Oakland Raiders 2012 NFL Draft Review

Tony Bergstrom

There is an old saying that you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear, but with the lack of draft picks, new general manager Reggie McKenzie did a pretty good imitation. The former Green Bay Packers’ director of operations drafted four solid additions and two developmental players. Not bad for a team that at one time had just two 2012 draft choices. The league awarded compensatory picks at 95, 129, and 168. Pick 230 came from the Lions. Quantity was not available in this draft because of past Al Davis trades, but the quality was there. Tony Bergstrom is a guard/tackle combination player who is cell block tough. He will remind Raider fans of Jim Otto, a fierce competitor of yesteryear. Miles Burris is an under the radar outside linebacker to the layman, but was well respected in the scouting circles for his intensity and passion for the game. In the fifth round, Jack Crawford was a value pick as an ascending and productive talent. The rangy defensive end may be used in sub packages as he is learning the game. Mr. Davis rolled over in his grave with fifth round value pick, Juron Criner. Criner couldn’t make Mr. Davis’ skilled player track team, but the angular receiver will go over the middle to catch the ball and make the clutch reception on third downs. Tony Bergstrom is physical and tough in his play with an explosive use of his hands. Despite good athletic ability, he is not smooth in his movements but is somewhat of a muscle and mauler type blocker. He has good initial contact with base, knee bend, and balance. He stays square to mirror the defender and secures gaps versus slant and angle moves. Mentally tough, he has the frame of mind to focus on his job and will be a good fit in the Raiders’ zone scheme front. Miles Burris is smart and athletic enough to play a variety of positions in Head Coach Dennis Allen’s multiple defensive scheme. Burris was ultra productive in college and Allen may use him like he used Von Miller in Denver – where his job is to pressure the quarterback. He has first step quickness with good timing. A quick twitch, high motor, leverage athlete with good range, Burris is an open field collision type player. Jack Crawford stuck out on tape when everyone was studying Devon Still. A native of London, England, he started playing football as a junior in high school. He is a developing size/speed prospect with long arms and big hands for the position. He locks out well and keeps leverage and contain. He has good lateral quickness and doesn’t stay blocked. More strength is needed in both his upper and lower body and he will need to develop more pass rushing moves and technique. Juron Criner has been impressive in OTAs, demonstrating how to run NFL caliber routes and snatching every ball in sight. The Raiders feel like he can be an effective third down and red zone target. In his final two seasons for the Wildcats, he caught 157 passes for 2189 yards and 22 touchdowns. He is a physical run after catch receiver. His long arms and big hands are an asset for catching the ball over the middle and in traffic. Christo Bilukidi is a developmental prospect with NFL measurables. From Canada, he is 6040, 307 and has long arms (34 5/8”) and big hands (10”) for the position. Technique work is needed in every part of his game. He had 10 sacks and 16 tackles for loss over the past two years. Bilukidi played in the Players’ All-Star Classic Game and is the first player ever drafted from Georgia State. Nathan Stupar will compete at the middle linebacker spot and as a special teams’ coverage core player. GRADE: AVERAGE.

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