So far there have been no real surprises in Oakland’s approach to the 2011 draft. We knew they needed to address the needs on the offensive line and in the secondary. Five picks in and four have been used on either DBs or offensive linemen.
The lone departure from these two areas of need occurred in the 4th round as the Raiders picked Eastern Washington running back Taiwan Jones with the 125th pick.
There has been a lot of buzz about Jones around Raider Nation in recent weeks. Naturally he gained the attention of Al Davis by going sub 4.3 during his pro day. Then there came rumors of Jones blowing off a meeting with the Raiders and later another report that there never was any meeting on the books.
Whatever the case Jones is now a Raider and will join Darren McFadden and hopefully Michael Bush as well in a now dominant and dynamic running game.
Joining Jones is another player with a fast 40, Ohio State cornerback Chimdi Chekwa.
Chekwa is the second cornerback the Raiders have picked in the 2011 draft. As you’d expect he has been clocked in the low 4.3s. Unlike Oakland’s third round selection, DeMarcus Van Dyke, Chekwa should be able to contribute immediately in certain packages. While he does run hot and cold, Chekwa is a solid value pick at number 113 overall.