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Allen: 2013 draft class `backbone’ for future

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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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • RediaR

    Allen is about 7th on my list of FA pass rushers. Would still take him though.

  • RaiderLen

    Here’s an interesting tid bit for those of us that would like to see Alex Mack in Silver and Black…

    Center Alex Mack and strong safety T.J. Ward are Cleveland’s two best impending free agents. Ward is the more likely franchise tag candidate because Mack would receive a financial windfall. The franchise tag doesn’t account for the salary differences at the three main offensive line positions (center, guard and tackle). The offensive lineman franchise number is expected to be slightly over $11 million while only two centers, Ryan Kalil and Nick Mangold, have contracts averaging over $7.5 million per year. The $8 million safety franchise tag number is more indicative of the strong safety marketplace, where Kam Chancellor’s $7 million contract extension in April is a recent data point.

  • AutumnThunderstorm

    If we draft Barr or Mack, Raiders will go to 3-4.
    DL won’t be that big of a need depth wise, but will still need impact players.

  • NYCRaider

    show me a link that proves your no offset claims. 20-29 million of the dead money is all on RM. But you will never admit that or hold RM accountable for any bad decisions, In your class its blame all bad RM decisions on Al and give him credit for just being present. They call that a scholarship. Where is your documentation Charlie on the offset claim. Heres my link that proves RM actions in just 1 year created 20-29 mil in this years dead money.Think we could of used 20 million to spend on players?http://www.overthecap.com/teamcap.php?Team=Raiders&Year=2013

  • RediaR

    Not to mention there were terrible draft and FA QB classes last year.

  • eastoaklandraider

    if we had left Houston at DT from the get go its no doubt in my mind that he would be one of the premier DT’s in the game today in the WSapp Kevin Williams mold instead of an avg DE.

  • BossKnows01

    Reggie got fleeced in the deal, no way around it, the JR, Tui, Walter, Pryor picks have no bearing on RM’s decision to pay Flynn 6.5 mil then cut him after 1 start, none.

  • MEX_GHOST

    I thought “10 and then” was a joke.

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS

    How does one get “fleeced” for a fifth-rounder?

  • SnBG

    Reggie McKenzie, inherited a mess because of the previous regime’s penchant for signing bad player-friendly contracts. The Raiders began Reg’s first offseason with $145 million committed towards the season’s cap, which is $120.6 million, when they only had approximately $3 million of cap room to carryover from the 2011 season. In order to reduce their cap obligations by approximately $22 million to comply with cap rules, McKenzie restructured (Carson Palmer, Richard Seymour, etc.) and terminated contracts.

  • BossKnows01

    He got fleeced for picking up the tab on Flynn’s out of whack salary, that’s how….he paid Flynn 6.5 mil to crap his pants for one game against Washington.

  • HELLSBELLS

    I would do that for a half a mill.

  • BossKnows01

    And he is currently paying GB for a QB that’s about to lead them into the playoffs

  • HELLSBELLS

    No doubt, would give guards fits.

  • HELLSBELLS

    It is a bad joke.

  • Rico Stifler

    I’d love to see us sign Mack. He would be a huge boost to the line.

  • Chino

    @VicTafur: Recently-signed DE Sam Montgomery practiced Wednesday but was placed on practice squad/injured reserve yesterday. #Raiders
    Well that’s that

  • HELLSBELLS

    Kill 2 birds with one stone as we could slide Wiz to LG.

  • Chino

    Still think 3 mil is too much for a kicker

  • MEX_GHOST

    It isn´t a joke, this is making into reality!

  • RediaR

    Would kill one bird with one stone because Wiz at C isn’t a weakness.

  • RaiderLen

    There has been some speculation that the Browns might Franchise him, but having read the info above I doubt it.

    Good for us. Wiz becomes an UFA after next season.

  • RediaR

    Not really…

  • Rico Stifler

    Indeed. I don’t see the need to replace Brisiel right now as he has been pretty solid this year. We could draft a guard mid round or sign one in 2015 depending how Brisiel does next season.

  • HELLSBELLS

    Back to the grind.

  • RaiderLen

    That’s how I see it.

  • Rico Stifler

    He has had several bad snaps that have resulted in turnovers..

  • SnBG

    Mack would be a fantastic addition. Make it happen Len.

  • MEX_GHOST

    Are the 2003-2013 seasons a beautiful dream??

  • RaiderLen

    Let Me go check the couch cushions, I’ve got some coin in there for sure. lol

  • eastoaklandraider

    if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

  • RaiderLen

    Kill Joy….

  • Jim Jesus

    He can work on that. I am sure Wiz will do what the TEAM wants him to do. At any rate we need to keep Wiz for his carreer

  • Jim Jesus

    Nightmare actually.

  • Rico Stifler

    I can agree with that.

  • eastoaklandraider

    Maybe it can happen if DA gets fired which I also doubt.

  • MEX_GHOST

    But a REAL Nightmare.

  • Charlie

    Boss
    Regarding the Flynn deal:
    The JR pick had no impact? That is a ten year problem.
    The talent poor roster Reggie inherited had no impact?
    The cap had no impact???
    No picks in 2012 had no impact????
    TP and his slow development had no impact????
    Please awaken from your dream.

  • jtdxyz

    is green bay, or buffalo on the hook for any of the 6.5 mil ???

  • Al_is_theraiders

    lmao…

  • Rico Stifler

    I can see Mack getting a deal like 5 years, 30M.

  • eastoaklandraider

    Who cares.

  • Al_is_theraiders

    like the one where you think reggie can win?

  • Al_is_theraiders

    keep bringing the excuses…you can post this sundays ahead of time if you like…

  • Chino

    Couple guys did

  • SnBG

    Just get on your bat phone to Reg and get it done young man.

  • Rico Stifler

    No. Flynn’s 6.5M became guaranteed week one.

  • Sir Raider Duck, OMS

    Shrug. He’ll be in camp next year and we’ll see what happens. Totally no-risk signing.

  • eastoaklandraider

    C’mon a guy signing this time a year means what? absolutely nothing. Its not like he’s an all-pro.

  • Rico Stifler

    I had a dream of an Utopian society. It was awesome cuz you didn’t exist in it.