The 2012 NFL draft has come to an end, and the Raiders are leaving Radio City Music Hall with six new members of the Silver and Black. Not surprisingly, the focus of the Raiders draft was on the defensive front seven. The Raiders picked two offensive players in a wide receiver and an offensive lineman and four defensive players with two linebackers, a defensive end and a defensive tackle.
Here is a list of the six picks that the Oakland Raiders made in the 2012 NFL draft:
- No. 95 (Third Round): OL Tony Bergstrom, Utah
- No. 129 (Fourth Round): OLB Miles Burris, San Diego State
- No. 158 (Fifth Round): DE Jack Crawford, Penn State
- No. 168 (Fifth Round): WR Juron Criner, Arizona
- No. 189 (Sixth Round): DT Christo Bilukidi
- No. 230 (Seventh Round): OLB Nate Stupar
Tony Bergstrom is a guy who will add depth across the offensive line. He played tackle in college, but played guard during the senior bowl and is projected to be a guard at the next level. However, his size and experience playing tackle will allow him to back up the tackle position as well. He is also a guy who could be able to challenge for a starting position in the next couple of years.
Miles Burris could be one of the most impactful players of this draft for the Oakland Raiders. First of all, he plays at the position which the Raiders are clearly in the most need of assistance at outside linebacker. Both Aaron Curry and Philip Wheeler are guys who could use some pushing from a young back up. In addition, the Raiders have almost no depth at any linebacker position, and Burris is capable of playing them all.
Jack Crawford is a defensive end who has some good pass rushing skills, but generally, is pretty raw. He is most likely to wind up a back up in the NFL, but could develop into a very quality back up. Also, if he can prove himself, there is a chance he sees some game time as a rookie. The Raiders lost two of their top pass rushers in Kamerion Wimbley and Trevor Scott and will be looking for players to step up and replace them.
Juron Criner is my favorite pick of the draft, and is another guy besides Burris who could end up having an impact on the team as a rookie. While the Raiders may appear to be infested with young receivers, most of them are speedy, small bodied receivers, great for stretching the field. What the Raiders lack is a big body, possession type of receiver. Or Rather, what the Raiders were lacking. Criner will fill a big need on offense and provides Palmer with another weapon to take advantage of. In fact, Criner could wind up being a favorite target on third down with his quality route running and good hands.
Christo Bilukidi was a little bit of a head scratcher. He is very raw, but has some very high quality physical gifts. His is a big defensive tackle who stands at 6'4 and weighs 307 pounds and has surprising quickness for his size. While he can play all over the defensive line, he has a good amount of value as an inside pass rusher. On the other hand, he also has some issues in the run game as he has troubles shedding blocks. Probably the player who is least likely to see the field as a rookie.
Nate Stupar was the Raiders final pick in the seventh round. Stupar helps fill a need for depth at the linebacker position and will be able to contribute right away in special teams. He is known as being a hard worker and a guy who loves to play the game. He is certainly the type of guy that Reggie McKenzie would draft. He is not very flashy, and will likely be primarily a special teams player in the NFL, but he is a quality football player who can contribute to the Raiders and make them a better team.