If things pan out you can consider David Ausberry to be one of the last gifts Al Davis gave the Oakland Raiders. With the 241st pick of the 2011 draft the Raiders grabbed Ausberry out of Davis’ beloved University of Southern California. Perhaps a sentimental pick of sorts, Ausberry’s athletic ability just couldn’t be ignored by Davis. At 6’4”, 245-pounds and 4.48-speed there was no way Davis could pass on this prospect.
Once a highly sought after recruit as a wide receiver prospect out of the Central Valley’s Lemoore High Ausberry never found his true place on the Trojans roster. Many wondered if the big-bodied receiver would be better suited playing fullback at the next level. Davis saw him as a tight end.
So as a rookie Ausberry made the full-time transition to his new position. He only caught two passes during his first season sporting silver and black but turned a lot of heads with an impressive scoring grab in the preseason.
In 2012 Ausberry will have his chance to shine. The tight end position is ripe for a great camp battle and Ausberry figures to be in the mix. Of course beyond his quest to get more snaps, Ausberry also has to impress Reggie McKenzie. The new Raiders regime is taking a microscope to every person in the franchise and thus far it hasn’t turned out so well for many of Al’s projects. If Ausberry’s athletic ability can be molded into a consistently producing tight end then this could go down as one of the great steals in recent draft history.
There is also the chance Ausberry could be looking for work come the start of the NFL season if the Raiders decide to go in a different direction. Making the 53-man roster isn’t guaranteed anymore. Not with the East Bay scholarship program going the way of Stanford Routt.