The Raiders' new regime has cut a seventh pick prior to their first regular season game in both years they have been in charge of the team. Teams cut low draft picks all the team. What seems odd is for a team in need of players the way the Raiders have been to cut players only to see those players catch on elsewhere.
The most recent example was David Bass who despite a standout training camp and preseason, was cut in favor of undrafted free agent, Ryan Robinson. Once waived, the Bears wasted no time in signing him to their active roster. Bass had eye popping numbers in college at Missouri Western and he showed in the preseason that he was not simply a ‘big fish in a small pond.'
Last year's seventh round pick was Penn State linebacker, Nathan Stupar. It's never a bad idea to take a linebacker out of Penn State. After all, they're didn't earn the nickname ‘Linebacker U' for nothing. But through training camp and the preseason, Stupar didn't do anything to stand out on the team and was cut. He went unclaimed on waivers and was signed to the Raiders' practice squad.
If Stupar was going to develop, one would have thought it would have been on the practice squad. Alas, he was eventually cut from the practice squad as well.
He was picked up onto the Eagles' practice squad later that season and they too dropped him a short time later. Then he was headed back to the Bay Area where the 49ers signed him to their practice squad. That's where he remained for the rest of the 2012 season.
He was brought back into 49ers training camp this year and after a solid preseason, he has made the team. Making the team on one of the best defenses in all of football is no small accomplishment. Here is how he did it according to lead blogger David Fucillo of 49ers site, Niners Nation:
Stupar got off to a tough start with a rather poor performance in the first preseason game. He was taking poor angles, getting manhandled, and generally looking like he might not survive the first round of cuts. However, starting with the second preseason game, he cleaned things up and was looking like a solid backup linebacker.
I imagine he is likely the 52nd or 53rd player on the roster, so it is possible he will still get released when the 49ers get some of their injured players back. While he is likely to spend most games inactive, if he is activated he has a good chance of showing up on the various special teams units.
While it is a credit to Reggie McKenzie and company that the team uncovered some talented players so late in the draft, it is a head scratcher that those players will seek their careers in other uniforms. Rebuilding teams such as the Raiders typically keep young promising players.
There is one other seventh round pick the Raiders new regime has had - Brice Butler. He has also looked extremely good thus far and very much earned a place on this team. He may have even pushed ahead of last year's round five pick, Juron Criner. It looks like there is at least one player who will get the chance to contribute for the team who drafted him.