Unearthed pre-draft evaluations from 2010 reveal Raiders thought Rob Gronkowski was 'best all-around player in the draft'

May 09, 2016 - 5:22 am

[caption id="attachment_93387" align="alignright" width="350"]Rob Gronkowski as a Raider? It appears Oakland was pretty high on the tight end coming out of college. (Rob Foldy/Getty Images) Rob Gronkowski as a Raider? It appears Oakland was pretty high on the tight end coming out of Arizona. (Rob Foldy/Getty Images)[/caption] You always have to take what you find on the Internet with a grain of salt, but the recent discovery of what appears to be a 2010 draft scouting guide that may or may not have belonged to the Raiders is fascinating to read on a number of levels. First, it provides some insight into the scouting process: the grading system, how a player is evaluated and what measureables a team stresses when it comes to making their final decision. There are a handful of intriguing prospects examined from that spring as well, including Dez Bryant, Kam Chancellor, Demaryius Thomas, Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen, and what the Raiders think of them and what they can bring to the NFL. From a New England perspective, it's also interesting because they have a complete breakdown of tight end Rob Gronkowski. Under strong points, they call him the "best all-around player in the draft," and praise his "good physical build," as well as the fact that he "does not go down easy after the catch." Ultimately, the Raiders proclaim Gronkowski as a scheme fit who is an "all around (tight end)," despite the fact that he did not play in 2008 due to a back injury. Oakland fans are left to wonder what might have been -- the Raiders had one chance to take Gronkowski (with the eighth overall selection) before New England drafted him at No. 42 overall. Oakland instead took linebacker Rolando McClain at No. 8, perhaps thinking that, despite their sterling evaluation of Gronkowski, using a top 10 pick on him was still a bit of a reach. (One alert Tweeter reminds us that the Patriots traded up with the Raiders to take the tight end in the second round.) There's also a list of "2010 team needs" as diagnosed by the Raiders' staffers, with a theoretical look at what positions the rest of the league will be targeting when it comes to their picks. Oakland lists the Patriots' top 5 needs as linebacker, running back, wide receiver, cornerback and safety. For the record, when it came to New England's 12 picks, the Pats went with two linebackers (Jermaine Cunningham and Brandon Spikes), zero running backs, one wide receiver (Taylor Price) and one defensive back who has played both corner and safety in the NFL (Devin McCourty).