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.