Drafting a tight end often seems like a luxury pick for those teams who have most other positions set. It's the forgotten position at times with higher impact positions always taking priority. Even though having a great tight end has proven time and time again to be a major asset to any team.
The Raiders in particular just spent two picks in last year's draft on tight ends Nick Kasa and Mychal Rivera. Then again, they were chosen in the sixth round. They also have David Ausberry who was supposed to start last season but was injured early on and went on IR. So, the Raiders have a few tight ends, but none are sure things. Therefore either a sure thing needs to be added or a some competition.
Here are the tight ends who jump onto the radar screen for the Raiders.
Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Washington - Round 2-3
This 6-6, 265 pounder won the Mackey award as the best tight end in the nation. He excels both as a receiver and as a blocker. He was even a former basketball player and uses his skills to block out defenders. Even so, Eric Ebron and Jace Amaro are considered the top two tight ends in this draft which means Sefarian-Jenkins could be available well below where he should be. Taking him with the 36 pick could be too high for the Raiders but should they make any trades and pick up additional round two picks, he would definitely enter the conversation. And if he were miraculously still on the board in the third, he would be a no-brainer.
Marcel Jensen, Fresno State - Round 7
Didn't put up fantastic numbers at Fresno State but that doesn't diminish his talent. It only serves to have him flying under the radar of most teams and more likely he will be on the board come the seventh round. He's not going to burn many defenders (4.85 40-yard dash) but is a reliable receiver. Where he really excels is as a blocker. He is a wide bodied, 6-5, 265 pound mauler in the run game. The Raiders entire offensive staff was present at the Fresno State pro day.
Jacob Pedersen, Wisconsin - Round 7
This guy is one of those hard working, self made football players Reggie McKenzie loves. As a receiver his catch radius is tremendous. He was often seen making leaping grabs up high and away from his body in traffic. His blocking is not too shabby either. Adding to his value is his special teams play on coverage teams. At 6-3, 240 pounds, he is more of an H-back type, though he doesn't have great speed after the catch. He's the kind of player who has worked very hard to get to this point and has the tenacity to continue to improve and continue to defy the odds.