Andre Debose to the Oakland Raiders: Full Draft-Pick Breakdown

In a practical but semi-necessary decision, the Oakland Raiders added a kick and punt return specialist to the roster. Andre Debose isn’t going to catch a lot of passes from quarterback Derek Carr, but he’ll look to put the offense in good field position.

The knock on this pick is that Debose is a one-dimensional player. As a receiver, he’s not a threat on the field. When he’s returning kicks, it’s a different story. In four seasons at Florida, he accumulated 2,111 kick return yards and returned four kicks for touchdowns. He has a 26.7 yard kick return average.

Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller raises some questions about this pick that are somewhat unsettling.

As previously mentioned, drafting a one-dimensional wide receiver only beneficial on special teams isn’t the best move, but Debose might have showed enough skill as receiver when given the opportunity. Miller also brings up age and a prior off-the-field issue that may or may not become a problem going forward.

As a sophomore at Florida, Debose had his most productive season as a receiver. He recorded 432 receiving yards and four touchdowns. It’s possible Debose could be a factor as a WR but wasn’t needed at that role in Florida. Nonetheless, the Raiders' WR corps have some depth, with the team drafting Amari Cooper at the top of the draft.

The decision to draft Debose was likely predicated on the fact that cornerback Travis Carrie needs unwavering focus on his coverage duties as a starting CB in his second year. Carrie, who was also a seventh-round pick, was the primary punt returner and shared kick return responsibilities with Latavius Murray.

The Raiders can benefit from a Devin Hester-type player. Though I don’t think Debose fits that bill, he did run a 4.44 on his pro day. In addition to speed, his return numbers in college suggest he also has the vision...

About the Author