perplexed this team’s run defense over the past three years. His stock has been on the rise ever since the Senior Bowl. Thomas is a massive man who moves the whole line where ever he wants. Early in the fourth round, he is too good to pass up.
I really like Oklahoma State CB Perrish Cox, but I’m even higher on IUP’s Akwasi Owusu-Ansah. If either of these guys happens to fall into the fifth round, the Oakland must pull the trigger, because both will be excellent players at the next level. Cox is 6’1” and 195 pounds and runs a 4.5 forty. That is a little slow, but Cox has a knack for making big plays in man-to-man coverage and he is an established dangerous NCAA kick returner. Akwasi is 6’0” and 207 pounds and ran a 4.33 forty yard dash at the Ohio State pro-day. He has tremendous potential; however, it is hard to really get an accurate assessment of his skill set being that he playing for Division II Indiana University of Pennsylvania. One thing that should draw Al Davis’ wondering eye is the long limbs attached to Owusu-Ansah (32.5 inch arms and 9.125 inch hands). During his career, he recorded seven touchdowns in the return game for his school and recorded two more on interception returns for touchdowns.
Clifton Geathers, a 6’7” 299 pound DE/DT from South Carolina is still floating around out there, and the way this draft is going, he might be available in the seventh round or as a UDFA. The tackle everyone likes from TCU, Marshall Newhouse, is still on the board. He could go as early as the fifth round and will most likely be drafted at some point today.
Mostly, I would just like Oakland to stay on the right track. I think they are right up there in having one of the best draft classes of any team this year. I’d expect the run defense to improve significantly with Lamarr Houston coming in from the best NCAA rush defense and Rolando McClain coming in from the number two rush defense in the country last year. Stayed tune and keep following our coverage right here on TFDS.
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–Bret Armstrong, TFDS Guest Contributor