49ers, Raiders fill needs in NFL draft, Delta standout among rookie class


Now that all seven rounds of the 2015 NFL Draft are in the books, we can take a deeper look into what local teams have done to improve.

After an underwhelming 3-13 season last year, the talent-depleted Oakland Raiders needed to draft well to compete.

With the fourth overall pick the Raiders selected Amari Cooper, the top-ranked wide receiver out of University of Alabama.

The 6’1,” 221-pound receiver gives the offense something the team didn’t have last year: speed and talent.

Cooper is a polished route runner who plays inside and outside and gives quarterback Derek Carr a weapon he can rely on.

In the second round, the Raiders took a chance in selecting defensive tackle Mario Edwards Jr. from Florida State.

Edwards flashes outstanding potential, but needs to keep his weight down to be effective.

The Raiders continued filling needs through the next six rounds, drafting 10 players.

The San Francisco 49ers looked to replenish a roster that has had a massive exodus of talent this offseason.

The 49ers picked defensive tackle Arik Armstead fromUniversity of Oregon with the 17th overall pick.

Armstead, an Elk Grove product, is only a one-year starter, but what he lacks in experience, he makes
up for in his exceptional size and speed.

The 6’7,” 292-pound giant is a better athlete than football player, but with the right coaching he can become
a monster for the 49ers defense.

The 49ers bolstered a secondary in the second round with Jaquiski Tartt from Samford with the 46th overall pick.

Tarrt can restore the toughness the 49ers defense had been known for. He attacks the run and delivers violent hits.

Beyond the two Bay Area teams struggling to stay relevant, here are a few other highlights

1. Projected first-round pick, offensive tackle La’’el Collins from Louisiana State University went undrafted because of a connection to murder victim, Brittany Mills. Police have stated he isn’t a suspect, but are seeking information from him.

2. The Tennessee Titans didn’t trade out of the second overall pick. Despite receiving Godfather-like offers, the Titans decided to take quarterback Marcus Mariota from Oregon. Hype leading up to the draft had a number of teams coveting that pick to take Mariota.

3. The value of the running back seems to be experiencing a renaissance. For the first time since 2012, running backs were taken in the first round. Todd Gurley went to the St. Louis Rams as the 10th pick of the draft. The San Diego Chargers traded up to the 15th pick for Melvin Gordon.

4. Former St. Mary’s standout, wide receiver Josh Harper, reunites in Oakland with Carr, another Fresno State alum.

5. Delta Alumni Demarieya Nelson signed with the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent. Nelson is an athletic tight end who finished his education at Arizona State.