Walford has been touted as a highly capable pass-catching tight ends coming out of the 2015 NFL Draft. He is seen as another offensive asset for Raiders QB Derek Carr's and his continued rise to being a possible true franchise player.
Clive Walford was an Oakland Raider's third round pick in this years draft and has for the most part received comparatively little negative scrutiny as an incoming rookie with significant expectation thrust upon him.
Much of the receiver attention has been showered on Amari Cooper up to this point. But now that pre-season camp is fast approaching that may begin to change. Walford is most definitely going to be watched and assessed by the press and fans alike.
"I'm excited to see the Raiders' first three picks. Wideout Amari Cooper might be the best player from this draft, and I've heard a lot of love for defensive tackle Mario Edwards on the personnel front. Walford is is big and athletic, and consider by some to have been the most complete tight end in the draft. we will soon see. It is true that a talented tight end can be a quarterback's best friend. Walford could be the man to take on that role.
Last season's tight ends didn't produce to the level expected and it is an open opportunity for someone like Walford to come into training camp and develop as expected and to prove his salt once the action begins.
Walford seems confident but is reticent to boast about his ability impact the future of the Oakland Raiders as a whole. Heres a snippet of his take...
"I can hope for the ball. I'm a great pass-catcher. I'm a great run-blocker. I'm just a dual-threat tight end. "I'm going to go out to Oakland and just compete. I'm not looking to go start right away. I'm going out there to learn from the veterans and take some of their advice, but you know I'm going to compete at the same time."
Walford is 6-foot-4, 251-pounds and went into the draft as a solid pass-catching talent but there were and continue to be questions that remain about his health and his blocking ability.
While Walford is a tight end who can line up in multiple formations and will make defenses pay attention due to his catching ability, versatility and run-after-the-catch ability. Walford did injure his meniscus during the final game of the season, giving teams pause, but by the time the draft actually rolled around it had become clear that he'd dedicated himself to improving his blocking.
Either way the time has come and we will soon see what Walford can do in the NFL.
Scott Davis Raiders blog