For whatever reason, the Oakland Raiders have entered the business of acquiring project tight ends. In 2011 the Al Davis regime drafted two in back-to-back rounds with Richard Gordon being taken in the 6th round and David Ausberry in the 7th.
Gordon’s rookie season didn’t display all he can do but you can see the makings of a bruising tight end. At 6’4”/265 Godron is built like a lineman but moves like a linebacker. That skill set allowed him to make his first career start…as a fullback.
The Raiders might not have unearthed another Jimmy Graham but this Miami product does have some real potential as a blocking tight end. In the 14 appearances Gordon made during his first year in silver and black it was pretty common to see him burying opposing defenders.
What was uncommon was to see Gordon catch many passes. He made just one grab for two yards last season. Still you can see what the thought process was in drafting both Gordon and Ausberry as a catching and blocking combo.
In 2012 those two will have their chance to shine as the tight end position is wide open going into camp. But as mentioned previously the Raiders are in the project tight end business so making the roster will be Gordon’s first order of business. No telling if Reggie McKenzie will be looking for the next hoopster turned footballer after the recently aborted Andre Hardy experiment. But it is obvious the Raiders are still looking for more options at tight end.