It's being reported that the Oakland Raiders have waived offensive tackle Joe Barksdale. Barksdale was a third-round pick in Oakland's 2011 draft class. Yes, 2011.
It gets worse. Barksdale is the third Raiders player from that class to be released. Chimdi Chekwa, a cornerback drafted in the fourth round, was released on Sept. 1. DeMarcus Van Dyke, a cornerback also selected in the third round, was cut two days later. Dumping Chekwa isn't a huge deal—a handful of other fourth-rounders from 2011 have been released by other teams—but cutting loose two third-rounders just over a year after drafting them is not something that a well-managed football team should be doing. To add a little context, here are the other players that were selected in the first three rounds in 2011 who have been let go: Jaiquawn Jarrett and Terrell McClain (who was just signed by the Patriots). The Raiders have released as many players from the first three rounds of the 2011 draft as the other 31 NFL teams combined.
And what of the Raiders five remaining picks from the 2011 draft? Not a lot to be excited about:
Round 2 (48th overall): Stefen Wisniewski, C
Started all 16 games last season, split between guard and center. Has started two games at center this year, but came into the year on shaky ground.
Round 4 (125th overall): Taiwan Jones, RB
Sixteen career rushes for 73 yards. Two catches for 25 yards. Has not had a rush attempt or catch in the 2012 season. Is the third running back on the depth chart.
Round 5 (141st overall): Denarius Moore, WR
In the 2011 season: 33 catches for 618 yards and five touchdowns along with five rushes for 61 yards and a touchdown. In the 2012 season: eight catches for 112 yards and a touchdown. The most productive member of this class.
Round 6 (181st overall): Richard Gordon, TE
Two career catches for three yards. One came last week for a one-yard touchdown.
Round 7 (241st overall): David Ausberry, TE
Five career receptions for 70 yards. One rush for a loss of two yards.
Moore has been good so far and Wisniewski has been a solid contributor, but they hardly make up for what amounts to a staggeringly bad draft class.
So what were the Raiders thinking when making these picks? The answer is not surprising. The 2011 draft was the last one that the late Al Davis presided over, and we all know that Davis valued speed over almost anything else. So we checked the 40-yard dash times of Raiders' 2011 draft class. Outside of Barksdale and Wisniewski, a pair of linemen—who aren't expected to be fast—there was an obvious pattern. Among all cornerbacks, Van Dyke ranked first and Chekwa ranked third. Jones ran a 4.33 at a workout, ranking him second among all running backs. Gordon was listed running a 4.63, which ranked him fourth at his position, and Ausberry ran a 4.46 at USC's Pro Day.
The Raiders: Just run, and then get cut, baby.
Source: Raiders Cut Another Player From 2011 Draft Class [The Sideline View]