AFC West: Zach Miller

Upon Further Review: Seahawks Week 11

November, 18, 2013
11/18/13
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A review of four hot issues from the Seattle Seahawks' 41-20 victory against the Minnesota Vikings:

[+] EnlargePercy Harvin
AP Photo/John FroschauerSeattle is hoping that Percy Harvin will be able to produce during Saturday's playoff game.
Oh that offensive line: With all the starters back on the offensive line, the Seahawks looked like the offense that can make the big plays that matter. Russell Wilson was sacked only once (which he called a coverage sack) and wasn’t hit much. Returning tackles Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini did have a little rust after the long layoff. Okung was flagged for holding on what would have been a 58-yard gain for Seattle on a deep pass to Percy Harvin that was an interference call. And Giacomini was beaten by Minnesota defensive end Brian Robison on the one sack. But overall, it was a strong effort and showed how good the line can be with all its starters in the game.

Percy's tumor talk: Harvin shocked everyone after the game when he said he had a tumor removed last year. No one knew for sure what he was talking about at first or how serious it was. But the Seahawks' public relations staff later learned that doctors found a tumor (apparently benign) on his appendix when Harvin had an appendectomy in late November in Minnesota, three weeks after he went on injured reserve with an ankle injury. That little oddity aside, Harvin showed his stuff in his Seahawks debut with a 58-yard kickoff return and an athletic 17-yard catch on his finger tips that kept a Seattle TD drive alive in the second quarter.

Wilson stays perfect at home: Wilson just can do no wrong at CenturyLink Field. He now is 13-0 at home in his NFL career, and those 13 consecutive home wins are a franchise record. Wilson was 13-of-18 for 230 yards with two TDs and a 151.4 quarterback rating. Both TD throws were eye-catching. The first was 19 yards to Doug Baldwin when Wilson lofted it over two defenders in a place where Baldwin was the only person who could catch it in the back corner of the end zone. The other TD toss was an improvising move when Wilson was scrambling in the middle of the field and let go a shovel pass to Marshawn Lynch at just the right moment for a 6-yard score. Wilson’s 13 completions went to eight different receivers, including four catches for tight end Zach Miller.

Hauschka is a kicking clinic: Seattle kicker Steve Hauschka is having a remarkable season. He was 2-for-2 on field goals Sunday, including a 50-yarder, and has made 24 of 25 attempts this season. His only miss was a blocked attempt at Indianapolis, which wasn’t his fault. Come playoff time with a game on the line, Hauschka could be the difference for the Seahawks.
Tight end appears to be an area that the Oakland Raiders need to work on.

Last summer, strong pass-catcher Zach Miller signed as a free agent with Seattle. The Raiders signed Kevin Boss from the Giants. However, Boss was cut this offseason in a salary-cap dump. He is now with the Chiefs.

The Raiders are going to camp with Brandon Myers, David Ausberry and Richard Gordon as their primary tight ends.

Myers is the most experienced player of the three. He has 32 career catches in three seasons. Ausberry, a converted receiver, had two catches as a rookie last season. Gordon, also a rookie last season, had one catch.

Oakland coach Dennis Allen has been impressed with the group in the offseason. Gordon, primarily a blocker, made strides as a receiver in the offseason and Ausberry has strong pass-catching skills. Yet, he has to prove he can play tight end at the highest level. Myers has come through when asked to early in his career.

Because of salary-cap issues, the Raiders have to rely on their inexperience at tight end and it will be one of the positions that will be most closely watched in the preseason. Perhaps Oakland will seek help at the position if an experienced veteran gets cut during the summer. If not, it must hope these young players catch on quickly.

Raiders score three comp picks

March, 26, 2012
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The Oakland Raiders received three badly needed compensatory draft picks.

While these picks are far from ensuring the team they are going to get contributors, it does help salvage a weak class. Oakland received picks in the third, fourth and fifth rounds in next month’s draft. Oakland has the first comp pick in the third (No. 95) and fifth (No. 168) and the second comp pick of the fourth round (129). The comp picks will be added at the end of the third-through-seventh rounds. Comp picks cannot be traded.

The picks more than doubled Oakland’s draft class. Oakland has its own picks in the fifth and sixth rounds. It’s certainly not ideal that Oakland has to wait until the 95th pick to join the draft and having two picks in the first 129 picks is a tough road, but the Raiders’ draft is in better shape than it was going into Monday.

Under the rules for compensatory draft selections, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in the previous year are eligible to receive compensatory draft picks.

In 2011, Oakland lost free agents Nnamdi Asomugha, Robert Gallery, Bruce Gradkowski, Zach Miller and Thomas Howard and signed Kevin Boss and Stephon Heyer. Teams do not get credit for comp pick consideration for cutting players.

San Diego will receive a comp pick in the seventh round (No. 248) even though it did suffer a net loss of compensatory free agents last year. Under the league’s formula, the compensatory free agents lost by San Diego were ranked lower than the ones they signed (by a specified point differential based upon salary and performance). San Diego lost Darren Sproles and Kevin Burnett, while it signed Takeo Spikes and Travis LaBoy.

In total, 15 teams received a total of 32 picks.

Michael Bush to visit Seahawks

March, 19, 2012
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The free-agent running back market has been slow to develop and Michael Bush has been a part of that unexpected lag.

Bush
Bush
But interest in the Raiders running back's services has been picking up. ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting Bush will visit the Seattle Seahawks on Tuesday. In Seattle, he’d be reunited with former Oakland head coach Tom Cable and former Raiders tight end Zach Miller.

Bush has already visited the Bears (where former Oakland starting quarterback Jason Campbell recently signed) and he is supposed to visit Cincinnati Monday. Former Oakland head coach Hue Jackson is on the Bengals’ staff.

At this point, it seems like Bush will not get a contract to start. Because of that, you would think he would consider remaining in Oakland as Darren McFadden’s partner. But because the Raiders have some cap restrictions and other needs (they are still hunting for several cornerbacks, including Shawntae Spencer and Tracy Porter), re-signing Bush right now may not be a top priority.

But if the market for Bush cools down, perhaps a return to Oakland would become more realistic.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the Oakland Raiders are cutting tight end Kevin Boss. Boss signed a four-year, $16 million dollar deal last summer with $6 million in guaranteed money.

This move is another indication of major change in the leadership structure of the team. New general manager Reggie McKenzie is not showing much sentiment for the final free-agent class of former owner Al Davis, who died in October. Davis was closely involved with all of the Raiders’ free-agent moves last summer.

Davis signed Boss to be a replacement for Zach Miller, who departed for Seattle last summer. Known as a strong receiver with the New York Giants, Boss was often injured last season in Oakland and he didn’t make a great impact. However, he did have his moments and he appeared to be the type of player who could have a good future with Oakland quarterback Carson Palmer. Boss had 28 catches for 368 yards last season.

The Raiders have been paring down contracts and releasing players in the past few weeks. Boss joins cornerback Stanford Routt as the latest high-profile player Davis gave a new deal to last year, only to be sent packing by McKenzie. Defensive players John Henderson and Kamerion Wimbley, who both signed new deals last year, could soon join Boss and Routt as former Raiders.

The Raiders are suddenly having more offseason needs than expected. They will be able to do a few things in free agency, but probably not too much and they will have a small draft class.

The Raiders are now lacking an experienced pass-catching threat at tight end. The tight ends currently on the Oakland roster are Brandon Myers, Richard Gordon and David Ausberry.
A theme developed in the divisional playoff round: the dominance of the young, athletic tight end. Whether it was New England’s Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, or San Francisco’s Vernon Davis or New Orleans’ Jimmy Graham, the tight end took over.

It is clear a way to offensive success in the NFL is having one of these types of players. Let’s take a look at each AFC West’s teams situation at tight end:

Denver: The Broncos have an interesting crew of tight ends. It has veterans Daniel Fells and Dante Rosario and youngsters Julius Thomas and Virgil Green. Fells is a good blocker and receiver and the team would like to re-sign him. But they are excited about Thomas (who like Graham was a college basketball player) and Green. Thomas was a fourth-round pick and Green was a seventh-round pick. Green is further along than Thomas right now, but the team believes Thomas -- who was bothered by an ankle injury all season -- has Graham-like potential.

Kansas City: The Chiefs have a young stud in Tony Moeaki. They just need him to get healthy and to stay healthy. Moeki set some Kansas City rookie tight end records in 2010 (yes, the great Tony Gonzalez was a Chief rookie at one time), but missed all of the 2011 season with a knee injury. He is improving and the team is excited about his future.

Oakland: The Raiders signed Kevin Boss after Zach Miller shocked the team by signing with Seattle last summer. Boss has big-play ability, but he has some limitations. The Raiders could like to see more plays and better health from Boss in 2012.

San Diego: Antonio Gates is one of the best tight ends the NFL has ever seen. He has been dealing with injuries the past few seasons and he is likely on the back nine of his career. Still, he will be an impact player in the immediate future. Watch for San Diego to look for an eventual replacement fairly soon.

AFC West mailbag

January, 7, 2012
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Weekend mail call:

Tommy from San Diego wants to know if I think Philip Rivers will have a bounce-back year in 2012.

Bill Williamson: I would think so. Rivers just turned 30 and he is still in the prime of his career. He finished the season fairly strong. As long as the offensive line is competitive and the Chargers make some upgrades on offense, Rivers should be fine no matter whom his coach is.


Joe from St. Louis wants to know if I think the Chiefs will add a running back in the offseason.

BW: The talk is that Kansas City will add a bigger back to complement Jamaal Charles. Thomas Jones is not expected to be back. The Chiefs could add the back through free agency or in the draft. Charles is still the guy, but the Chiefs want to bring in a pounder to help.


AJ Prine from Victorville, Ca. wants to know what type of compensatory picks Oakland will get after the free-agent losses of Nnamdi Asomugha, Robert Gallery and Zack Miller.

BW: Compensatory picks are awarded on a complicated formula that puts several things into account. I think the Raiders, and this is just an educated guess, will get two third-round picks. The comp picks will be announced in March.

A look at Raiders' 2012 draft

October, 18, 2011
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Thanks to ESPN Stats & Information for putting together this nice chart on the Raiders 2012 draft picks:

Oakland Raiders 2012 draft picks:

1st round: Traded to Bengals for Carson Palmer

2nd round: Traded to Patriots for 2011 3rd- and 4th-rd picks

3rd round: Exercised in 2011 supplemental draft (Terrelle Pryor)

4th round: Traded to Redskins for Jason Campbell

5th round: Still own pick

6th round: Still own pick

7th round: Traded to Seahawks for Aaron Curry

Of course, the Raiders should get some relief. They are expected to be assigned two or three comp picks next spring. They will receive picks for the free-agent losses of players such as Nnamdi Asomugha, Zach Miller and Robert Gallery. The comp-pick process is a complicated formula based on play time and performance.

Still, it wouldn't be a shock if the Raiders get the top comp pick of the 20012 draft. That would be No. 97, at the end of the third round.

Meanwhile, Oakland coach Hue Jackson wouldn’t say Tuesday if Palmer will play Sunday against Kansas City. I’m sure it will depend on whether Palmer shows anything in practice, doesn’t have rust and if he knows the playbook enough.

Also, Jackson said he is behind Davis’ son, Mark Davis, and CEO Amy Trask the Raiders post Al Davis list of hierarchy list. Still, he appears to be the highest-ranking football man and he clearly has a lot of say in football decisions.

Meanwhile, the Raiders made another roster move besides acquiring Palmer on Tuesday.
The Oakland Raiders made their first move in the post-Al Davis universe and it was a very-Davis like move.

Oakland acquired Aaron Curry from Seattle. The linebacker was the No. 4 overall pick in the 2009 draft. He lost his starting job this season to a rookie, K.J. Wright.

Davis made a career of resurrecting the careers of former first-round picks. Curry has a chance to help Oakland at linebacker. He is known as an over-the-tight-end, strongside linebacker. He could compete with Quentin Groves at weakside linebacker.

The Raiders gave up two picks for him. Seattle will receive a seventh-round pick in 2012 and a mid-round conditional pick (fourth or fifth round) in 2013 based on Curry's playing time with Oakland, a source told ESPN senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen.

The Raiders don’t have second-, third-, fourth- or seventh-round picks in 2012. They should get compensatory picks for the losses of Nnamdi Asomugha, Zach Miller and Robert Gallery. The highest compensatory picks come at the end of the third round. The Raiders will be informed of what their compensatory picks are in the spring.

No stunners on MNF injury report

September, 10, 2011
9/10/11
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There are no surprises on the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos injury reports.

As expected, Oakland will be without receiver Louis Murphy (groin), tight end Kevin Boss (knee) and safety Mike Mitchell (knee). These players have all be out for an extended period and none of them have been expected to play Monday. Boss was brought in to replace Pro Bowl tight end Zach Miller, who bolted to Seattle as a free agent. But we’ll have to wait to see how Boss impacts Oakland’s offense. He will be replaced by Brandon Myers in the starting lineup.

Cornerback Chris Johnson, receivers Chaz Schilens and Derek Hagan and rookie running back Taiwan Joins are among the probable players for Oakland. Expected to see them all play Monday night barring a setback.

Denver didn’t have any surprises, either. Defensive starters Ty Warren (triceps), D.J. Williams (elbow) and Marcus Thomas (shoulder) all will not play. They’ve all been out awhile. Defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley and guard Chris Kuper are among the players Denver listed as probable. They both should play. One interesting note is receiver Demaryius Thomas had a finger injury kept him out of practice Friday. That, in the long term, is good news. Thomas started practicing this week after a suffering ruptured Achilles in February.

Meanwhile, Kansas City cut seventh-round pick Shane Bannon from the practice squad. The Chiefs replaced him with offensive lineman Lucas Patterson.

Reunion night in Seattle

September, 2, 2011
9/02/11
6:15
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Friday night, new Oakland head coach Hue Jackson and former Oakland coach Tom Cable will likely talk (postgame handshake is the likely venue) for the first time since the Raiders didn't extend Cable’s contract (nice, way of saying you’re fired) and promoted Jackson from offensive coordinator. Cable is now Seattle’s offensive line coach

Jackson indicated that there is no bad blood, but the lack of communication is just part of the process. There will be a few familiar faces for the Raiders in this game. Cable helped lure free agents Zach Miller and Robert Gallery to Seattle this summer.

In other AFC West nuggets:
  • With backup cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson out for the season with a torn Achilles, watch for Denver to scour the waiver wire closely for cornerbacks. It was already an area the team was thin at.
  • Denver quarterback Kyle Orton (sort of) addresses if he could welcome a contract extension in Denver in an interview with a Denver radio station. He is a free agent after the season.
  • San Diego receiver/returner Bryan Walters has an “outstanding” chance of making the 53-man roster.
  • The Chargers will get somewhat of an advantage by not having to face Minnesota star defensive tackle Kevin Williams in Week 1. Williams was suspended by the NFL for two games as part of the StarCaps saga.

Raiders' intelligence report

September, 1, 2011
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Here is Oakland’s preview page.

1. McFadden's health is key: Running back Darren McFadden is Oakland's best offensive player. The No. 4 overall pick in 2008 had a spectacular third NFL season. He developed into an inside threat as well as an outside threat. He will be a main reason Oakland has a chance to win a lot of games this season. But he has to stay healthy. The Raiders have a strong backup tailback in Michael Bush, but McFadden gives Oakland's offense a special dimension when he's on the field. If there is a ding on McFadden it is his durability. He has missed 10 games in three NFL seasons. He missed a large chunk of training camp this year with a broken orbital bone.

2. Boss will get his chances: Kevin Boss is not the player that former Oakland tight end Zach Miller is. Miller signed with Seattle this offseason. But Boss is a solid player who will get his chances to be featured in Oakland's offense. Jason Campbell loved throwing to tight end Chris Cooley in Washington and Miller was, by far, his favorite target last season. Expect Boss, who has 119 career catches in four NFL seasons, to get a chance to grab 45 to 50 catches this season.

3. Need to start fast: The bad news for Oakland is that its first two games are on the road. The good news is the roadies are at Denver (on ESPN's "Monday Night Football" on Sept. 12) and at Buffalo. The Raiders have a chance to start 2-0. They will need to. Their next two games are at home, but they are against the New York Jets and New England. If the Raiders stumble at Denver or Buffalo, they will put themselves in a tough spot.

4. Watch out for the D-line: The Raiders' defensive front has a chance to be among the best in the NFL. The group of Richard Seymour, Tommy Kelly, Matt Shaughnessy and Lamarr Houston can be special. Seymour is still playing at an elite level. Kelly is a run-stuffer who had a great season in 2010, and Houston and Shaughnessy are potential future Pro Bowl players. This is a mean, nasty group that should set the tone for a lot of victories for Oakland.

5. Don't forget about Ford: Jacoby Ford may have missed much of the preseason with a broken hand, but don't think he won't be ready to contribute this season. The 2010 fourth-round sensation should be ready to play Denver. Expect him to be a lightning rod for this offense. Ford will be a slot receiver, at the very least, and he could start. And don't forget his return ability. He took three kickoffs to the house as a rookie.

Late-summer AFC West checkpoint

August, 26, 2011
8/26/11
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This unusual NFL season is about to start in two weeks. A lot has happened in the month since the lockout has been lifted. With the signing period and training camps over, let’s take a checkpoint look at each AFC West team:

Denver

Key pickups: Running back Willis McGahee, defensive tackle Ty Warren (he could be out for the year with a triceps injury), defensive tackle Brodrick Bunkley, defensive end Derrick Harvey, tight end Daniel Fells.

Key losses: Offensive tackle Ryan Harris.

Story of camp: There has been quarterback news nearly at a daily clip. The fallout is this: Kyle Orton is the starter, Brady Quinn looks like he has the edge to be the backup and second-year quarterback Tim Tebow is currently the third-stringer after a less-than-spectacular training camp. Don’t expect Denver to trade or cut Tebow. He should be in Denver this year, but perhaps being nothing more than a special-package player. Give credit to both Orton (who was nearly dealt to Miami in the days right after the lockout ended) and to Quinn. Both have played well during the tumultuous time at the position.

Keep an eye on: Denver’s defense. The Broncos took a hit with Warren’s injury. He was the team’s big-ticket pickup and he was signed to give stability at the team’s weakest area. But the Broncos seem to have made some strides on defense this summer. The unit, which was No. 32 in the NFL last year, seems more aggressive and it has some playmakers. Pass-rushers Elvis Dumervil (back from missing all of last season with a pectoral injury) and No. 2 overall pick Von Miller look like they could give this unit life. It's clear new head coach John Fox has already positively impacted this unit.

Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson's view: "Denver may be better than people realize. I don’t love the offense, but it will be OK. Defensively, I think they will be much better. I think the front office had a promising offseason as they rebuild.”

Kansas City

Key pickups: Receiver Steve Breaston, defensive tackle Kelly Gregg, fullback Le'Ron McClain, offensive tackle Jared Gaither, linebacker Brandon Siler (he is out for season with a torn Achilles).

Key losses: Defensive linemen Ron Edwards and Shaun Smith

Story of camp: The defending AFC West champions had a nice, quiet, productive camp -- until the final days of it. The Chiefs built great momentum after adding several key veterans to an already-impressive roster. The only controversy was whether or not coach Todd Haley was taking a chance by taking camp slowly as a precaution because of missed time during the offseason due to the lockout. Then, the bombshell hit. It was reported that first-round pick Jon Baldwin and veteran running Thomas Jones had a locker room fight. Baldwin hurt his hand as a result and he is expected to miss the rest of the preseason. The Chiefs aren’t talking about it, but it is a strike against Baldwin, who had character concerns at Pitt. The Chiefs took Baldwin to help them win right away. This event isn’t a devastating blow, but it has to raise concerns.

Keep an eye on: Of all of the Chiefs’ moves, the signing of Gaither may be the most intriguing -- and the most promising if he can stay healthy. Before he missed all of last season with a back injury, Gaither was considered one of the better young left tackles in the NFL. Assuming he can play, Gaither could play either left tackle or right tackle. If he plays left tackle, Branden Albert would move to right tackle. He could further solidify a good line.

Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson's view: “I think Kansas City is the second-best team in the division. Give the Chiefs credit. They have surrounded Matt Cassel with every possible weapon to help make him successful. They are also solid on defense. I just don’t think they are as good as the Chargers.”

Oakland

Key pickups: Tight end Kevin Boss, quarterback Trent Edwards, quarterback Terrelle Pryor

Key losses: Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha, tight end Zach Miller, guard Robert Gallery

Story of camp: The Raiders lost some big names and they added some big names as they began the Hue Jackson era. However, a late-round pick from Tennessee stole the show in camp. It has been all about receiver Denarius Moore. He made headlines virtually every day in camp with one spectacular catch after another. Most importantly, he has played well in preseason games and he looks polished. Expect the Raiders to give this kid a chance to contribute right away once the regular season starts.

Keep an eye on: The Raiders’ health has been an issue all camp. Several players have missed serious time. Thus far, though, it doesn’t look like many key players will miss time in the regular season other than receiver Louis Murphy, who had surgery on an undisclosed injury, and young linebacker Travis Goethel is likely out for the year with a knee injury. The team said he won’t play at Denver on Sept. 12, but it hasn’t said how long he will be out. Other players such as Boss, receiver Chaz Schilens and cornerback Chris Johnson all could be back for the opener, which is part of an ESPN “Monday Night Football” doubleheader. Thus far, most of the injuries have been nagging and fairly minor. But sometimes the injury bug hits a team and doesn’t stop all season. For now, this is mostly a preseason nuisance.

Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson's view: "There are things I like. I love the front seven. I love Darren McFadden. But Jason Campbell is an average quarterback on a good day and the offensive line is in flux. Overall, inconsistencies make this the third best team in the division.”

San Diego

Key pickups: Linebacker Takeo Spikes, safety Bob Sanders, pass-rusher Travis LaBoy

Key losses: Running back Darren Sproles, linebacker Kevin Burnett, receiver Legedu Naanee.

Story of camp: I didn't sense this team scrambling to make up for lost time following the lockout. For the most part, the key components of this team are in place and several players worked out together locally during the length of the lockout. The Chargers had seemingly a zillion free agents and they kept the players they wanted. So, it has been a smooth camp in San Diego as continuity has been the key.

Keep an eye on: A lot has been made of the arrival of Spikes and Sanders to the No. 1-ranked defense in the NFL. But don’t discount impact of No. 18 overall pick Corey Liuget. The Illinois product has been outstanding. He has taken over the preseason games at times. He is an explosive defensive end who quickly gets into the backfield. The game doesn’t seem too big for Liuget. Expect him to be an instant starter and have a chance to be a premier player early in his career.

Scouts Inc.'s Matt Williamson's view: “I think San Diego is clearly the class of the division. I don’t think people are paying enough attention to this team. I love the offense. Philip Rivers is good as it gets. He has great weapons. Defensively, this team has added playmakers at every level. If the special teams can improve even marginally, they are going to win a lot more games. This could be the year. I think they are a sleeper team that could win it all.”
The NFL world is still reacting to the Raiders’ selection of former Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor in the third round of the supplemental draft Monday. ESPN columnist Jemelle Hill believes it’s a low-risk endeavor for Oakland.

I’ve been deluged with questions from readers about what Pryor’s selection means. Let’s take this opportunity to answer some of your questions on the matter:

Keith Warren from Louisville wants to know if Pryor could play a “slash” role like Kordell Stewart used to play.

Bill Williamson: Oakland coach Hue Jackson has said Pryor will be given the chance to play quarterback first and then the Raiders will take it from there. If Pryor doesn’t develop, he could play a receiver. Still, I could see the Raiders making Pryor a slash-type player if he doesn’t become the starting quarterback. The lure of Pryor is his size, speed and overall athleticism. That’s what the team will focus on.

Jared L from Eugene wants to know if I think Pryor could play tight end.

BW: I could see him starting off at receiver before tight end if he is ever switched from quarterback. He is 6-foot-6, 240 and he runs a.4.41 40-yard dash. He’d make a dangerous receiver. I’m not sure he is rugged enough to be a tight end. But the determination of whether he’ll be a receiver or a tight end will be made later.

Tommy from San Jose wants to know when I think Pryor will sign his deal with the Raiders.

BW: I don’t think there will be much of a hold up. The Raiders need to get Pryor on board as soon as possible and his pay scale is all but figured out. He should receive around $2.36 million over four years and about $600,000 in bonus money. This deal should not be hard to finalize.

Mike from L.A. wants to know if I think Pryor will appeal his suspension.

BW: Pryor has said he will appeal his five-game suspension if the Raiders want him to. The NFL usually sticks it its guns on these things, so I don’t think an appeal would have much of a change other than knocking a game or two off his original suspension. The longer Pryor is on the suspension list, the longer the Raiders can hold off on deciding if they will cut either Trent Edwards or Kyle Boller. Once Pryor returns, it may be a lot to ask of Oakland to carry four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster.

Nema from San Francisco wants to know what kind of compensatory picks could the Raiders expect after losing Nnamdi Asomugha, Zach Miller and Robert Gallery in free agency.

BW: This is important because Oakland now doesn’t have its second, third and fourth-round picks in 20102. The comp-pick system is complicated. Oakland will surely get some picks, but it is impossible to figure out exactly what it will get. I think it will likely get, at last two picks and I’m sure it will get at least one pick at the end of the third round. This is one of the reasons why Oakland felt good about using a third rounder on Pryor.

Terrelle Pryor likely will not help the Oakland Raiders in 2011.

He is getting a late start and he will serve a five-game suspension at the start of the season. For a player who is already considered a project, his rookie season will likely be lost.

The real question is will the former Ohio State quarterback be worth the risk Oakland took by using its 2012 third-round draft pick on him in Monday's supplemental draft?

Let’s get this out of the way right now: Taking Pryor with a third-round pick is too high. It just is. He is not a polished player. He needs a lot of work. There’s even a chance Oakland could eventually move him to receiver, so there is no clear path for him.

But the allure is that Pryor is supremely athletic. He ran a 4.41 40-yard dash at his pro day on Saturday. At 6-foot-6 and 240 pounds, that is stunningly fast. But Pryor (who’ll likely sign a four-year deal worth around $2.34 million with about $600,000 in bonus money, according to the rookie-pool scale) is raw. With his size, speed and arm strength, Pryor is certainly worth trying to develop, even though there are major concerns about his game.

In the end, the Raiders’ decision to take him was predictable. The Raiders always take speed players. That’s why Darrius Heyward-Bey was taken with the No. 7 overall pick in 2009 despite questions about his hands and readiness. That’s why cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke was taken in the third round in April despite the fact he wasn’t a full-time starter in college. That’s why running back Taiwan Jones was taken in the fourth round this year despite the fact he came from a small school and he has durability concerns. I'm not saying all of these choices were bad, but they fit the Raiders' profile just like Monday's choice of Pryor does.

Speed rules owner Al Davis’ world. Now he has another speed demon with legitimate football questions in Pryor.

I think what sealed Oakland’s decision to take Pryor was the fact that it will get some compensatory draft picks in 2012 because of the departures of Nnamdi Asomugha, Zach Miller and Robert Gallery in free agency. The comp-pick process is complicated, and Oakland may get just two picks. But I could see it getting two picks at the end of the third round. The comp picks will not be awarded until next offseason.

Oakland will need those choices. It doesn’t have as second-, third- or fourth-round pick now. This is not a team without needs. Taking Pryor could compromise future movements.

But, in the best-case scenario, the Raiders get a solid, young quarterback they can develop. Starter Jason Campbell is not under contract after this season. It’s smart that the Raiders have a youngster to develop.

It will be interesting to see how Oakland addresses its quarterback situation once Pryor’s suspension is over. Trent Edwards and Kyle Boller back up Campbell. Will Oakland carry four quarterbacks on the 53-man roster for much of the season?

We’ll see. That is the only short-term concern about this selection. Taking Pryor is all about the future.

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