SB Nation released their latest 2011 NFL Mock Draft and their expansion to two rounds this week means the Oakland Raiders get to be included in a mock draft. The Raiders dealt their 2011 first round pick to the New England Patriots in their acquisition of Richard Seymour. In this edition of the SB Nation mock draft, the Raiders select TCU offensive tackle Marcus Cannon.
48. Oakland Raiders: Marcus Cannon, OT, TCU. He’s a giant man with outstanding athleticism. Al Davis will love him. He also has immense potential as an NFL guard.
Although Cannon spent his time in college as an offensive tackle, ESPN still ranks him as the number three offensive guard prospect. As with a lot of guys coming out of college, he can use his size and bulk to move players around in run blocking, but the big question is in regards to his abilities in pass protection. To this, Scouts Inc states:
Has quicker feet than anticipated. Plays with good balance. Gets set quickly for his size and shows some ability to mirror-and-slide in short area. Will have some trouble versus elite athletes off the edge. Will need to overextend in set and will be vulnerable back inside. Once he gets set he does a very good job of locking out and moving his feet. Biggest concern here is with his awareness and natural instincts.
The problem in that report is the last part about his awareness and natural instincts. One has to wonder whether something like natural instincts can develop or can be taught. If he doesn’t have those instincts, can he still make a big impact at the next level? If he can he’d make a huge acquisition for the Raiders offensive line. If he can’t, he turns into a wasted draft pick. Without a first round pick, the Raiders have to make sure their second round pick hits.