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NFL Draft 2011: Could the Raiders be Targeting a Tight End in the Third?

When it comes to rumors and the Raiders I give them my undisputed attention...and then plan on the opposite being true.

So, here is the latest rumor. Take it for what you will.

Wes Bunting of the National Football Post reports:

USC TE Jordan Cameron has been a busy man as of late and I’m hearing he’s getting a lot of interest from the Raiders, Buccaneers, Dolphins and Saints and could go as early as the 3rd round.

There you have it. The Raiders may or may not be contemplating drafting a tight end in the third round. Now when it comes to interest in prospects rumors have a little more credence as there are more people involved, tracks are easier to follow, and teams are only going to devote so much time in scouting that aims to fake people out.

Could it be true? Could they really be looking into a tight end that may go in the third? They are likely as set at tight end as any position on the team. Jump on over....

Zach Miller is a fee agent, but by all appearances he will be back. Here is a quote posted—by Jerry McDonald—from Miller after the Raiders gave him the highest possible tender:

“It does feel good. It’d be great to be back in Oakland. I really feel like we’re headed in the right direction with Hue Jackson and the way things are going. We had preliminary discussions (on a contract) before deadline and I’m sure they’ll pick up again once there’s a CBA in place and we get back to business.”

So why this alleged interest? Well, this is the exact kind of prospect Al Davis loves. He is a freak athlete from USC and he is a tight end.

Cameron is a converted basketball player. He is extremely raw. He didn't have a catch until his senior year. Then he exploded onto the scene with 16 whole catches and one touchdown. Those are hardly the stats of a NFL tight end prospect unless said prospect blocks like a tackle. Jordan's strength is his receiving skills.

Cameron's stats at the combine are far more impressive. He was top five in reps on the bench and broad jump, and those were his bad categories. He was top three in every other drill at the combine.

Here is aol.sportingnews.com's take on his strengths:

"Is a great athlete for being 6-5. Can change directions quickly to make tacklers miss when running after the catch. Has an excellent vertical leap (37½ inches at the Scouting Combine) and good hands to reach high throws. Able to adjust to catch off-target passes. Can run all routes with sharpness and precision. Is an aggressive blocker who uses his hands well."


So, is this raw prospect worth it? Not in the third-round he isn't, and not for the Raiders. If he was still on the board in the sixth or seventh-round I could be on board with it, but that looks highly unlikely.

It took the Raiders forever to get to .500 now they need to make sure they improve on that. They need to draft people that are going to help them win next year. They only have four picks in the first five rounds. No projects, please.

This guy has the potential to turn into Antonio Gates, but the Raiders already have one of the best receiving tight ends in football and he is only 25.