Fans of the Oakland Raiders had to wait until the very last pick on Friday night, April 27, in the 2012 NFL draft to find out who the team picked in the third round. They chose Tony Bergstrom, the first pick without the Raiders’ iconic owner, Al Davis, who passed away just last October.
The Utah guard will likely compete with veteran Cooper Carlisle for the starting left guard position. Fortunately for general manager Reggie McKenzie, his name was still left on the board after so many were already chosen. Bergstrom was one of the “hopefuls” on McKenzie’s list.
Coach Dennis Allen remarked, “He’s a guy that fits the type of scheme that we’re going to be here, with some of the zone-blocking stuff and his ability to get to the second level. When you watch tape on him, I think you can tell not only by watching tape that this guy loves football, but he also has the athleticism that you need to run our type of zone-blocking scheme. So we’re excited about him, and think he’s going to be a real good player for us.”
He should help running back Darren McFadden do what he does best by giving him some room to run down the field.
The bigger news that was revealed, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, is that the Raiders will sign Matt Leinart as backup quarterback. Oakland needed a guy with some experience in the position, with their only backups on the roster being third-string quarterback Terrelle Pryor and Rhett Bomar who was signed in January following his release from the Minnesota Vikings. Kyle Boller is still listed on their web site, but is an unsigned free agent.
Leinart worked with the Raiders new offensive coordinator Greg Knapp while they were both a part of the Houston Texans, and Leinart and Palmer both came from USC. Leinart has not had much success post-college football as Palmer, but he’s certainly better than Kyle Boller, and this signing will give Pryor more time to develop. Another good move by McKenzie, in my opinion.
K.C. Dermody grew up in the Bay Area of California, and has been an Oakland Raiders fan for her entire life. She has continued her loyalty to the team through its many ups and downs over the decades, and has been privileged to meet several of her favorite players, including famed quarterback, Jim Plunkett. Follow her on Twitter @kcdermody or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kcdermodywriter.
More from this contributor:
Who Was the Oakland Raiders’ Best Steal in the 2011 Draft? Fan Perspective
’76 Oakland Raiders Named Greatest Team of All Time Proves Strength of Raider Nation: Fan Take
Will Philip Wheeler Sign with Oakland? Plus Raiders Trade Bruce Campbell for Mike Goodson: Fan’s Take
Oakland Raiders’ Three Compensatory Picks Another Good Sign for 2012: Fan Reaction