The 2012 NFL Draft represented a milestone within the Oakland Raiders organisation, it was the first draft after the passing of Al Davis. It also highlighted a change in tactic and direction, with the final decision coming down to then newly hired General Manager Reggie McKenzie rather than ownership.
The 2012 Draft also highlighted the blatant mismanagement this organization had suffered at the hands of Al Davis in his later years. The first pick the Silver and Black had was after the third round in the form of a supplemental draft choice. The irony was that the supplemental pick was from the loss of Nnamdi Asomugha, the only first round selection that worked out.
Third Round- Tony Bergstrom
Bergstrom was selected with the intention of fitting him into the failed zone blocking scheme under former offensive coordinator Greg Knapp. Bergstrom played at right tackle throughout his collegiate career at Utah, but was drafted to play guard at the pro level after a good outing at the Senior Bowl.
So far this pick has not worked out given a variety of circumstances that have worked against Bergstrom. Injuries and the failure to adapt to his new position has resulted in his poor performance. There is time yet for the former Ute to salvage his fledgling career given the Raiders’ need at left guard. At 6-foot-5 and 310 pounds, Bergstrom has the perfect size to play the guard position.
Fourth Round- Miles Burris
Burris got a lot of playing time in 2012 due to injury and depth issues, but didn’t see the field much in 2013 due to a lingering knee injury. In the limited time he did play, his play was nothing to write home about. It seems like most of McKenzie’s picks, a cloud hangs over the future of the former two-time All-Mountain West First Team selection. Burris will have another year to prove himself, but another average season could spell the end of his professional career.
Fifth Round- Jack Crawford and Juron Criner
Both of these selections have been busts so far. In the fifth round, very little elite talent is available, but there are quality players to be had. With the dire situation of the Raiders, i believe these picks could have been utilized better.
Sixth Round-Christo Bilukidi
Bilukidi became the first player to ever be drafted from Georgia State and looked like a pick telegraphed by the Green Bay Packers organization, only this one didn’t work out. Not much to be said about this very raw player who never developed to his “potential.” If the Raiders draft another raw player with future “potential,” I suggest hiring a Hall Of Fame coach to teach them how to play football.
Seventh Round- Nathan Stupar
Stupar, like many seventh rounders, didn’t make the roster after training camp. Currently with the Jacksonville Jaguars, his third team, I can say with certainty that he won’t do the Raiders any good.
Overall, this was another miserable draft for the Team of the Decades– a team without a playoff berth in a decade. The best-case scenario for this group is if Burris and Bergstrom turn out to be regulars on the team.