You know we’re all fishing for topics to discuss during this lockout when Jerry McDonald is blogging about jersey numbers being issued to Oakland’s 2011 draft class. While this tidbit of new is a far cry from what we’d normally be discussing this time of year it does raise an interesting question for one of the newest Raiders.
David Ausberry has been issued #86 and is currently listed as a wide receiver on the Raiders’ website.
The Lemoore High alum was recruited by Pete Carroll as a wide receiver and spent the majority of his days in Southern Cal lining up outside the numbers. However at 6’4” and 245 pounds it seems unlikely Ausberry will be playing out wide in the NFL.
Make no mistake, he’s not a slow plodding, heavy-set and immobile pass catcher by any means. There are rumors of Ausberry being clocked in the low 4.5s to high 4.4s in the 40-yard dash. Toss in a 36” vertical and a 10’ broad jump and you’ve got yourself a elite level athlete that should be able to make the 53-man is some capacity.
Fact of the matter is Ausberry just doesn’t have the total skill set necessary to thrive as an NFL caliber receiver. He never blossomed into a playmaker at USC and his athletic ability didn’t translate into consistent production.
Now, moving the former Trojan to tight end seems likely as that was the transition he made during his final days at SC.
For the Raiders this is nothing new under the sun. It wasn’t so long ago that a guy named Teyo Johnson was drafted as a wide receiver out of Stanford and converted to a tight end. Things didn’t go so well for Teyo but that related more to his attitude than his performance, though neither garnered much praise.
Ausberry is an intriguing prospect who could develop into a Marcel Reece type of weapon. He’ll be one to keep an eye on if we ever get to a point where OTAs are back on or training camp begins. Until then it’s just more juicy talk of who’s wearing what number and what position they may be playing until we get football back.