Don’t hold your breathe, the Oakland Raiders tight end position is filled with joe schmoes that will probably never be big time players. The Raiders will need someone to start for them on Sunday afternoons.
The tight end position is especially crucial for the Oakland Raiders because they lack a dominate force on the outside. Last season, Meyers was able to accumulate 80 receptions, from the tight end position, but he bolted to Giants for a bigger paid day. The current players on the raiders roster lack any real NFL experience or production.
What The Raiders do have:
David Ausberry is a wide receiving prospect out of USC whose lack of experience at blocking has held little production, in his first few seasons.
Richard Gordon has been on the field primarily as a blocking tight end. He has the most experience of the group, but his questionable receiving skills leave much to be desired.
Then there are the two rookies the team drafted. Nick Kasa out of Colorado is a converted defensive end prospect. His collegian production and blocking ability have many hoping his recieving skills will improve.
Michael Rivera out of Tennesse is an interesting prospect whose size lead to many TD receptions at receptions. Most of his production came when he was motioned outside, and his blocking skills have become liability.
As a whole the Tight end position leaves much to be desired. All of the four players possess potential, and the skill sets remain to be an enigma.
Ausberry possess the most well rounded skill set and highest ceiling. His route running ability and hands add versatility to the Raiders line up. Ausberry’s struggles to become consistented have been noted, but I along with a lot of people hope he can live up to his potential. His size alone makes him capable of being the red zone target the Raiders have been looking for. Another year of experience should aid the young tight ends blocking ability.
If Ausberry is able to have a successful season he will be the dependent reciever any of the Raider quarterbacks could utilize. Having a solid tight end will definitely open up the outside for Moore deep and streeter or Criner intermediately. Ausberry’s reciever skill set will make the defensive have to honor his receiving threat more than the other players on the roster.
The only thing that will hurt David Ausberry is his suspect blocking ability. The Raiders have made it known they will pound the football and if Ausberry is unable to block, Gordon or Kasa will gain those snaps. Meaning, he can’t be consistent or efficient if he is losing snaps because he can’t block. But if the competition does dicatate an increase of receiver skills than David Ausberry might be fighting just to stay in the league. Either way, if the Raiders can’t find production out of one of the Tight Ends, it is gonna be an even longer year for the Raiders Offense and whoever is QBing it.