Alright, alright that was a crazy start to the 2011 NFL Draft. It started off on script, and then things started getting crazy. The Falcons went a little Ditka and traded the farm to the Browns for Julio Jones; the 49ers then passed on Blaine Gabbert and Prince Amukamara to reach for Aldon Smith; the Titans blew up all projections and took Jake Locker as the second QB.
Things got interesting for Raider fans once Jimmy Smith slid past the Eagles at No. 23. You had to wonder if the Raiders were going to make a move. Wonder almost turned into expectations when the Ravens were on the clock, and it seemed they were working a trade. I thought the Raiders may be going for Smith, but that was not to be. Smith went to the Ravens, after the Chiefs reached for Baldwin (more on the AFC West teams in a later post).
In all only three DBs went off the board. Aaron Williams, Brandon Harris and Ras-Dowling would all be a good value at No. 48, and you'd think at least one would still be available at No. 48. I am securely on board the no CB at No. 48 train. As expected no safeties went off the board.
The most interesting thing to watch as the second-round starts will be the Colin Kaepernick situation. If the Raiders really want him, the price is not going to be that steep.
Four QBs were taken in the first. Andy Dalton is still on the board, and most people expect Dalton to go before Kaepernick. However, most people are often wrong—just ask Blaine Gabbert and Jake Locker.
I wouldn't be surprised at all to see Denver (Den has two picks before Oak) or Buffalo take Kaepernick early in the second-round, and I also wouldn't be surprised at all if the Raiders were on the phone trying to slide up to grab Kaepernick.
If the Raiders don't get Kaepernick you gotta believe they will go offensive line. Eight offensive linemen went off the board. Tyron Smith, Mike Pouncey, Nate Solder, Anthony Castonzo, Danny Watkins, James Carpenter, Gabe Carimi and Derek Sherrod. That is not the best news for the Raiders. Even worse news is the fact that only two of these went to teams that draft before the Raiders in the second-round.
However, not a lot of the teams picking ahead of the Raiders are offensive line starved. I would put the Cardinals (6), Vikings (11) and Lions (12) in that offensive line starved category. As we learned today you never know what teams are going to do, but it certainly looks like the Raiders should have a crack at a quality offensive linemen.
Here are some of the offensive linemen with second-round grades left: Clint Boling, Marcus Gilbert, Will Rackley, Ben Ijalana, Stefen Wisniewski, Orlando Franklin and Rodney Hudson.
Another thing worth noting is that Akeem Ayers did not go off the board. This may mean that some of the outside linebackers we were talking about will slide a bit, and be available later than I anticipated. Maybe the Raiders will have a shot at Mason Foster in the third or Mark Herzlich in the fifth?