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Allen: 2013 draft class `backbone’ for future

By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Thursday, December 19th, 2013 at 5:39 pm in Oakland Raiders.

Filed for print . . .

The Raiders 2013 draft class has been short on instant gratification, but coach Dennis Allen believes it will serve as a foundation for future success.

Of the 10 players selected by general manager Reggie McKenzie last April 25-27, only strong side linebacker Sio Moore is a sure starter, with tight end Mychal Rivera and defensive tackle Stacy McGee potential starters and significant contributors.

With the Raiders taking a 4-10 record to Qualcomm Stadium Sunday against the San Diego Chargers and a dearth of talent because of well-documented salary cap issues, going 3-for-10 in terms of contributors in Week 16 is less than inspiring.

Allen, oblivious unconfirmed reports regarding his job security past this season, chooses to take the longer view.

“Rookies generally don’t make a huge impact in their first year,’’ Allen said. “But there’s a lot of things that we see in these guys that we can develop where they can be the backbone of our team moving forward.

Ideally, a team coming off a 4-12 record would get significant playing time from their first- and second-round draft picks.

Instead, cornerback DJ Hayden (No. 12 overall) and tackle Menelik Watson (second round, No. 42) had their seasons derailed by injury.

Hayden is on injured reserve following sports hernia surgery, and instead of starting played as a nickel back because of an off-season procedure to remove scar tissue related to his near-fatal rupture of a blood vessel leading to his heart in his senior year at Houston.

He played in just 12 games with one interception. With veteran corners Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins on one-year contracts, Hayden will be counted upon to build his strength, retain his speed and be a starter in Year 2.

“Reality is reality . . . it’s my start,’’ Hayden said. “It’s just a little stepping stone for me. I’ve got a lot of work ahead of me, and I can’t wait.’’

Watson, a 6-foot-5, 310 pound athletic specimen from Florida State, was looked at as a bookend right tackle to go with left tackle Jared Veldheer, with Khalif Barnes moving inside to tackle.

Instead, Watson lost nearly all of training camp with a calf injury, then had arthroscopic knee surgery. He recovered, only to hurt his calf again. Veteran Tony Pashos was signed to play right tackle as the regular season began, and Watson simply missed too much practice time to become a factor.

Of late, Watson has found his way to the field as an extra blocker on power formations. He plans on changing his training and dietary habits in the offseason in hopes of remaining healthy next season.

Moore, the third round pick out of Connecticut, is the Raiders eighth-leading tackler with 46 stops and has 3.5 sacks in 12 games with 10 starts and McGee (sixth-round) has shown promise as a run-stopping defensive tackle, having played in 12 games with four starts.

The top offensive contributor among the rookies has been Rivera a tight end out of Tennessee and one of four sixth-round picks. He has 34 receptions for 341 yards and four touchdowns.

“I’ve always set high goals for myself, and I know I can catch the ball and get open against the best of ‘em,’’ Rivera said. “I’m looking to get better every day. Looking at my numbers, they’re solid, but I feel I could have doubled everything I have right now.’’

Wide receiver Brice Butler of San Diego State, the first of two seventh-round picks, was a contributor early in the season, catching nine passes for 103 yards, but has played sparingly since the ascension of third-year player Andre Holmes.

Fifth-round draft pick Latavius Murray out of Central Florida went on injured reserve with a foot injury and will give it another go this offseason.

The Raiders most notable mistake was Arkansas quarterback Tyler Wilson, who was beaten out by undrafted free agent Matt McGloin and was claimed off the practice squad this week by the Tennessee Titans. A fourth-round pick, No. 112, Wilson was the highest drafted player to not make his team’s 53-man roster to start the season.

The Raiders final pick, defensive end David Bass of Missouri Western, did not make the team out of training camp. He was claimed by the Chicago Bears, where he has been a reserve defensive end with one sack and 10 hurries.

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  • SnBG

    Thank you Al, I will. Good idea.

  • SnBG

    Big Reg here. All I need is more talent. Watch me next year with my 7 picks and cash in me pocket baby. Just spend baby.

  • NYCRaider

    its not about a blogger doing better, its evaluating RM decisions for what they are. Some people blame 2003 for RM mistakes and ignore HE CREATED 20-29 mil of dead money with his not Al’s bad decisions.

  • SnBG

    Big Reg here…..I have some serious coin fans. Anyone want to go to dinner tonight? I’m buying.

  • eastoaklandraider

    This isnt a joke, but after paying Jano 3 mil I would sign a designated holder for a few thou if it will make Jano a premier K again. I know I know a roster spot just for that? but if it would bring Jano back to pro bowl form I would consider it. It has to be something with King, you dont go from being one of the best K’s in the league to avg just like that.

  • eastoaklandraider

    Yeah I’ll have BOrakpo with a side of JAllen and a RG for desert.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    Raiders will know their updated positions in the draft order before they play San Diego.
    Key Games:
    Cleveland vs New York and Tampa vs St. Louis Browns and buccaneers win probably secures a top 4/5 pick if we lose; jets and rams win secures a top ten pick even if we sweep San Diego and beat Denver.

  • eastoaklandraider

    Before you get too happy you do realize this FA class will suck azz right?

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    Jano lost his best friend on the team, not just his holder. He’s a very sentimental guy, ya know?

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    make that four Raider players that could be traded.
    If jano doesn’t take a pay cut, trade him or cut him.

  • Rico Stifler

    There are some really good players that could hit the market.

  • plunkhead

    GM Plunk Davis says keep DA and hire a new DC. It would be hard to get a Mel Tucker or a Ray Horton or a Mike Nolan nonetheless hire someone with experience, hopefully HC experience. Overpay a little because you save lots of money keeping DA and others already under contract,
    **
    I think Olsen and Soprono have done a decent job and I would keep both of them. maybe let Olsen go if you think Sop is better. Now if DA falters at all next year replace him with someone on staff. Olsen, Sop or new D coach.
    **
    One big reason for this is lots of coaches will be let go this year and Meddlesome will be picking crumbs up off the floor after the big boys have dined on the best coaches. GM Plunks method ensures a smooth transition and shows future coaches meddlesome will keep his word and not fire them under contract for lousy reasons., especially since Reg may be more to blame then the DA

  • Ron69

    I can see a trade for Kirk Cousins, a couple of 3rds might seal the deal, Pryor will get the ax i’m sure.

  • Rico Stifler

    Same here. Maybe trade Pryor and a Third for cousins. That’d give the redskins a back up with the same skill set as rgme

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    Could the Montgomery IR be another King maneuver?

    Reggie better be careful, Goodell don’t like that sheit.

  • Charlie

    SnB East Oak

    I was battling it out on my own earlier today and I think I was able to gain some better understanding with the post below regarding how there is no quick fix to winning football. That being a passing juggernaut is not the answer to winning a championship.

    “At a minimum you must be proficient at FIVE facets to win a
    championship. Run and stopping the run. Passing and stopping the pass. Special teams.
    These five facets all feed off one another. They are not compartmentalized.
    They inter relate. Example: Teams that excel at stopping the run force teams to become one dimensional and force more 3rd and longs. On the surface you might say that team has a great pass defense. The reality is their TOTAL defense has
    been enhanced by excelling at one of the five phases I alluded to earlier.

    That is why building strong lines is the basis of all winning football. We can debate how that talent is acquired but you will NEVER win championships with weak line play.”

  • Davy Jones

    That doesn’t sound like the Reggie Mac I know.

  • disqus_yeZNegncsV

    Not a good deal for the Skins. TP does NOT have Rg3′s skill set.

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    So Jerry tweets that Vance Walker isn’t practicing, but our buddy Chachi says he is back practicing.
    However I am sure Jerry is actually in attendance while Scott is trying to cheat off his classmates and just forgot to change the name at the top of the paper.

  • Davy Jones

    Looking for an interview with Reggie Mac where he talked about not spending too much despite the $70 mil, and came across this quote from April: “But as far as taking our bruises now, I do want you to know we’re in this to win this year. We will compete. This is not a throw-in-the-towel deal.”

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    Did you just requote yourself, and then say you got a better understanding, from your own comment?
    That is pretty awesome. Very Ron Burgundy-esque
    Proud of you

  • Davy Jones

    They did not win. They did throw in the towel.

  • eastoaklandraider

    you will rarely change an opinion here, you just have to speak from your perspective and keep it movin.

  • Rico Stifler

    Runs a lot and is a bad passer… Sounds like RGMe to me.

  • Twinkle

    Papa was saying on 95.7 that Jano never watches film and that basically Shane was his ‘swing coach’.He would adjust the ball a hair to accommodate for Jano’s pre-game tendencies.I imagine not resigning Shane cost us 1 maybe 2 games.Papa reckoned they hung with each other more than they hung out with their wives.

  • https://twitter.com/MimiPeepeechimi Just Fire Baby

    Sebastian might be the biggest disappointment this year for us. I think his career has officially peaked and we are now on the downside of it.
    And of course, Big Reg gave him an extension.

  • eastoaklandraider

    JimmyG wont and neither will Cutler, the rest of the guys are slightly above avg players unless I’m missing someone.

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS

    And what exactly was he SUPPOSED to say? “50 million in dead money prevented us from getting a decent roster, so we’re gonna blow chunks this year. And don’t forget to buy your season tickets!”

  • Twinkle

    Nice……!

  • Rico Stifler

    Saints are 25M over the cap and tagging Graham will cost 11M. Don’t see how they can keep him. Decker, Back, Michael Johnson, Bennett, Orakpo, Allen, Ward, Byrd, Shields, Melton, Tillman are all average players? Really?

  • the authoritative dr robert

    New post

  • seymour bush

    New post. Losers.

  • Twinkle

    I go hours before the game(when I go) to watch him kick.Used to often just be the three of em.It is amazing….with no pressure Shane would be talking to Seabass with his hold hand out and the ball hits his hand with the laces in exactly the same place every time with Shane talking the the whole time….they were money man.And the sound of the ball being struck in a half empty stadium.Or when the other team’s K comes out to try his warmup from 45yds and right beside him is Jano banging them through going the opposite way…Awesome!!Losing Shane was big big mistake….cest la vie!

  • RaiderLen

    That’s what He’s earning this Season. It probably might take a bit more, but i’d imagine guaranteed Money could have an effect on the deal.

  • rioderek

    That so-called loser coached a super bowl team. How many coaches on this planet can put that on their resume. he had 1 losing season EVER. DA has done nothing but lose. GTFOH bozo !

  • eastoaklandraider

    None of those guys are stars, Decker is not a #1, dont know who Back is, MJ,Bennett,Orakpo,Allen, etc are slightly above avg players but not dominant. Only dominant player on the market will be JimmyG the rest are either starting to get long in the tooth or have injury problems or just slightly above avg.

  • Raider Rick

    Great, more future draft picks on a QB that was great for a couple of games…….

  • Raiderfusion

    He sure as hell was last game, and I can’t say he’s been great either last year or this year. Move him to LG, sign Mack and don’t look back. I want a great line caller not a fair one.

  • Raider Rocker

    It’s Sparano. Spa, not Sop.

  • Rico Stifler

    I am sorry, I am just astounded at your lack of NFL knowledge..Oh, it was supposed to be Mack, not Back.
    There are few stars in the league. But these players are around players for you to turn up your nose at like a spoiled brat. Some of those players have made pro bowls.
    -Decker is a very good WR and he has taken over games despite competing with D. Thomas. J. Thomas and Welker for targets.
    -Mack is one of the best young centers in the league. He’d could 11M for the Browns to tag.
    -Melton made pro bowl last year but he suffered a knee injury mid season this year.
    -Michael Johnson posted 17 total sacks in 2011-12. This year his stats are up across the board except his sacks.
    -Michael Bennett has 20.5 sacks dating back to 2011. Has been a good presence for both the Bucs and Seahawks.
    -Brian Orakpo has 39.5 sacks in 5 years so far and that includes him missing almost the entire season last year. He has had at least 8.5 sacks the other four season with 10 sacks this season.
    -Jared Allen has been a dominant DE for much of his career. He is getting older but he is still playing at a high level. I’d give him a 2 year deal cuz of his age.

    -Ward and Byrd are two of the best young safeties in the league right now. Ward is a hard hitting safety while Byrd is more of a ball-hawk type.

    -Charles Tillman is an older CB who has been very good throughout his career. Usually gets 3-5 picks a year. He’d be a very good presence for any younger DBs who can also lead by example.

    -Sam Shields is a very good young CB. He has 10 picks and 36 passes defensed over the last three seasons.

  • Rico Stifler

    No it isn’t. His rookie deal was 5 years, 14.6M. The deal I proposed is more than twice what his rookie deal is. He has a cap number of 5M this year cuz it is the last year of his deal. The last year is typically the year with the highest cap hit.

  • Carl weathers

    Don’t get confused and think I back DA.

  • UCLA Raider

    Big polish kid didn’t deserve the money RM gave him for sure if you look across the bay and see the kicker Winers got dirt cheap and the guy hasn’t missed a kick. This was another Flynn type of contract RM didn’t really need to do but did anyway despite tight salcap situation.
    I like RM but he has shown recklessness in throwing money at these two guys.