ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Reggie McKenzie had to wait through almost two entire days and three rounds before making his first draft pick as Oakland Raiders general manager.
"I didn't get consumed by that, but it was definitely known that it was going to be my first pick," McKenzie said. "This is a blue-collar position, and he was the best player that we had up there."
McKenzie's first draft was an agonizing wait at times as the Raiders had previously traded their first-round pick to Cincinnati for quarterback Carson Palmer, their second-rounder to New England for running back Taiwan Jones and Joe Barksdale, and used their third-rounder to take quarterback Terrelle Pryor in last summer's supplemental draft.
With few assets available to trade, McKenzie had little chance to move up and had to spend most of the first two days waiting, hoping that one of the players he wanted would still be available.
As the third round got going, Bergstrom was one of the names still left on McKenzie's list of hopefuls. McKenzie took Bergstrom with the first of Oakland's three compensatory picks, the last selection in the round.
McKenzie praised Bergstrom for his toughness, intelligence and versatility.
"He's a guy that fits the type of scheme that we're going to be here, with some of the zone-blocking stuff and his ability to get to the second level," Allen said.
Bergstrom played 48 career games at Utah, starting the final 38 at right tackle. He is expected to compete with veteran Cooper Carlisle for the starting left guard spot. Carlisle, who started the past five seasons at right guard, moved to the left side after Oakland signed free agent Mike Brisiel to a four-year deal worth almost $20 million in March.
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press