Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

April 28, 2012
Round 5: Raiders select DE Crawford, WR Criner

ALAMEDA -- The Raiders used their two fifth-round picks to add depth at defensive end and receiver.

The Raiders traded down 10 spots in the round to take defensive end Jack Crawford of Penn State at 158th overall. They used their fifth-round compensatory pick, 168th overall, on receiver Juron Criner of Arizona.

Crawford has the more unique path to the NFL. A native of England, he moved to the United States in high school with a basketball background and only began playing football as a junior in high school.

He went on to start for three years at Penn State and had 40 tackles and a team-high 6.5 sacks in his senior season. Crawford is listed at 6-foot-5 and 274 pounds, and said he believes that because he is a relative newcomer to football he still has potential to improve.

Crawford sounded fairly emotional on a conference call and said he had been telling himself he wouldn't be upset if he didn't get drafted.

A former teammate of Raiders center Stefen Wisniewski at Penn State, Crawford said he lived with Wisniewski while training during the offseason and that Wisniewski had "nothing but good things to say" about playing for Oakland.

Crawford said he was a rugby player as a youth in England, and that the physicality of football appealed to him when he reached the United States.

Criner, meanwhile, has size at 6-foot-3 and 224 pounds, and put up big numbers for Arizona. He had 82 catches for 1,233 yards and 11 touchdowns as a junior and, in 11 games as a senior, had 75 catches for 956 yards and 11 touchdowns.

His speed, though, seems to be in question, particularly after he was clocked at 4.68 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.

"I would just say that there's a difference between playing on the field and having field speed than straight-line speed," Criner said on a conference call.

Criner and Crawford both said they did not pay pre-draft visits to the Raiders facility in Alameda. Neither did the Raiders' previous two picks - offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom in the third round and linebacker Miles Burris in the fourth.

The Raiders have two picks remaining, one in the sixth round (189th overall) and one in the seventh (230th).

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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