Two things you can set your watch to this time of year: 1) Al Davis picking the fastest player in the draft and 2) The Raiders trading with the Patriots.
Like clockwork the Raiders used the third round to check off both of the aforementioned necessities.
With the 81st pick in the draft the Raiders picked Miami cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke who just so happened to record the fastest time in the 40-yard dash at the 2011 combine. They then turned to their longtime trading partners and brokered a deal that netted Oakland an additional pick in the 3rd and 4th rounds. In return New England gets the Raiders second round pick in the 2012 draft…if that ever occurs.
With the Pats 3rd round pick in hand, Oakland continued to address their needs on the offensive line by selection LSU tackle Joseph Barksdale with the 92nd pick in the draft.
Barksdale is an imposing figure standing 6’5” and tipping the scales at 336 pounds. Jerry McDonald was able to get an interview with the newest Raider. When asked how he felt about playing either tackle or guard at the next level Barksdale gave an answer all coaches like to hear.
“I can play any position, anything that will help the team.”
Having grabbed Penn State center Stefen Wisniewski with their first pick and Barksdale with their third, it’s clear the Raiders are making the O-line a point of emphasis amid the lockout uncertainty. With plenty of needs that might not be addressed in free agency it wouldn’t surprise me if we see another offensive line selection in the final four rounds today.