Raiders draft outlook: Tight ends

Raiders draft outlook: Tight ends
April 19, 2013, 9:00 am
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Colorado tight end Nick Kasa is considered a late fourth round, or early fifth round pick. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Perhaps as surprising as Brandon Myers' emergence last season was the Raiders simply letting him walk to sign as an unrestricted free agent with the New York Giants. Myers, who entered the 2012 season with a career total of 32 catches in three seasons, finished with 79 catches, the most by a Raiders tight end since Todd Christensen had 95 receptions in 1986. Myers even tied Calvin Johnson for most fourth-quarter catches, with 36.

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Who's here: David Ausberry, Richard Gordon, Mickey Shuler

Draft needs: So, is the tight end position not as valued in new offensive coordinator Greg Olson's offense, or do the Raiders simply like what they have in Ausberry, the converted receiver, and Gordon, who is more a blocker than pass catcher, and the competition that would break out by throwing Mickey Shuler, who was on the practice squad last year, into the mix? Oakland probably needs another tight end or two for camp, but I can't see them using a high pick on one, let alone the No. 3 overall selection. More likely they find a tight end later in the draft, if at all.

Good fits: The Raiders coached Colorado's Nick Kasa in the Senior Bowl, and he's seen as a late fourth- early fifth-round prospect. As it stands now, the Raiders do not have a fifth-round choice. The 6-feet-6, 260-pound Kasa has been compared to former Raiders tight end Kevin Boss. Oakland also saw San Jose State's Ryan Otten in Mobile, Ala., and he's seen as a sixth-rounder. Then there was Western Kentucky's Jack Doyle, a projected seventh-rounder who has experience in a West Coast Offense.