Miles Burris (@MilesBurris) was nice enough to spend a few minutes with me to talk about where he fits into the Raiders’ 2012 plans.
Height: 6′ 5″
Weight: 313 lbs
Arm Length: 32″
Hand Size: 9″
40-yard Dash: 5.27 seconds
Bench Reps at 225: 32
Vertical Jump: 29.5 inches
Broad Jump: 8′ 5″
3-Cone Drill: 7.95 seconds
20-yard Shuttle: 4.84 seconds
“This is Tony Bergstrom’s football team. He’s the team leader.” Utah Head Coach Kyle Whittingham
Former Nevada defensive end Kaelin Burnett was kind enough to talk with Raidersblog.com about his visit with the Raiders.
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The Raiders aren’t making much noise in free agency and will attempt to build through the draft. Missing are five of their original seven draft selections and in their place are five players that may contribute in 2012.
A couple more selections may be awarded as compensatory selections, but that is yet to be determined.
What is the best case and worse case scenarios for the Raiders’ 2012 draft? Not only does it depend on the players they draft, but how many they draft and how the players perform they obtained for those picks.
1st Round: Carson Palmer
Hue Jackson orchestrated a trade that brought Palmer to Oakland. It was too much to give up, but what’s done is done. The Raiders have their franchise quarterback, right? That’s the hope. The new regime is hitching their wagon to Palmer and putting a new offense around him. There wasn’t many other options for the Raiders.
Best Case: Palmer, with an offseason with the receivers and studying the offense, turns in a pro bowl season and leads the Raiders to their first playoff berth since 2002. Winning the AFC championship game would bump the 2013 pick from a second round to a first round pick and further justify why Hue Jackson traded for him.
Worst Case: Palmer continues to be a turnover machine and the Raiders change the offense to the extent that Palmer is handicapped by his weaknesses. Palmer is average, doesn’t lead the Raiders to the playoffs and never justifies even one of the two picks the Raiders gave up for him.
2nd Round: Joseph Barksdale and Taiwan Jones
2011 was the rookie year for Barksdale and Jones and neither produced. Jones was injured and never cracked the rotation at running back and Barkdale spent the entire season as a backup. While the Raiders don’t have their second round pick, they do have a two sophomore’s with a year of NFL experience. The Raiders will be counting some development from both players/
Best Case: Barksdale becomes a solid starter on the offensive line and Taiwan Jones becomes a nightmare speed back that is a threat to take the ball the distance every time he touches the ball.
Worst Case: Both wash out. Barksdale never wins a starting job and is eventually released. Jones has problems with injuries and tries to do too much when he gets the ball.
3rd Round: Terrelle Pryor & Draft Pick(s)
It should be intriguing how Greg Knapp works Pryor into the rotation at quarterback. Pryor will have to be patient with the Raiders if he wants to play quarterback. The Raiders could work Pryor into special packages and expand his role as he becomes more comfortable in the offense.
In return for losing Nnamdi Asomugha the Raiders should receive a draft pick. It is expected to be a pick in the third round. The Raiders may receive a second pick in the third round as compensation for losing Zach Miller.
Best Case: Pryor becomes a weapon on offense and takes over for Palmer in a couple of years as the starter. The Raiders get two picks and are able to find a quality defender at cornerback and linebacker.
Worst Case: Pryor isn’t ever a starter and can only play in special packages. Pryor is eventually released.The Raiders don’t receive a compensatory pick until the fourth round.
4th Round: Draft Pick(s)
The Raiders could receive a couple of compensatory draft picks for Zach Miller and Robert Gallery in the fourth round. The Raiders original pick in this round was traded for Jason Campbell two years ago.
Best Case: Raiders receive an additional pick in the fourth round for Robert Gallery having received two in the third for Asomugha and Miller. The Raiders find a quality lineman.
Worst Case: Raiders receive only one pick and are forced to try to find a player at a position of need, but because it’s the end of the fourth round the quality prospects at linebacker and cornerback are off the board.
5th Round: Original Draft Pick (can be traded)
With the 13th pick of the fifth round the Raiders will have their first non-compensatory selection of the 2012 draft. An additional compensatory selection is possible at the end of the fifth for Robert Gallery if they are not awarded one in the fourth, but it is also possible the Raiders don’t receive a compensatory for Gallery at all.
Best case: McKenzie doesn’t think much value remains on the board worth a fifth and the Raiders, having addressed many needs with their compensatory selections in prior rounds, trade the pick for a future fourth.
Worst case: Talent has thinned and the Raiders are unable to move the pick. McKenzie drafts his best player available, but the player will be sitting behind established starters for the next several years.
6th Round: Original Draft Pick (can be traded)
The Raiders will have the 19th pick in the sixth round. It is one of the Raiders original picks giving the Raiders the option of trading the pick if it benefits them.
Best Case: McKenzie doesn’t think much value remains on the board worth a sixth and the Raiders, having addressed many needs with their compensatory selections in prior rounds, trade the pick for a future fifth.
Worst Case: Talent has thinned and the Raiders need the pick to find a player to fill out the roster, but McKenzie plays it safe and drafts a role player.
7th Round: Aaron Curry
The Raiders traded their seventh-round selection for Aaron Curry last season. Curry and the Raiders had mutual interest in continuing the relationship and worked out a restructured contract in 2012 that saves the Raiders cap space.
Best Case: Curry turns into the pro bowl caliber linebacker he was expected to be when he was drafted out of Wake Forest and solidifies the defense.
Worst Case: Curry remains a liability in coverage and the Raiders have to bring in a player for Curry on third down.
Huge action from Hue Jackson. Aaron Curry last week. Carson Palmer today.
The Raiders gave up a lot for Palmer, but he’s a better quarterback than Jason Campbell. The Raiders lost Campbell for a significant period of time and were faced with starting Kyle Boller for the rest of the season if they didn’t make a move for a quarterback.
The time is now for the Raiders and Hue Jackson pushed all his chips into the middle by bringing in Carson Palmer. The Raiders have only two picks left in the 2012 draft and with the Carson Palmer trade started dealing 2013 draft selections.
This trade and the moves of the past two seasons setup the Raiders for success going forward. Allow us to examine position-by-position and pick-by-pick and what the future may hold for this team and why the move for Carson Palmer was still a good one.
If the Raiders go far in the playoffs under Palmer those draft picks become low in each round and with most of the young players on the roster locked up for the next two seasons the time is now for the Silver and Black. Below is a snapshot of the Raiders outlook going forward.
1st: Carson Palmer
2nd: Taiwan Jones and Joseph Barksdale
3rd: Terrelle Pryor
4th: Jason Campbell
7th: Aaron Curry
Compensatory Picks for Nnamdi Asomugha, Robert Gallery and Zach Miller should net a third and up to a fourth-round pick.
1st: Palmer if team gets team to AFC Championship game*
2nd: Palmer if the team doesn’t get to AFC Championship*
*Conflicting reports as to the compensation.
Notable 2012 Free Agents
Michael Bush – Will he be content to be a backup or will he be able to get a mega-deal elsewhere? Time will tell and he could be a casualty of the Raiders cap situation.
Chaz Schilens – His injuries really sidelined his career. He could be retained for cheap as a backend WR.
Tyvon Branch – Is Mike Mitchell ready? Has Branch taken the leap that the Raiders have wanted him to make? Either way, he shouldn’t command a large amount
Marcel Reece – He’s a fullback and the Raiders will pay him well for that position.
Jason Campbell – He’ll find a new home next season. Good dude, average quarterback. Unfortunate circumstances.
Carson Palmer is the guy now and for the next few years. Pryor will be given the Aaron Rodgers treatment.
Darren McFadden and Taiwan Jones. Michael Bush is unknown going forward. The Raiders will need to add some depth at the position, but as long as McFadden is healthy this is still the biggest strength on the team. Reece will be back next season as well.
Darrius Heyward-Bey, Denarius Moore, Jacoby Ford, Louis Murphy are all under contract through 2012. Those guys are the anchors of this group and Chaz Schilens and various other will fill it out. An exciting young group that was a huge weakness just two seasons ago.
Very young group that has come together nicely this season. The Raiders will eventually ease Bruce Campbell and Joseph Barksdale into the mix on the left side. Needs to add depth, but they should be able to find quality depth for cheap on the free agent market if needed.
Richard Seymour is around for at least two more seasons along with Tommy Kelly. The Raiders defensive line may begin to show signs of age in the coming seasons, but as it stands now this is a strong group. Expect the Raiders to re-tool the defensive line in the 2013 draft.
Rolando McClain is playing in his sophomore season so he has at least two more seasons before the Raiders look elsewhere. Kamerion Wimbley just signed a new deal and the Raiders think they can make something out of Aaron Curry. The group still needs depth and there are some questions here, but it isn’t the most pressing need on the team and the Raiders can likely address it without a high draft pick.
Stanford Routt signed a new deal and the Raiders drafted two corners in Demarcus Van Dyke and Chimdi Chekwa. The position needs depth. When one player goes down the Raiders turn to free safety Michael Huff as a corner. If there is one position to worry about not having many 2012 draft picks it is at the cornerback position.
Michael Huff signed a new deal this offseason. Branch is a free agent in 2012 and unless the Raiders feel like Mitchell can play at the same level as Branch he’ll likely be the Raiders top priority going into 2012.
It is common belief that Terrelle Pryor was suspended five games by the NFL because of his miss steps at Ohio State. This is simply untrue. Terrelle Pryor was suspended five games for not following the rules of the supplemental draft entry process.
Pryor hired Drew Rosenhaus before he was ruled ineligible for the first five games at Ohio State. Based on the rules of the supplemental draft Pryor should have been ineligible for entry.
The power of the media and his agent put the league in a tough position. Instead of doing what they should have done and forced Pryor to sit for a year, the NFL allowed his entry while trying to appear tough.
There are basically two arguments Pryor will be able to make to get the suspension lifted.
1) The NFL is punishing Pryor because they chose to not follow their own rules. There is no precedent or rule that allows for any such suspension.
2) The five-game suspension is the NFL is punishing Pryor for his college mistakes. This is also unprecedented.
The NFL should have forced Pryor to sit out the season. They didn’t and punished Pryor for making an exception. The five game suspension was intentionally the same number of games as his college suspension to hide the fact that the NFL really should not have allowed his entry at all.
This was a major mistake by the NFL. Now the NFL has a player who should have never been drafted with a NFL contract.
Why is this important? When Mike Williams and Maurice Clarett tried to gain entry into the draft the NFL would not budge. The players fought through the courts unsuccessfully to gain entry.
Players in the future will now be able to leverage this situation into allowing their entry into the draft. If the NFL denies their entry it will put the league at risk of losing a court case with unknown and potentially far-reaching consequences.
To mitigate the risk of any such court case the NFL will now lift Pryor’s suspension and say to the world that they were wrong to suspend Pryor for his college conduct even though that is not the reason he was suspended.
If the NFL chooses to stand tough on the issue they will likely lose in arbitration and re-open the can of worms.
It is now to the league’s benefit to lift the suspension and move on and that is just what they will do.