The Raiders picked up defensive tackle Lamarr Houston with the 44th pick in the second round of the NFL Draft.
The Raiders originally held the 39th pick, but moved down to 42nd in a trade with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Raiders did not hold on to the pick for long, immediately swapping the pick for the 44th with the New England Patriots. The Raiders received a fifth round choice (153rd) and a sixth round selection (190th) from the Buccaneers and Patriots, respectively.
Houston is rated the ninth best defensive tackle, according to Scout.com’s rankings. He had a stellar four-year career at Texas, helping the Longhorns reach the BCS National Championship game in his senior year.
Houston began his collegiate career as a defensive end, but as he added weight, he found a home on the interior line. Houston posted impressive numbers at the NFL Combine, running the 40-yard dash in 4.85 seconds and putting up 30 repetitions in the bench press. Houston is listed at 6-3 and 305-lbs.
The move to select Houston comes after the Raiders picked Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain with the eighth overall pick in the first round. Both moves are seen as an effort to improve the Raiders’ porous run defense, which has ranked near the bottom of the league since 2002.
The Buccaneers picked wide receiver Arrelious Benn at No. 39 while the Patriots selected tight end Rob Gronkowski with the 42nd pick.