Skip to main content

2011 Draft Review and Analysis

The Raiders completed day three of the 2011 NFL draft by selecting Chimdi Chekwa, Taiwan Jones, Denarius Moore, Richard Gordon and David Ausberry to add to the selections of Stefen Wisniewski, Demarcus Van Dyke and Joseph Barksdale yesterday.

With the selections on day three, the Raiders finished plugging at least three team needs and added depth a wide receiver. Al Davis doesn't hide his affection for speed and in this, his 39th year as managing general partner, he again selected multiple players who ran the 40-yard-dash in under 4.4 seconds.

Now that the draft is complete and since the NFL is enduring a lockout, we have time to properly analyze the Raiders draft picks. Who are these players and what are their strengths and weaknesses? How do they fit on the team in 2011?

Stefen Wisniewski is the safest pick the Raiders could have made in the second round. Most if not all the top-tier talent had been selected and he'll be an instant starter at center and should play for a decade. The fans will love this one also, because Stefen is the nephew of former Raiders all-pro guard guard and current assistant offensive line coach Steve Wisniewski.

Strengths: Smart, technically sound, knows how to use his hands and plays with a good base most of the time. Natural bender, bends at the knees. Agile and has good footwork. Fires off the snap quickly. Whistle-to-whistle player that is successful because he never gives up on a play.

Weaknesses: Average overall strength and may struggle with big nose tackles. Sometimes overextends and gets off-balance. Frame maxed out, can't carry much more weight.

Overall: Wisniewski is a very high floor player that doesn't need a lot of time to develop to help the Raiders. He's durable and the Raiders have been looking for a center since Barrett Robins hailed a cab to Tijuana just before Super Bowl XXXVII. He's a natural leader and should be an instant starter and upgrade over Samson Satele.

Scouting Reports:

National Football Post





The simple fact that Al Davis drafted Demarcus Van Dyke should not define the Raiders 2011 draft class. He's one player and he does have potential.

Al Davis drafted Van Dyke in the third round, which is why analysts will not like the selection. The experts believed Van Dyke was a fifth or sixth-round prospect and very much a project. He's a thinly-built burner and needs work on his technique to make use of his speed.

Thankfully, the Raiders have Kevin Ross, Rod Woodson and Willie Brown as coaches and mentors for the young corner project.

Strengths: Solid ball skills, length and speed,  fluid hips, reads and reacts to what he sees quickly.

Weaknesses: Needs help with his footwork to maintain his speed when he turns and runs, needs to add ten pounds to his frame, will not be a great jammer without adding bulk and strength.

Overall: He has the physical skills to be a good corner in the NFL, but he'll have to add bulk and work on his footwork. He will contribute on special teams and his best chance to get on the field on defense is probably in the dime or nickel package. He's a faster version of Walter McFadden.

Scouting Reports:

CBS Sports - Gil Brandt

National Football Post



The Raiders needed help on the offensive line and they chose Joseph Barksdale over other quality options on the board. He's an athlete that hasn't played consistently well. He became an offensive lineman in college after being recruited as a defensive tackle. He was a five star recruit out of high school and some people believed he was the next Haloti Ngata.  He projects to right tackle, but may have a home at guard as well.

Strengths: Athletic and strong. Can slide and move his feet. Long arms. Can be nasty is a solid run blocker. Agile for a man his size and carries his weight well.

Weaknesses: Bends at the waist too much and can get himself caught out of position. Inconsistent. Not an elite athlete, probably can't play left tackle in the pros.

Overall: The Raiders see a ton of potential in Barksdale and if he can become more consistent and focus on his craft he has a very good chance to start at right tackle for the Raiders as a rookie. Having Steve Wisniewski and his nephew around could help him as he's only been playing offensive line for four years. He could be a gem of a right tackle in time.

Scouting Reports:

CBS Sports

National Football Post




As the clearest sign that Nnamdi Asomugha will not be a Raider in 2011, the Raiders drafted another corner in Chimdi Chekwa. Chekwa is a raw prospect, but he has the size and he is athletic enough to become a starting corner in the NFL.

Strengths: Long arms and strong. Fast enough to keep up with NFL receivers. Solid ball skills. Willing tackler.

Weaknesses: Needs a lot of help with his technique. He loses speed transitioning from his backpedal. Hips are tight and most of his agility comes from his legs. Needs to become more compact and controlled. Doesn't play very instinctively and needs to trust what he sees.

Overall: I don't see him pushing for starting time this season, but time spent with the coaching staff could turn him into something special down the line. If his feet and hips don't develop quickly could be moved to safety and find a home there. Could end up being better than Van Dyke.

National Football Post


Taiwan Jones missed his visit with the Raiders, but the Raiders watched his tape and ran his pro day workouts. Of course the Raiders were dazzled with Jones, he has 4.3 speed and showed an ability in college to score from anywhere on the field. He's a physical freak and has been compared to Chris Johnson, Jamaal Charles and Reggie Bush.

Strengths: Elite speed, obviously. Good agility and doesn't shy away from contact. Good vision and acceleration. Not many miles on his tires, new to the

Weaknesses: Will have to learn how to block at the NFL level. Too often bounces runs outside. Runs high opening himself up for big hits and hasn't been very durable. Has ball security issues that are correctable.

Overall: An amazing value as many observers believed a team would reach for him in the second or third round. He's a dynamic playmaker and can be used in a variety of different ways. Can return kicks and punts and could be used to lighten Jacoby Ford's workload as well. His weight is up to 200 and it didn't slow him down during his proday. Many prospects drop weight during the scouting process in order to put up better numbers, but not Jones. He's still only 90% healthy and could be even more impressive when fully healthy.

Scouting Reports:

NFL Draft Countdown - By Josh Bucannon

National Football Post



NFLDraftScout Draft Journals: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6



Considering the lack of top-end quality and with Johnnie Lee Higgins headed out the door, the Raiders drafted Tennessee receiver Denarius Moore. He got caught up in a lot of flux in coaching, but put up a few monster games during his junior and senior seasons. He can add valuable depth as a receiver and with consistent coaching could develop into a strong number two receiver.

Strengths: Good hands, tracks the ball well in the air, good body control, decent timed speed. Willing blocker.

Weaknesses: Will struggle to get off press coverage as many rookie receivers do, could polish up his routes.

Overall: Given the depth the the Raiders receivers he could find playing time early than many expect. At very least he will press the third and fourth receiver for reps.

Scouting Reports:


National Football Post



The Raiders selected Richard Gordon as blocking tight end with upside. He's built similarly to Antonio Gates and the Raiders may see what they can get out of him in the receiving game. Because he wasn't very productive in the passing game in college there is limited scouting data available.

Strengths: Good blocker at the first and second level, special teams ability, strong at the point of attack, good athlete for his size.

Weaknesses: Very little pass production. Wasn't given opportunities in the passing game, unknown hands and route running ability.

Overall: The Raiders needed a blocking tight end and Gordon seems to fill this need. He can play special teams and has upside because he seems to be a gifted athlete for his size. The type of player who sticks on the roster and is used in multiple sub-packages.

Scouting Report:

Sideline Scouting


The Raiders drafted tight end David Ausberry with their final selection. Ausberry is a converted receiver. He's big at 6' 4" and 235 pounds. He has good speed for his size. Had a good freshman year, but his production took a dive in 2008 and he was hurt for half of the 2009 season. His switch to tight end was mild success as his production was up in 2010. He was a top prospect at receiver coming out of high school. Good prospect buried at USC? The Raiders will see what they can pull out of Ausberry and see if he can't make an impact as a backup tight end that occasionally splits out wide.

Strengths: Physical player and is hard to bring down after the catch. Tracks the ball well in flight.

Weaknesses: Sloppy routes, catches with his pads.


Popular posts from this blog

Oakland Raiders Swing for the Fences in 2016 NFL Draft

[embed align="center"][/embed] These aren't your daddy's Oakland Raiders or even your younger self's Raiders. If anything, these are your newborn's Raiders or your puppy's Raiders. These are the Raiders we've never seen before. Indicative of the freshness of the franchise was their 2016 NFL Draft. No longer slave to a high draft pick and desperate needs, the theme of the draft for the Raiders was upside. It's as if general manager Reggie McKenzie got so used to hitting his draft picks out of the park that he started swinging for the fences. We'll have to wait a couple of years before we know if he struck out or if he'll continue his Ruthian ways. First, McKenzie boldly went with a safety at No. 14 overall. Kyle Joseph is coming off a torn ACL and fills a major need, but safety isn't a premium position. Only a handful of safeties have been drafted in the first 14 picks in the last 15 years and include names like Ea

The Raiders aren't who we thought they were....they're better

The Oakland Raiders are tired of being the team that will be good in a year or two. The team expects to win now and it is winning now. We thought the Raiders needed more talent. We thought that being in the playoff hunt was a year away for this team, but we were wrong. This isn't the team we thought they were, they're better. On Sunday, they moved to 3-3 on Sunday with a 37-29 win over the San Diego Chargers that wasn't close until the final minute. It was also the Raiders second road win of the season. The last time the Raiders had two road wins by their sixth game was 2011. Before that, a five-year streak from 1998-2002. The Raiders went 8-8 in 1998, 1999 and 2011 and narrowly missed the playoffs each year.  They made the playoffs in 2000, 2001 and 2002. They didn't have a losing record in any of those seasons because teams that can win on the road are usually pretty good. As the season matures, there is more and more evidence that some of the "best-case scenario

Looking Forward: Raiders 2012 Free Agents

Khalif Barnes - Weakest link on the offensive line with youth behind him. Raiders will look for for other options. It's not as if there aren't a dozen Khalif's on the street each year. Darryl Blackstock - Was a Chuck Bresnahan guy, but found a home on special teams. Would have to make the team as a reserve LB and special teams guy next training camp. Wouldn't be surprised to see him back as a camp body or gone entirely. Kyle Boller - Hue didn't have enough confidence to turn to Boller. Expect the Raiders to look elsewhere for a backup to Carson Palmer. Jerome Boyd - Was nothing more than a reserve and special teams player. Some good moments and some very bad ones. Camp body again and fate will depend on the defensive coordinator. Tyvon Branch - About the only consistent producer in the secondary. Raiders will want to bring him back. Desmond Bryant - He's been great in limited action and can play inside and out. Key reserve. Michael Bush - He'll find a home a