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Position group analysis: Tight ends

Fourth in a series analyzing Raiders position groups with a contingent of scouts and coaches in Indianapolis at the scouting combine:

Starter: Zach Miller. Backups: Tony Stewart, Brandon Myers.

Review: Once upon a time the Raiders being laughed at behind the scenes when they signed Miller, their second round draft pick in 2007. It wasn’t that they’d taken Miller so much as they ended up paying him about a million dollars more than necessary when looking at the way contracts were slotted before and after him.

Turns out it was money well spent.

Miller is proof the Raiders don’t always go for the biggest, fastest and most imposing physical specimen. On this occasion, the Raiders instead went with moderately-sized player who wasn’t a basketball or track star and whose best attribute was finding open areas and catching a football. He’s the anti-Rickey Dudley.

Over the past three seasons, Miller’s receptions have gone from 44 as a rookie to 56 and 66. His yardage has escalated from 444 to 778 to 805. While not a blazer, Miller had a 63-yard touchdown reception in 2008 and an 86-yard catch in 2009. He’s pretty much the only receiver who developed any kind of chemistry with JaMarcus Russell.

If there’s a criticism of Miller it’s that he doesn’t get into the end zone often enough _ seven touchdown receptions among his 166 catches.

Miller’s backup, Tony Stewart is a core special teams player who caught 10 passes for 78 yards and is a physical blocker. Brandon Myers had an excellent training camp and caught four passes for 19 yards. His forced fumble and strip on a kickoff return against Cincinnati set-up a game-winning field goal.

Contract status: All tight ends are under contract.

What’s next: Miller had two concussions last season and missed a game because of his second one. With the NFL paying much closer attention to concussions, the Raiders will be looking hard at young tight ends. Myers also missed time due to a concussion last year.

It may not be someone who plays tight end at the moment _ Al Davis is fond of tinkering with athletes at the position. If Miller can keep his head clear, the Raiders can comfortably experiment with the tight end position in hopes of finding someone unique while at the same time knowing they’ve got a classic, sure-handed tight end on the roster for the next several years.

Contract status:

What’s next:

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • BadMoodGuy

    Oh god, the troll just got back from the bar. Apparently alone again.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Draft:

    Run defense is atrocious. Good defenses don’t rank in the 30′s against the run. Regardless of how bad the offense plays. Even in victory defense gets run over. Sets the tempo of being a soft touch team…which the Raiders are…SOFT!!!!

    Draft the best available run stuffing (not pass rushing) DT at #8

    Then fix the O-Line with the rest of the picks

    Sign a free agent MLB. No rookie MLB is going to do jack shhhhh behind Gerard Warren and Tommy Kelly. Plus the coaching in Oakland is bad and we have not Those two attempt to penetrate, they do not occupy guards and centers.demonstrated an ability to develop talent. MLB is one of the hardest positions on the defense…do you really believe the Raiders will develop a 1st rounder here….Nope…Bust city…get an MLB that already knows how to play the game.

    BUt we know Al Davis….here are the players on his list

    Patrick Robinson – CB Mayock says he’s boom bust
    Bruce Campbell – I think he had 35 reps on the bench
    Carlos Dansby – Another H/W/S and a pass rusher…Davis doesn’t draft run stuffers

  • http://www.actionext.com/playlist_57486.html La Milicia Negra

    Raider O…

    LOL, well spot on =)

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    The O-Line working out today. Lets watch and see Bruce Campbell’s 40x.

    Raider staff probably ignoring all the actual position drills they are running right now…..

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Bruce Campbell – 4.78 40X as an offensive tackle at 310 pounds. Also put up 35 reps on the bench.

    That’s the 1st pick for the Raiders fellas. Hope Mayock is wrong about his boom or bust status.

    Hell, Davis might have designs on moving Campbell to tight end.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Fastest 40x for an O-Lineman in 10+ years. And Campbell weighs 310lbs

    NFL Network says this Campbell guy would be the top pick based on measurables. unfortunately his game apparently has some gaps.

    Matters not! Draft discussion in the 1st round is over.

    Campbell 4.78 40 and 35 reps on the bench.

    With the 8th pick, the Oakland Raiders select Bruce Campbell, Tackle, Maryland.

    Hopefully he and Heyward-Bey can motivate each other

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Bruce Campbell apparently jumping out of the gym on the vertical.

    Never has predicting a Raider pick been so easy

  • LA to TheBay

    We already noted that Campbell put up 34 reps in the bench press, but that was nothing compared to what Campbell did in the 40-yard dash, where he finished in a sensational 4.78 seconds, an absolutely amazing time for a 314-pounder.

    Agent Drew Rosenhaus says it’s the fastest 40 ever for an offensive lineman. The average 40-yard dash for an offensive tackle at last year’s combine was 5.3 seconds.

    Campbell is generally regarded as a first-round pick, and his combine has obviously helped his draft status. But NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock did pour a little bit of cold water on Campbell, saying that when viewed on film, Campbell doesn’t look as impressive as he does in the weight room and on the track.

    Intoducing the 8th overall pick and newest Oakland Raider

  • LA to TheBay

    LOL, SnB beat me to it…

  • LA to TheBay

    I say it’s a safe bet unless he gets snatched up before #8.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    LA To TheBay,

    Campbell is not considered a top 10 draft pick based on production.

    But it doesn’t matter. No way! Al Davis is picking this kid period.

    Possibly the fastest 40x of any o-lineman in the history of the Combine.

    I bet the Raiders have plans on converting Campbell to DT or something. Maybe tight end.

    All credible draft talk for now on must be focused on 2nd round and later….1st is a wrap

  • Plunketthead
  • Plunketthead

    I want to see Al trade #8 for three picks in the third or something like that.

    Get some mean tough, durable ballers on both sides of the line

  • raidertbone

    I know that the Maryland kid has amazed EVERYONE at the Combine, but I’ve seen him in game action and I wasn’t all that impressed. I STILL say we need to focus our First Round pick on defense (Rolando McClain can be a real game-changer; that’s where I’d go). If Al can pull the trigger on a DT through free agency, we would have lots of possible combinations up front. Then, spend our next two picks on offensive line and perhaps dip into free agency for a quality lineman as well. This is how you build a franchise …

  • RaiderRon

    AL Davis has had 7 straight years of top 10 draft picks and has done NOTHING with said picks. The team is no closer to respectibiltiy than they were then. Why is Raider fan even the least bit optimistic that all the sudden he will magically have the magic touch? How many times do you need to be shocked by the electric fence before you stop touching it????

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Raidertbone,

    Campbell put up the fastest 40x of any O-Lineman in combine history. Case closed!

    Rebuilding the defense means getting a DT that clogs lanes and occupies blockers…and getting a free agent MLB that already knows how to play football at the NFL level. No rookie is going to perform for this team the way its structured today. Need a vet MLB that can call the right plays, knows how to shed blockers and can work with minimal coaching.

  • NoMoreFargas

    Great another wasted 1 rd pick , is their anyway al pass on Campbell?

  • RaiderRon

    Al Davis has a PROVEN track record of picking the wrong guy with his first round selection. It will be no different in 2010.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    NoMoreFargas Says:
    February 27th, 2010 at 9:03 am
    Great another wasted 1 rd pick , is their anyway al pass on Campbell?
    ======================================================
    Only if Taylor Mays (safety), Patrick Robinson (CB) or Carlos Dansby have even more impressive 40x

  • RaiderRon

    What I cant figure out is this…. If Raider fan REALLY cared about winning then why hasnt Al Davis been burned at the proverbial stake??? Raider fan loves to destroy coaches and players yet Al gets a pass…… How does that make sense. The sole reason for EVERYTHING should be the #1 TARGET.

  • Thec07

    Mr. Davis will never get a pass from me, as he is the number 1 reason the franchise is in the condition it is in.

  • Thec07

    RD 1 OL
    RD 2 Ol or T Cody
    RD 3 OL
    RD 4 OL

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Campbell also might have broken the vertical record as well.

  • Thec07

    Campbell is a project… stay the hell away….

    We need guys that can step in right now….

  • RaiderRon

    Add Thec07 to the list of ” Rational” Raider fans.

  • Thec07

    Okung just pulled up left leg something….

  • raidertbone

    RaiderRon: What’cha gonna do? Al is the man, just like Danny Snyder is the man in Washington and the omnipresent evil J.J. is down in Big D. We just have to hope that the franchise starts to turn the corner this year.
    SnB: I have only two words for you, when you start talking about absolute “can’t miss” offensive tackles — Tony Mandarich.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Thec07 Says:
    February 27th, 2010 at 9:18 am
    Campbell is a project… stay the hell away….

    We need guys that can step in right now….
    ==================================================
    Since when has that swayed Al Davis?

    Bruce Campbell is a Raider! Let’s just hope that the Raiders are gettting Mario ready for the RT position now.

  • Thec07

    RaiderRon, i wear that as a badge of honor. Mr. Davis has absolutly ruined this franchise, he and his lackeys, bootlicks, and yes men. The whole org needs to be dynamited…..

    Check the record on Thec07, respect Mr. Davis football acumen, GM skills are far inferior to the other teams deptarments, and technology….

    MR. Davis<—– Out manned, and out mathced….

  • http://atm Raider O

    OK OK!
    No More McClain for you.

    O Mock Draft 7.0:
    1- OT Okung if available, or A Davis or B Campbell
    2- ILB Spikes
    3- DT Cam Thomas
    3- DE Austen Lane
    4- OG Mike Johnson / RT-OG Ciron Black
    5- WR/ KR Jacoby Ford
    5- CB Walter Thurmond
    7- DT Demarcus Granger

  • raidertbone

    Oh, what the hell, let’s just draft every player available from the University of Maryland! Let’s also hire their coach, the Fridge, as our new offensive coordinator. If nothing else, he can teach JaMarcus all about proper diet and exercise!

  • Thec07

    Hopefully 7 loising seasons will finnally sawy him to give up drafting duties…. The game has sailed by this organization… Look forward to another 5-11 season if you dont fix the oline….

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    raidertbone Says:
    February 27th, 2010 at 9:20 am

    SnB: I have only two words for you, when you start talking about absolute “can’t miss” offensive tackles — Tony Mandarich.
    ======================================================
    Again, when has “risk” ever swayed Al Davis. I don’t want the Raiders to draft Bruce Campbell. I think the Raiders need a DT. But that will NEVER happen because DTs in Oakland are a dime a dozen position that can be found anywhere in the draft.

    Campbell was 1/100th of a second from the record. He also may have broken the vertical record. You can hope all you want. Al Davis is H/W/S period…especially in the 1st round. He also likes his staff to use YouTube (Mike Mitchell).

    Bruce Campbell is a RAIDER. Who do you think the Raiders should draft in the 2nd round?

  • Thec07

    O, how are you doing? Hey what do you think about Trent Williams????

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Funny though. The best Raider players that are not kickers are guys that don’t have blazing 40x for their respective position

    Zach Miller
    Nnamdi Asomugha
    Michael Bush

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Raider O,

    Okung and Davis didn’t get under 5.0 on the 40.

    No way Davis picks them before Campbell…Again Campbell pushing all sorts of combine records.

    And he plays in a “pro-style offense” at Maryland….LOL

  • Ghost to the Post

    Trent Williams was .03 slower than Campbell and his game film translates.

  • Thec07

    Ghost, Exactly…. I wanted to see what my Brother O thought…

  • Thec07

    Trent Williams > Campbell

  • Thec07

    RD 1 OL
    RD 2 OL
    RD 3 OL
    RD 4 OL

  • Thec07

    I am watching the combine i can see how someone can get twisted up about a player, but if you have done this for a number of years this should be part of the whole not the 40x time….

  • jhill

    He also likes his staff to use YouTube (Mike Mitchell).

    ——————————————————-

    LMFAO!

    Have to admit that once Campbell put up that ridiculous 40 time I got this vision of him in Silver and Black.

    I’ll go ahead and do my defeated exhale now, and get used to the idea of Bruce Campbell and Mario Henderson as our OTs.

    Should we just move on to who we’ll take in the 2nd rd now?

  • jhill

    Okung was pretty impressive though, and his a HWS guy. Maybe we trade up for him or get lucky enough that he drops to us. I think a a few GMs will be impressed with Campbell.

  • Ghost to the Post

    One thing I do like about Campbell he has long arms. They won’t say he is the next Gallery. No TRexing him.

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Jhill,

    Mt. Cody weighted in at 350lbs. Maybe he falls to the 2nd round? Probably not a good idea. The Raiders are not known for having a disciplined culture

  • jhill

    Campbell just got interviewed by the panel on NFLNetwork.

    Hmmmmmmm ….

    His issues are technique and leverage. Potential is off the charts. Work ethic is not an issue.

    Raw prospect.

    I think I take him.

  • jhill

    I’d rather have Lamar Houston

  • Thec07

    LTR nation…

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    jhill Says:
    February 27th, 2010 at 9:47 am
    Okung was pretty impressive though, and his a HWS guy. Maybe we trade up for him or get lucky enough that he drops to us. I think a a few GMs will be impressed with Campbell.
    =======================================================
    Jhill, there’s that hope thing again.

    Okung didn’t get under 5.0 on the 40. He’s out.

    No other GM is going to pick Campbell in the top 10 or 15.

    They interviewed him on NFLN. Campbell said his big issues are leverage and technique. He said he’s raw, but all guys coming in are raw.

    Perhaps…but we shouldn’t be taking “raw” athletes in the top 10.

    Nevertheless, I know what’s going to happen. 4.7 40x at 314lbs….record vertical. He’s a RAIDER…GET OVER IT!

  • SnB offense defense specialteams

    Jhil, Didn’t see your previous comment. You saw the same interview.

    Raw athlete…leverage and technique…good grief..not top 10…oh well….Al likes the idea of developing top talent with great coaching…lol