Raiders close out the draft with DE, TE

After shaking things up in the NFL draft with some picks that caught many people by surprise, the Raiders went back to the traditional fill-a-need philosophy with their final two selections. Find out who those two picks are, what their background is and what SBI's Michael Wagaman thinks of both in his latest draft update.


Defensive end

Pick: 6th round, 199th overall

School: Missouri

Height: 6-5

Weight: 251

The skinny: Four-year starter in college who had knee surgery prior to his senior season and recorded 55 tackles with 10 sacks and six forced fumbles. Also knocked down 17 passes with the Tigers despite his average size.

Strengths: Did a good job of shedding blockers in college and showed good instinct and speed. Doesn't take plays off and has a relentless motor. Won't give up on a play even if it's across the field from him. Makes things happen in the trenches.

Weaknesses: Many people are down on Sulak because of his weight, or lack thereof. He weighed in at 251 at the Scouting Combine but played at a significantly lower weight, so he has to find a way to keep it on to be an effective player at this level. He also struggled and looked out of place when dropping into coverage.

Wagaman's analysis: Reminds me of former Raider Lance Johnstone, who was a very good pass-rusher but a guy who really struggled keeping the weight on. While you want your ends to be fast, you also need them to have some kind of anchor with the weight. Probably destined for special teams while he tries to work out the kinks on defense. The Raiders might be tempted to use him as an outside linebacker where they have some question marks, but the more likely scenario has him being a pass-rush, third-down specialist if he can overcome some of his other deficiencies.


Position: Tight end

Pick: 6h round, 202nd overall

School: Iowa

Height: 6-3 1/4

Weight: 250

The skinny: Myers didn't put up big offensive numbers because Iowa saw him more as a blocking tight end, which the Hawkeyes have a history of developing. Myers caught just 55 passes over the past two seasons and had nine TDs. He also ran into some legal problems in 2007 after being arrested for public intoxication and fleeing the scene of a fight.

Strengths: Shows good aggressiveness and does a good job locking onto defenders at the point of attack and driving them off the ball. Gets into the second level efficiently, initiates contact and does a better than average job blocking downfield, something Oakland has been missing from its tight ends over the past few seasons.

Weaknesses: Still a work in progress on many levels, Myers doesn't possess the upper body strength NFL teams prefer and has a tendency to come off his blocks too early. Because he doesn't catch many passes, he's also very mediocre when it comes to running pass routes and doesn't serve as a good decoy.

Wagaman's analysis: Of all the draft picks, this is the one that actually makes the most sense to me. Oakland needed to find a young, strong tight end to take over the blocking chores so Zach Miller can be freed up to get more involved in the passing game. Myers could be that guy, but he does have a lot of work to do. Pairing him with Miller will help and I expect the veteran to play a big role in Myers' development. If he can make it onto the 53-man roster, it likely spells the end of the line

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