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Raiders choose instant starter with 2012 first round pick

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Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie at press conference at the Raider headquarters in Alameda.
Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie at press conference at the Raider headquarters in Alameda.

Coming into this draft, Raiders general manager, Reggie McKenzie, said his goal was to find starters in every round. Today, immediately following the 17th pick in the first round, he walked into the lunch room and said "I just want you guys to know we took Carson Palmer." We all got a good laugh out of it... but he's right.

The Cleveland Browns drafted the 29 year old Brandon Weeden with the 22nd overall pick on Thursday because they see him as an instant starter. Palmer is 32 years old and already established as an NFL quarterback.

The Bengals chose Alabama cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick with the pick they received from the Raiders. Although, technically, the Raiders would not have had the 17th overall pick in this draft had they not traded to acquire Palmer before the trade deadline last season. They would have had either Kyle Boller, Terrelle Pryor or a teamless free agent quarterback starting the remainder of the season and wouldn't have even reached 8-8.

If they had gone 5-11 or 6-10, they would have been drafting in the top ten where the Dolphins snagged Ryan Tannehill to be their next starting quarterback. Tannehill has far less guarantees than Weeden. He is simply a lot younger.

The Colts had to endure an agonizing season and ditch Peyton Manning for the right to take Andrew Luck first overall. The Redskins traded three first round picks to get the number two overall pick in this draft to take Robert Griffin III.

Even though the Raiders had to also send a 2013 second rounder to the Bengals in the deal, when you look at it, the Raiders had a pretty good first round of the draft.

By that same logic, the Raiders' second and third round picks are Joseph Barksdale, Taiwan Jones, and Terrelle Pryor. Barksdale and Jones were drafted through trades with the Patriots in last year's draft and Pryor was the team's third round compensatory pick. Those three are far less valuable than Palmer. They have barely seen the field.

Because of the deals to bring these three players to Oakland, the Raiders will wait through three rounds before they make their first official 2012 draft pick.

But how those two rounds shake out will shape who the Raiders draft once that pick finally comes along. For Raiders fans it will be a case of saving the best for last as the Raiders have the final pick of the second day. Barring a trade, of course. Although one is not expected.

The NFL Draft returns to primetime in 2012. Catch all of the excitement of the 2012 NFL Draft on NFL Network April 26 - 28