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Walter, Raiders seen as good pair

The Arizona Republic


The Arizona Republic

TEMPE – This wasn’t what Andrew Walter envisioned when he decided to return for his senior year at Arizona State.

Viewed as a likely first-round choice had he turned pro after his junior season, ASU’s record-setting quarterback fell to the third round in the NFL draft Saturday. Oakland selected Walter with the 69th overall pick.

But what appeared to be a setback for Walter could turn out to be a blessing. He’s headed for a team whose go-deep offensive philosophy meshes with his skills. The Raiders’ history of blitzkrieg football goes back some four decades, to Daryle “The Mad Bomber” Lamonica.

“It’s what we did in college, and it’s certainly a tradition (in Oakland) to throw the ball down the field,” Walter told Oakland officials. “I don’t think it gets any better than that, so I’m stoked.” At a time when many NFL clubs employ the West Coast offense, with its reliance on mobile quarterbacks and short, precision pass routes, it seemed Walter might have trouble finding a home.

“He can have an outstanding NFL career,” ESPN analyst Ron Jaworski said. “This guy won’t fit with all teams, but he’ll fit with the Oakland Raiders.”

Two Devils were taken yesterday. Center Drew Hodgdon went to Houston in the fifth round, No. 151 overall, and defensive end Jimmy Verdon went to New Orleans in the seventh round, No. 232 overall.

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