2011 First Round: Situation Unchanged

The Raiders came into the day without a first-round draft pick and finished the day without acquiring one.

Not much has changed. The Raiders still have needs and the same number of picks to work with. The only thing that happened today, 32 players were skimmed off the player pool.

Colin Kaepernick is still available and so are Da’Quan Bowers and Stefen Wisniewski.

Five of the top offensive tackles were taken in round one and the talent really thins out now. Raiders would be wise to look to the surplus of guards still available.

Brandon Harris and Aaron Williams are two highly-rated cornerbacks that were not taken in the first round.

It turns out a trade into the first round was not in the best interest of the Raiders. However, there are just a handful of top-tier players remaining that fit the Raiders most pressing needs. Don’t rule out the Raiders jumping into the early second round.

The Raiders will need to move up at least a few spots if they want to draft Kaepernick.

Why Kaepernick? Was/is he a smokescreen?

Kaepernick has a huge arm, great leadership abilities, excellent work ethic and Raiders ties. As I’ve explained before, his quarterback coach for the last eight years was Roger Theder.

Theder coached with Al Saunders and was also Jim Plunkett’s quarterback coach in college. Two strong ties to the Raiders new power structure.

If the Raiders interest in Kaepernick was a smokescreen, why leak it on day one? The Raiders don’t even have a pick on day one. The Raiders simply have little to gain by leaking  false information about where a player is on their draft board on a day they don’t even pick.

Also, the information had been out there for a couple weeks. It was first reported that one AFC West team had Kaepernick at the top of their draft board. Only one team made sense at that time. They still makes sense today.

Why draft a quarterback?

Jason Campbell is in the final year of his contract. He’s 29, the league and the Raiders know what he is and isn’t. He may improve within the same system, but he’s not a franchise quarterback.

If the Raiders believe Kaepernick is a franchise quarterback, they would be crazy not to draft him and give up whatever it takes to move ahead of the Bills and other quarterback hungry teams.

There are certainly more pressing needs and there may even be better overall player available, but a top-flight signal caller is tough to find.

The Raiders haven’t developed a quarterback in decades, but Hue Jackson did miracles with Joe Flacco, perhaps he can with Kaepernick.

Non-draft news:

Players will begin rolling into Alameda this weekend as the Raiders will start offseason activities on Monday.

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