By Steve Corkran
Monday, March 26th, 2012 at 3:41 pm in Oakland Raiders.
The Raiders learned Monday that they received third-, fourth- and fifth-round compensatory selections in the 2012 NFL draft. A detailed search from the past 10 drafts showed that the Raiders are in prime position to land an impact player.
The Raiders were the only team that received a third-round comp pick. That pick can’t be traded, per league rules. Hence, the Raiders will make their first selection at No. 95, barring a trade between now and then.
Sure, many top-notch players will be long gone before the Raiders select at No. 95. However, history shows that standout players fall to the end of the third round.
For evidence, look no further than wide receiver Mario Manningham, who went at No. 95 to the New York Giants in the 2008 NFL draft.
Manningham caught a key pass for a touchdown in the Giants’ NFC Championship Game victory over the 49ers in January and made a key reception on the Giants’ game-winning drive against the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl.
Want another example? How about New Orleans Saints tight end Jimmy Graham? He went to the Saints at No. 95 in 2010 and, in two seasons, already has established himself as one of the premier tight ends in the game.
Then again, the hit-and-miss nature of selecting at the end of the third round is evident in the slew of players who came and went without making much, if any, impact.
Here’s a list of the players selected at No. 95 in the past 10 drafts:
2011: DB Curtis Brown, Steelers
2010: TE Jimmy Graham, Saints
2009: DB Rashad Johnson, Cardinals
2008: WR Mario Manningham, Giants
2007: CB Dante Hughes, Colts
2006: WR Willie Reid, Steelers
2005: LB Darryl Blackstock, Cardinals
2004: S Guss Scott, Patriots
2003: WR Billy McMullen, Eagles
2002: WR Eric Crouch, Rams