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Raiders cap draft with versatile OL Vadal Alexander

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The Raiders took OL Vadal Alexander in the seventh round of the NFL Draft. (LSU Athletics photo)

The Raiders took OL Vadal Alexander in the seventh round of the NFL Draft. (LSU Athletics photo)

The Raiders wrapped Day 3 of the NFL draft by selecting offensive lineman Vadal Alexander of Louisiana State in the seventh round.

The 6-foot-6, 329-pound Alexander was the 234th overall pick and a player who came into the week projected as high as a second- or third-round pick.

“I’m surprised I lasted this long,” Alexander said. “It’s something I wasn’t expecting, but God has a plan. I’m a firm believer in my Lord and savior Jesus Christ. Everything happens for a reason in my mind, but I absolutely am surprised that I lasted this long.”

Among his 46 career starts for LSU, he played left guard in 25 games and was at right tackle for 21. It was at tackle that he earned second-team All-American and first-team All-SEC honors this past season after playing guard his sophomore and junior seasons.

Alexander was a team captain as a senior and a durable lineman who at one point started 32 straight starts. He played 3,033 career snaps and had 315 knockdown blocks.

His stock seemed to be hurt by a slow 40-yard dash time of 5.57 seconds and he’s not considered athletic enough to play tackle at the NFL level. The Raiders list him as a guard and Alexander is under the belief that’s where they plan to play him.

“I’ve grown a love for both of them,” Alexander said of the guard and tackle spots. “I don’t really favor one over the other.”

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Jimmy Durkin

Sports writer for the Bay Area News Group, covering the Raiders.

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    SnBG will tell you that.

  • PlunkforHOF

    Of course. Mine was more trying to eat spaghetti with the family while peaking, but it sounds like we were both lyserging at the same time in the same vicinity.

  • R8der4evr

    Oh yes, he was hating on Cook earlier and I let him have it
    Connor is A Raider now….
    BTW still have mad respect for Mcgloin who I named
    ” The Irishman”

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    I did that once.
    And only once.

  • Goldie7

    awesome!

  • Gdog

    Maybe I missed it. Do you give this draft an A+, or an A++++++ like Ralphie from the Xmas Story?

  • Chris in NY

    I think they mostly picked good college players who will be average at best pros, except for Joseph who, if healthy, will be awesome. And Ward, who has the upside to dominate.

  • R8der4evr

    I don’t give out grades until the helmets get strapped on
    On paper we got some great value
    Ok?

  • Gdog

    NFL.com gave us a B. Not bad. Except KC got a straight A, and Denver and SD both B+’s

    shrug

  • 2romes

    What grade do u give us?

  • R8der4evr

    Cook may not play much but as they are saying RIGHT now about him a QB is the MOST important player in sports.
    Having two potential stars is a huge advantage no matter how you twist it.
    Cook was a 2nd rounder that we gave up little for.

  • R8der4evr

    You walking a plank?
    Oh man what will we do?

  • Chris in NY

    On the bright side, we already had enough talent to contend. Joseph will be a big addition if he can stay healthy. Ward could be really good in a year if they develop him.

  • Gdog

    B if Washington is anywhere close to a part time starter that does well.

    F he is just a third down back. Which everyone is saying he will be.

    Murray is a concussion from having T Jones and Washington as our featured backs!

    While Musgrave sends every play up the gut!

  • R8der4evr

    F?
    GDog crap

  • Gdog

    Just reporting stuff as a courtesy.

    So was this an A+ draft?

  • Gdog

    You missed “B?”

  • Chris in NY

    I like Cook. There were some QB needy teams that were foolish to pass. But I’m a McGloin fan and I envision him holding on to the backup spot. Cook should be one of the best 3rd QBS in the league.

  • Gdog

    A+ or A++++++++ R8der.. tell us!

  • R8der4evr

    Say Wentz,Goff or even Lynch fail which more than likely will happen
    that one will, is Cook such a gamble then?

  • R8der4evr

    Can’t do it yet
    On paper it looks very good for where guys were projected, especially pre- injured Joseph who should be fine and may have been a top 7-8 pick

  • Realistic GG projections…

    Joseph is a day one starter, and DROY/Pro-Bowl candidate. Will be a fan favorite very quickly.

    Ward will resemble Edwards’ rookie season…taking a bit of time to acclimate and get spot duty mid-to-late in the season, finally emerging as an above-average player by the end of the season.

    Calhoun will start early in the season, and will be a solid contributor. Slowly but surely getting more productive as the season wears on.

    Cook will displace McGloin as back-up QB during training camp/pre-season, and ultimately get a start or two this season if/when Carr gets a little short-term injury. He will wow.

    Washington will immediately step in day one as the back-up RB. One-two punch with Murray. He will be above-average from the get go. A better Taiwan Jones.

    James will be a core special teamer. He might get some snaps as ILB/OLB mid-to-late in the season, and will esteem himself well.

    Alexander will start off as a back-up OLman, filling in along the line at C, G, T. But wont be too long in the season before he becomes one of our starting Guards and impresses mostly at run-blocking. Will make some mistakes with interior pass-protection, but all up a steal..

  • Gdog

    So just A+?

    Got it…

  • R8der4evr

    Nice break down and all very possible

  • R8der4evr

    If you say so ok
    Lol

  • Purvisman/Eternal Optimist

    And then I HAVE THE GREEN SMILEY STORY.
    Sorry about the caps.

  • diff

    New post

  • R8der4evr

    Matt is a good trooper but to think his accolades are greater than Connors is unfair.
    Matt is a fighter but Connor is more of a traditional prototype NFL QB

  • xraided

    Alexander starting over Jackson? not so sure about that

    i like him at RT. has experience there and PB is his forte

  • 2romes

    That makes sense to me. Hopefully we will get the B grade when it is all said and done.

  • 2romes

    No

  • not over jackson. osemele will kick out to RT eventually.

  • R8drTahoe in SF

    I’m always sensitive… very in touch with my feelings. Oh, are you not that kind of Doc?

  • Dan Walker

    It feels great to know we have a playoff caliber team and don’t need to stress over this draft. For once we need pieces to plug in, not half a team. Teams are starting to fear us again which we all have to enjoy.

  • adam

    http://youtu.be/S28P-Vbl2lU
    Good draft fellas! Ain’t gonna beech n moan about a couple. Durned excited about the Haitian for sure

  • we u got your guy!