With the 48th pick of Pride of Detroit's 2011 NFL Mock Draft, the Oakland Raiders select TCU offensive tackle Marcus Cannon. BBlades is serving as the Raiders' general manager, and his reasoning for the pick is below.
Al Davis likes the flashy, big pop kind of players that are going to get him noticed. Hence players like Darrius Heyward-Bey, JaMarcus Russell, Darren McFadden, and so on. The biggest problem facing the Raiders right now is their offensive line. The Raiders have ranked in the top six in sacks allowed for the past two seasons and in the top 11 for six straight years. Even though the Raiders haven't picked an offensive lineman higher than the third round since 2004 (Robert Gallery second overall and Jake Grove in the second round), they will put together a smart draft and select on offensive lineman to protect their QB and help establish a power run game. Also, it doesn't hurt that Mario Henderson, Samson Satele, Langston Walker, and the aforementioned Robert Gallery's contracts are all up.
The Raiders had a decent running game last year, with Darren McFadden finally looking like the person they wanted to draft. However, they were ranked 15th in power run success. Power run success is percentage of third or fourth down runs of two or less yards that achieve a first down or touchdown. Also included in this stat are runs on first and goal and second and goal from within the two-yard line. That needs to improve, as does pass protection for a QB that likes to hold on to the ball and has a relatively slow and deliberate delivery.
With that being said, the Raiders are ecstatic to draft Marcus Cannon. He is a polished blocker that moved from right tackle to left tackle in college and played very well against some very talented pass rushers. At 6'5" and right around 360 lbs. he might need to drop a little bit of weight to keep up with speed rushers. However, Al Davis will like the fact that for his size he does have pretty good speed. He takes good angles on edge rushers to make up for sometimes getting beat by the speed rusher. He most likely transitions to right tackle in the NFL but could be given a shot at left. If he doesn't seem to be a fit at tackle he has the ability to transition to a guard position. Some scouts have said that if tackle isn't the best position for him in the pros, he could become an elite guard. All in all, the Raiders walk away with a versatile OL that could help become the building block for their line.
Check out the 2011 Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft tracker for a look at all of the picks.