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Utah football: Tony Bergstrom taken in third round, ready to be part of 'Raider Nation'

Published: Friday, April 27 2012 11:08 p.m. MDT

Utah Utes offensive linesman Tony Bergstrom (70) and his daughter shakes hands with the students after the Utes' season-opener at Rice Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City Thursday, Sept. 1, 2011.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Former Utah offensive lineman Tony Bergstrom was just about to tell everyone who gathered at his place to watch the NFL draft to come back on Saturday.

Then his phone rang.

It was the Oakland Raiders, who informed Bergstrom that they were taking him with the 95th pick overall. Although it was Oakland's first selection this year, it also happened to be the final selection of the day and a cap to the third round of the draft.

"It's one of those things where you just feel like a big weight is lifted off of your shoulder," Bergstrom said after watching the draft proceedings on television Friday. "I was tense for four hours and all of a sudden you get that call. It's indescribable how much of a relief that is."

Bergstrom, a 6-foot-5, 313-pound tackle with the versatility to play guard as well, will be formally introduced to Raider Nation Saturday in Oakland.

"I just feel so blessed to be able to go there," he said. "It's probably the perfect place for me, I think."

Utah coach Kyle Whittingham likes where the Pac-12 first-team all-conference honoree is headed.

"I think it's a good fit. I think he'll be in a good situation there and it's obviously a benefit geographically for his family to be able to get to his games," Whittingham said. "The Raiders obviously think very highly of him to utilize a third-round pick."

NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock also approved of Oakland's selection.

"I kind of like this player out of Utah," he said on NFL.com. "I believe he will kick inside at guard for the Raiders. He brings some nastiness to Oakland's line."

When informed of the praise, Bergstrom said "you better believe it" while adding "I'm Raider Nation now. There's no humility."

Bergstrom, 25, is a Skyline High School graduate and a returned LDS Church missionary. He was a three-year starter at Utah and a team captain.

The NFL draft concludes Saturday with the final four rounds. Left tackle John Cullen and defensive end Derrick Shelby headline the list of Utah prospects.

Email: dirk@desnews.com

Twitter: DirkFacer

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