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Raiders 2015 Draft Radar: Tight end

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a few years since the Raiders had a viable receiving tight end. This draft is not a strong one for tight ends and other needs could end up taking precedence, but if the cards fell right, they could manage to find some value in this draft at the position.

Here are the tight ends in this draft I could see landing on the Raiders draft board and which round they would take them.

Clive Walford, Miami - Rd 2-3

In some regard, he is seen as potentially a better prospect than Maxx Williams who is widely considered the best tight end in this draft. Walford excels after the catch, had just 2 drops out of 46 passes last season, and was the best tight end in the slot, which is where Derek Carr will need him most. The 6-4, 254-pound tight end finished with 676 yards receiving and 7 touchdowns last year. His struggles are as a blocker, an area he can definitely improve in, though it's his pass catching and how dangerous he is with the ball in his hands that will get him drafted. That's what has been largely missing from the Raiders' offensive attack.

Jesse James, Penn State - Rd 4

You take another step down in the blocking arena with James. What you get with him, aside from the cool name, is a massive 6-7, 255-pound target who is a mismatch against most any linebacker in coverage. His catches, receiving yards, and yards per game have gone up each of the past two seasons, while his yards per catch and touchdowns went down. His career high in yards per catch (18.4) and touchdowns (5) both came as a freshman when he was catching passes from Raiders QB Matt McGloin. He had 15 catches that season and a third of them were for touchdowns. Along with his great height, he has tremendous leaping ability. He had the second highest vertical jump (37.5) among tight ends at the combine and the longest broad jump (10'1"). Can you say red zone target?

Tyler Kroft, Rutgers - Rd 5

Speaking of names; there's something about a guy with the last name Kroft that says he should be a Raider. But that's not why he's here. This 6-6, 240-pounder is perhaps the most well rounded tight end in this draft. As a sophomore, Kroft showed off his receiving skills with 43 catches for 573 yards and 4 touchdowns. Last season they kept him in to block much of the time which meant his receiving numbers took a hit, but it allowed him to show off his blocking skills. In 66 blocking snaps, he gave up just ONE pressure according to College Football Focus. In this weak tight end class, it wouldn't surprise me if he goes higher than round 5. Perhaps even a couple rounds higher.