Reggie McKenzie finally got what he’s been waiting for – a proper draft. In his first year as Oakland’s GM McKenzie’s hands were tied as his first pick wasn’t until the end of the third round. In 2013 McKenzie was on the clock with the third overall pick.
Eager to acquire more picks McKenzie shrewdly moved back in round 1 sliding down to 12th while also picking up a second round selection previously lost in the Carson Palmer deal.
Attaining more picks became a common theme as McKenzie continues to try and rebuild an overhauled roster. The 2013 class features some intriguing talent. Only time will reveal the true value of the class but overall the Raiders did a solid job in addressing areas of need.
Here is the Raiders draft class of 2013
D.J. Hayden, CB, Houston – 1st Round, 12th Overall – Perhaps no player in the 2013 NFL Draft saw their stock rise as quickly as Hayden. At one point there was no discussion at all of Hayden being picked in the first round. On draft night the Raiders were supposedly only minutes away from taking Hayden third overall before the Miami Dolphins came calling with a trade proposal. By now you must surely know of Hayden’s near-death-experience. Concerns over his heart hurt Hayden’s stock initially but the Raiders did their due diligence now all that remains is for Hayden to live up to his potential.
Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State – 2nd Round, 42nd Overall – McKenzie badly needed to get back into the second round and did so by trading down in round one. So with his newly acquire pick McKenzie selected what could be Dennis Allen’s new starting right tackle. Watson’s ceiling is high as he’s still learning the sport of football having arrived from England as a basketball player. One year at FSU was apparently enough for the Silver and Black scouts to sign off on the raw yet talented tackle. The right side of Oakland’s line has been a revolving door. Hopefully Watson can slam that door shut.
Sio Moore, LB, Connecticut – 3rd Round, 66th Overall – It’s hard to know exactly what type of scheme Coach Allen is cooking up for 2013. Many of the free agent signings would indicate a 3-4, however Moore is a linebacker better suited for the 4-3. Whatever the case this selection gives the Raiders more versatility and more international flavor. Moore was one of the most productive linebackers in the nation during his final season at UConn. He’s also a native of Liberia giving the Raiders yet another international player on the roster including Angolan Christo Bilukidi and Englishmen Jack Crawford and the previous pick Watson.
Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas – 4th Round, 112th Overall – Supposedly Reggie McKenzie was eyeing USC’s Matt Barkley in the 4th
round. However the Philadelphia Eagles moved the top of round four to get their man. So the Silver and Black had to settle for Wilson during the run on QBs in round four. Wilson was once viewed as first round talent during an impressive junior year in Fayetteville. However a subpar season year combined with concussion and injury concerns derailed his draft status. Wilson has plenty of tools to work with and arrives as a pro-ready QB. However his inconsistencies make him a project and his future in the NFL remains a mystery. He could become a solid starter or a career journeyman backup depending.
Nick Kasa, TE, Colorado – 6thRound, 172nd Overall – Without a fifth round pick McKenzie was active in the fourth. With the Raiders needing to address the gaping hole at tight end McKenzie selected two such players in the 6th round. Kasa is more of a blocker. He began his collegiate career as a defensive end before making the move to tight end. So from a physical standpoint Kasa is a ready-made prospect. What remains to be seen is how he’ll transition to an NFL offense that requires more than straight line blocking from its tight end.
Latavius Murray, RB, Central Florida – 6th Round, 181st Overall – He’s been called the best sleeper prospect at the running back position in the 2013 draft. Whatever the case Murray has a good chance at seeing action early in his NFL career. The speedy back has good size and an upright running style that reminds some of Darren McFadden. Of course that is an unfair comparison at this early stage. If Murray reveals himself as a reliable blocker and sure runner then he’ll figure to see plenty of snaps as the Raiders seek out a backup for Run DMC.
Mychal Rivera, TE, Tennessee – 6th Round, 184th Overall – Rivera was the second tight end taken by Oakland in round six. He too will have every opportunity to play early and often as his NFL career begins. Rivera is the pass catcher of the new Oakland duo at tight end. His final year in Knoxville saw Rivera catch 36 passes for 562 yards and four touchdowns. He’s also got a famous sibling as his sister Naya stars on the hit show “Glee”.
Stacy McGee, DT, Oklahoma – 6th Round, 205th Overall – Last year the Raiders relied on compensatory picks to even have a draft. This time around they had but one and used it on areal roll of the dice. McGee has talent and has a decent chance of making the roster. However he also has a history unlike any of the other prospects McKenzie has brought in. Twice McGee has been arrested during his time in college including a DUI that led to suspension by OU prior to its bowl game.
Brice Butler, WR, San Diego State – 7th Round, 209th Overall – Stop me if this sounds familiar; Raiders draft a size/speed guy at receiver out of SDSU in the 7th round of the draft. Is Butler the second coming of Chaz Schilens? If so let’s hope he can remain healthy. Butler transferred to SDSU after spending his first three seasons at USC. There is already some rumblings of Butler going Taiwan Jones and being converted to a DB. But that is all talk. The reality is the Raiders need a #1 receiver to emerge from their young corps so it stands to reason Butler will be given every chance to prove he’s 53-man material.
David Bass, DE, Missouri Western – 7th Round, 233rd Overall – The Raiders needed a pass rusher off the edge and found one with their final pick in 2013. Bass set school records at Missouri Western while earning the reputation as one of the best pass rushers in college ball. The question is can he make the transition from small college football to the biggest stage? If his 39 career sacks in only 50 career starts are any indication then this could prove to be the sleeper pick of 2013.