Andre Carter is now a Raider (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
The 2011 draft dump continues.
Offensive lineman Joseph Barkdale was the latest cut from a draft class that included DeMarcus Van Dyke,and Chimdi Chekwa. I don’t see any other 2011 picks leaving, since they’re Stefen Wisniewski, David Ausberry, and Richard Gordon. Still, Barksdale was expected to challenge Khalif Barnes for a starting role. However, Reggie McKenzie must not have seen Barksdale developing too well.
In his place, Oakland finally signed defensive end Andre Carter. The Raiders brought Carter in twice for workouts, and finally decided to keep him around. Carter suffered a torn quadriceps last year while playing for the New England Patriots, but before that, was a solid force at defensive end. Oakland could certainly use the pass rushing help. Originally thought of as a position that was a core strength for the Raiders, the pass rush has been somewhat of a letdown so far. The Raiders are well near the bottom of the NFL in terms of sacks.
There’s too much talent on that line for the trend to continue, which will look great for Carter. He’ll come in, and there will be a measurable correlation between his arrival and the increase in sacks for the Raiders. They won’t stay at the bottom group of the NFL in this statistic.
On defense, the Raiders now have four former 1st round picks, including Carter, Aaron Curry (who should be back in October), Richard Seymour, and Michael Huff. On special teams, Sebastian Janikowski was a 1st rounder. On offense, the list includes Carson Palmer, Matt Leinart, Darren McFadden, and Darrius Heyward-Bey.