Day Two in the books

The Oakland Raiders selected South Florida defensive end Shurron Pierson in the fourth round, Central Florida wide receiver Doug Gabriel in the fifth round, BYU offensive tackle Dustin Rykert in the sixth round along with New Mexico State safety Jeremy "siddeeq" Shabazz and Gustavus Adolphus College wide receiver Ryan Hoag in the seventh round.

The Oakland Raiders began the process of hopefully uncovering Day Two gems of the NFL Draft Sunday.

Oakland began that process by selecting two players from the state of Florida -- South Florida defensive end Shurron Pierson and Central Florida wide receiver Doug Gabriel. Oakland then chose BYU offensive tackle Dustin Rykert in the sixth round. With their seventh round choices, the Raiders selected New Mexico State safety Jeremy "siddeeq" Shabazz and Gustavus Adolpus College (Minnesota) wide receiver Ryan Hoag. The latter of the picks was the final one of the entire draft, otherwise known as Mr. Irrelevant.

Pierson opted to bypass his senior season to declare for the NFL draft after three years in college and two years of football. Pierson was academically ineligible in 2000 but rebounded to record 10 sacks -- nine of which came in the final four games of the season -- 12 tackles for lost yardage and three forced fumbles in 2001, starting nine games after he played the first two as a reserve.

Pierson tallied 32 tackles, nine tackles for loss, eight sacks, an interception, two forced fumbles and blocked a kick in '02, when he started all 11 games.

Gabriel signed with Miami (Fla.) as a wide receiver but wound up at Mississippi Gulf Coast Junior College because of grade issues. Gabriel bypassed a chance to go to Florida State as a defensive back in order to play wide receiver at Central Florida. Gabriel showed a penchant for the big play as evidenced by catching 22 passes for 632 yards and nine touchdowns and returned six kickoffs for 163 yards. Gabriel blossomed in 2002 by hauling in a team-best 75 catches for 1,237 yards and 11 touchdowns and returning 31 kickoffs for 632 yards.

Rykert was a fifth-year senior in 2002 who started at left tackle for BYU the last three seasons.

Shabazz began his career as a running back in 1998 before redshirting. He then moved to defensive back in the fall of 1999 and was a backup rover in 2000 before starting every game in 2001, recording 107 tackles, four passes defensed and two interceptions while winning All-Sun Belt Conference honors. Shabazz started every game in last season and had 93 tackles, four tackles for loss, one sack, two forced fumbles and two interceptions. He achieved first-team All-Sun Belt honors.

Hoag played one year of high school football before going to Wake Forest to play soccer in 1998. Hoag then transferred to Gustavus for a chance to play football. He didn't catch a pass in 1999 before combining for 144 receptions for 2,142 yards and 29 touchdowns.

Vince D'Adamo can be reached via e-mail at

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