Not a lot has changed since I drew up my first complete mock of 2011 from a CBA standpoint, but the rookies have begun their respective journeys up and down the 32 different draft boards. Players will soon start visiting the respective teams following the completion of country-wide Pro Days, in which some of these athletes will get their last chance to impress certain teams. The Raiders also learned that they will receive an extra seventh round pick in this upcoming draft, number 240 overall.
Round 2 – 48 overall – Stefen Wisniewski C/OG Penn State
Nothing has changed for me here. The only reason I can see why Wiz Jr. would not be the pick is if somebody else claims him first. But that seems more and more unlikely as his status continues to fall do to various factors, none of which will concern Al Davis with assistant line coach Uncle Steve being his mentor for all these years. Wisniewski is a solid pick here for the Raiders and can play multiple positions on the interior line, which is an area od need with Cooper Carlisle getting long in the tooth and Robert Gallery departing into free agency.
Round 3 – 81 overall - Ras-I Dowling CB Virgina
Dowling is a highly talented athlete. I recently said that he won’t go at 48, but with the Raiders need at the position I can see them trading back into the late second round or up into an ealrier spot in the third to get this man coverage specialist. Some mocks have Rashard Carmichael going to the Raiders as high as the second round, but I think Dowling is the better fit. Not only does he have the 4.4 Raiders speed, he also has a 6’ 1″198 pound frame which gives him Raider size and length as well.
He is a bit of a risk coming off od various injuries in 2010 which limited his playing time and stats. After the 2009 campaign Dowling was a virtual lock to be a first round pick following his senior season. Now that seems unlikely, althouh he is a three year starter and outshined Minnesota Viking’s 34th overall pick of 2010, CHris Cook and made the All-ACC first team in 2009, leading the Caveliers in passes broken up and interceptions. His raw instincts, vision, and experience make him a good candidates to come in and establish himself as a baller in the Raiders secondary.
Previous pick: Curtis Marsh — Utah State
Round 4 – 113 overall - K.J. Wright OLB Mississippi State
Wright is a versitile outside linebacker who can play in both the 3-4 and the 4-3 scheme at the next level. Last year, he posted impressive numbers, with his 98 tackles, eight for a loss, and three of them sacks. At 6’3″ 246 pounds, Wright is moving upwards in most draft circles and will be taken by some team in the fourth round or earlier. The Raiders need a good weakside linebacker to team up with last year’s first draft choice, MLB Rolando McClain and former Browns first rounder Kamerion Wimbley, who was very impressive on the strong side for the Raiders last year. Wright totally a very impressive 252 tackles in his last three seasons as a starter for MSU.
Previous Pick: Thomas Keiser — Stanford
Round 5 – 145 overall – Virgil Green TE Nevada
Considered to be one of the highest rated players in the country in terms of raw talent and physical skills, Green is a rapidly ascending tight end prospect in the league. He may be the most gifted tight end to come out of the draft since former Maryland product Vernon Davis. Green’s athleticism and hands are attributes that you would want to write home about and he is not even close to reaching his potential yet. He was a first team All-WAC player this past season with the Wolfpack and made his QB, Colin Kaepernick look really good with his 15-yards per catch average and five receiving touchdowns. He is a three year starter for Nevada whose biggest knock is his blocking, but adding some bulk with Raiders strength and conditioning coach Brad Roll will hlep him in that department.
Previous Pick: Chris Hairston OT — Clemson
Round 6 – 177 overall – Derek Newton OT Arkansas State
Newton is a talented tackle that played on the right side for ASU and burst onto the scene for them in 2008 as one of the premiere blockers in the Sun Belt Conference. He was named second team All-Sun Belt in 2009 and first team All-Sun Belt in 2010. He needs some work on his technique and some time in the weight room before he is ready to be a serious NFL right tackle, but hi size and athleticism make him an intreguing late round prospect with good upside and value in the sixth round. The Raiders proved last year that they are not opposed to taking a lineman to develop with their pick and subsequent season of training for Bruce Campbell in the fourth round. He is a good trap blocker and has great arm length which is very useful against the NFL’s speedier defensive ends.
Previous Pick: Virgil Green TE Nevada
Round 7 – 209 overall – Taylor Potts QB Texas Tech
Potts, in my eyes, is the perfect project quarterback fornew Head Coach Hue Jackson. He sat behind Graham Herrell and B.J. Symons for his first two years at Tech, but then took the helm for the Red Raiders in his junior season. At 6’4″ with a 4.87 forty time, Potts has the ability to throw the ball effectively and get outside the pockt and make plays for the NFL team that is willing to take a chance on him. Potts passed up opportunities to play at Notre Dame and Michigan after being a highly regarded high school quarterback. In his two years as the starter, he put up an impressive 66.2 percent completion rate, throwing for over 7,000 yards with 57 TD’s and only 23 interceptions. Potts is going to catch the eye of teams late in the draft because of his size, speed, and accuracy.
Previous Pick: Cortez Allen CB Citadel
Round 7 — 240 overall — Ryan Bartholomew C Syracuse
Hey, why not? We all know Al Davis loves his combine freaks and Bartholomew fits that bill. Just be glad he is going in the seventh round and not the first. Really, what do you have to loose? The Raiders need a back-up for center Samson Satele, and at this point in the draft, the guys that ge drafted are most likely to be practice squad players for one or two years anyway. This guy’s 34 bench press reps and forty time under five seconds make him one of the strongest and quickest linemen in the draft. He was a starter in 35 of his last 37 games at Syracuse and is considered one of the strongest players at any position coming into the 2011 draft.
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