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BGN 2010 Mock Draft Pick #39 - The Oakland Raiders

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With the 39th pick in the 2010 BGN Draft, Luxury_Used_Vehicles_by_Braman selects...

Brian Price - DT, UCLA

I wasn't expecting Brian Price to fall to this spot for the Raiders, and I had written up Linval Joseph, the massive DT out of East Carolina, for this pick. But drafting Brian Price with the 39th pick at your biggest position of need fully qualifies as highway robbery.
To say that the Raiders were horrible against the run last year doesn't come close enough to depicting the crime scene. The Raiders lost to any team that showed up with a running game (you hear that, Andy!!!). The Raiders were dead last in the league in rushing touchdowns allowed, 29th in rushing yards and yards per rush, and no team was run on more than the Raiders were in 2009. Part of the reason is the strong Raiders secondary, but the biggest reason is the gaping hole in the center of the defensive line manned by Tommy Kelly and Gerard Warren. Opponents enjoyed consistent success running between the tackles against the Raiders, who gave up the most rushing 1st downs in the league last season. If McCoy or Suh somehow slip to the #8 pick, you can bet your savings the Raiders would jump on that talent in a heartbeat. Also don't discount the Raiders trading down in the first round to pick up someone like DT Dan Williams out of Tennessee.
Most Raiders fans want a NT at this pick, and as Eric Berry is to Eagles fans, mean and angry Linval Joseph (6-5, 328 pounds) is the one player Raiders fans are salivating over. Linval would provide a big body to plug the run in the middle of their defense, and would likely be used in a role similar to how the Eagles use Brodrick Bunkley. My concerns with Linval is that he is still very raw and somewhat of an unknown coming out of East Carolina, and using a high 2nd round pick on him would be risky. However, the Raiders have been succesful reaching for relatively unknown players that they liked at this spot in the past with Nnamdi Asomugha (#31) and Mike Mitchell (#47). I strongly believe the Raiders could either trade up into the mid-to-late 2nd round or sit on their early 3rd round pick, and still grab Linval Joseph.

More after the jump...

The best description I could find on Brian Price (6-1, 303 pounds) came as courtesy of a hardcore UCLA fan:

"Ultimately, Brian Price has his incredible attributes that make him one of the most dominant players in college football. He has a very quick first step, as powerful of a bull-rush technique as anyone else in the college game and a natural heat-seeking nose for the QB. At the college level he proved to be un-blockable. Teams would put two blockers and occasionally three, but it hardly mattered. In addition to all this strength and natural ability, Brian Price has an internal drive unlike almost any other prospect. I recommend everyone goes out and reads about his troubled past in south-central LA, a childhood surrounded by violence in which he had to witness two of his brothers get murdered. He focused his entire life around football in order to avoid the troubles of gang life that engulfed much of his community, always working harder than anyone else in the game, on the practice field, and in the classroom. Brian Price has such incredible dedication to becoming the absolute best. This is an immeasurable element will likely make him one of the top 10 best athletes to come out of this draft.

Of course, his game is flawed and does explain why he won’t go nearly as high as Suh or McCoy. He's short at only 6’1, and he won’t be able to knock down many passes, however it's debatable how how tall you need a DT to be. A much more concerning element of Price’s game is that he is not in the absolute best shape. When double/triple teamed on every play, he simply could not play every down in a college game. NFL offensive-linemen are bigger and stronger, so while I have no doubt Price can hold his own from day one, he needs to work on endurance. College teams would draw up specific plays for when he was on the bench taking a breather. Luckily, I think training year-round will improve on this problem. By far the biggest problem with Price, and the one thing that agree with teams in lowering his draft ranking, is that he has comparatively slow lateral movement. While a traditional pocket QB is dead meat, a quick scrambling one can get away from Price. Brian Price will have trouble with a mobile quarterback who can scramble away from pressure, moreso than Suh or McCoy will."

Here's an excellent highlight video that showcases both Brian's strengths and weaknesses:

Recommendations for the rest of the draft: I think the Raiders could completely fix their defensive line (and defense) by following this pick with a NT in the 3rd round like UCF's Torell Troup, UNC's Cam Thomas, or possibly even Linval Joseph. Borderline starters like MLB Kirk Morrison and CB Chris Johnson, who are both sitting in self-declared positions-of-need for the Raiders, will benefit greatly by an interior defensive line that can simultaneously eat up blockers and create a pass rush. In the later rounds, I'd add more depth at LB, OL, and CB. Also, I'd take Clausen in the 1st round if he's there.

I'd best compare Brian Price to our own Mike Patterson or on the high side to former-Raider Warren Sapp. Brian's an absolute force that will make a living in the opponents backfield, and given his high motor and determination, I don't see any reason that the Raiders can go wrong with this pick.

The best player available at this spot is a toss-up between USC DE Everson Griffen, Oklahoma TE Jermaine Gresham, and UCLA DT Brian Price. The Raiders already have two solid tight ends, and while a defensive end upgrade would also be helpful, defensive tackle is a much bigger need.

Next on the clock will be DickMuffin with the San Diego Chargers.

Previous picks: #1 Ndamukong Suh, #2 Russell Okung, #3 Gerald McCoy, #4 Sam Bradford, #5 Eric Berry, #6 Trent Williams, #7 Jimmy Clausen, #8 Bruce Campbell, #9 Bryan Bulaga, #10 Derrick Morgan, #11 Rolando McClain, #12 Sergio Kindle, #13 Joe Haden, #14 C.J. Spiller, #15 Mike Iupati, #16 Jason Pierre-Paul, #17 Anthony Davis, #18 Kyle Wilson, #19 Brandon Graham, #20 Dan Williams, #21 Dez Bryant, #22 Tim Tebow, #23 Charles Brown, #24 Sean Weatherspoon, #25 Earl Thomas, #26 Terrence Cody, #27 Maurkice Pouncey, #28 Ryan Matthews, #29 Jared Odrick, #30 Patrick Robinson, #31 Devin McCourty, #32 Jerry Hughes, #33 Demaryius Thomas, #34 Taylor Mays, #35 Kareem Jackson, #36 Golden Tate, #37 Nate Allen, #38 Chad Jones

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