Raider X on the NFL Draft

That mysterious creature who occasionally contributes his thoughts to TFDS Raider X has made a last minute appearance to chime in on the coming NFL Draft. He has interviewed Scott Porter of NFLDraftU.Net to give a comprehensive look at tomorrow’s festivities.

Following the interview, he has a complete Oakland Raider mock, where he outlines the picks that he thinks the Raiders will grab. If it goes down as Raider X suggests, I won’t be complaining.

 

Draftnik’d

The Draft is now less than
2 days away and the Raiders will soon be on the clock. The draft has
become the single most important day on the sports calendar for NFL
fans.  A great draft can turnaround a franchise as well as sink
it. I know it has been a long time since I written anything and even
longer since I have written anything legible. I had worked on some articles
that just never seemed right and I am glad I didn’t publish, these
included: Stock tips which included investing in AIG and Goldman Sachs,
presidential predictions like It won’t matter who McCain picks as
a VP, substance over style and of course football predictions. I boldly
stated Jay Cutler and Mike Shanahan look to be a thorn in the Raiders
sides for a long time as they are playoff bound at 8-4.  Oops.

I am going to give you a little
draft info I came up with and an interview with a professional draftnik.

The first point I have considering
the draft is taking a round by round look at the last time the Raiders
drafted a player that went to the Pro Bowl game.  I want you to
try and do this without looking name the last time a Raider drafted
a player in each round of the draft (1-7).  What I found will be
posted after the interview.  Round 1 is easy.

Last 1st round pick to make
it to the Pro Bowl… Nnamdi Asomugha CB Cal 2003
– deservedly made it after last season. Who were the players who made
it from Rounds 2-7?

I
wanted to get the insight of someone who follows the draft so I
conducted an interview with Scott Porter of
NflDraftU.net to talk about what the Raiders
needs and potentially players they could pick. 
Scott has been covering the draft for quite a few years now and I wanted
to get an outsiders take on the Raiders needs.

Raider X:
Ok, first question, The Raiders have had a very up and down history
of drafting since 2003.  Who do you think would be the best pick for
the Raiders at pick 7?

Raider X: Well it depends
on who goes in front of Oakland, but with their need at WR, and speed
being a very important part of their offense I think Jeremy Maclin (Missouri
WR) makes a lot of sense. I think Crabtree will be gone by then, and
Maclin fits the mold. Maclin is a speed guy who gets open well and has
nice hands; he also seems very mature in handling himself.

Raider X:
What NFL player do you see as a comparison to
Maclin?  I think he looks like a slower Ted
Ginn.

Scott Porter: Seems to me like a slower yet better
route running WR than Ted Ginn, can run better routes.  He reminds
me of (Joey) Galloway because he is primarily a deep guy but can run
across the middle and make plays after the catch if needed.

Raider X:
Maclin seems like the top pick now that everyone is thinking Crabtree
is going to Cleveland, depending on which section of the Cleveland Plains-Dealer
you are reading.  But could you see the Raiders going after a lineman
on either side of the ball?

Scott Porter: I could see Oakland going after a
lineman, If Crabtree goes to Cleveland there is a good chance B.J. Raji
will be sitting there for Oakland and that could be tempting. Oakland
has a dire need on the OL, and there will be a great tackle option sitting
there for them as well. It may come down to how they see the DL, OL
and WR in the next few rounds that will determine which guy they end
up taking. Either way the Raiders are sitting very well at #7, they
will fill one of their biggest needs with the pick.

Raider X:
Al Davis has never traded down from a first round pick.  Is this the
year where it could finally happen and who would come up to acquire
the pick?

Scott Porter: It might be a good year for Al Davis
to consider trading down with this pick because of all the options that
could fall into the Raiders lap. I would say a team looking to move
up would be that of one such as Washington looking for a DL or OL, although
they don’t have a lot to work with because they have made other deals
to trade away picks in this year’s draft. I could also see the 49ers
interested in leaping over the Packers because both have similar needs.
In the end, I think Oakland will stay at #7.

Raider X:
With Maclin a predicted pick at 7, who do you think the Raiders
could get in round 2 to make an impact?

Scott Porter: If they go WR in round 1, I would
look for them to look at OL, DL, and S in round 2… Phil Loadholt (Oklahoma
OT) is a guy who has moved up a lot. I do not see the Raiders that interested
in OT William Beatty of Connecticut because he is more of a developmental
OT, and I don’t think the Raiders can afford to handle an OT that early
right now. They need someone to come in and help right away. I am really
thinking the pick in this situation could be Jarron Gilbert of San Jose
State or a possible S such as Louis Delmas of Western Michigan or even
a guy liek Chip Vaughn of Wake Forest. In the end if I had to just pick
one. I will go with Jarron Gilbert of San Jose State, he could be used
as a DE or DT depending on what you do with him. A good fit for Oakland.
They can look at S and OL in the next rounds. But DL is pretty thing
so I would try and get that taken care of early on.

Raider X:
Okay, so what about the start of day 2 in the 3rd round? What kind
of player do you think the Raiders would like to start off the 2nd day?

Scott Porter: I think at this point the Raiders
will be trying to fill needs early on like OT and S… In round 3 I
look for them to be looking at South Carolina OT Jamon Meredith, there
should be some decent S’s left for them after that. Perhaps, Clemson
S Michael Hamlin or LSU S Curis Taylor, neither would be bad picks.
I think after that it just comes down to the Raiders filling in with
another DL perhaps and of course an OLB. Perhaps California LB Zack
Follett will be an interest later on for them.

Raider X: There has
been some talk, mostly by Mike Mayock, that the Raiders could take
Darrius Heyward-Bey with the 7th overall pick which is almost a round
too high.  What should Raider Nation think if he is the pick?

Scott Porter: It’s hard to say. I like Heyward-Bey,
but I would be a little surprised at him going that high without trying
to move down. You cannot believe everything you hear… You hear A LOT
of smoke.

Raider X:
Speaking of smoke, where do you see Percy
Harvin and Brandon Tate going now?

Scott Porter: Harvin late 1, Tate probably rd 3,
4th at the latest

Scott Porter: Tate’s knee will hurt him more than
weed, but the combo isn’t good for him. He would have been a 2nd rounder
had he had neither problem.

Raider X:
You see Percy Harvin as the WR version of Reggie Bush?

Scott Porter: Basically yes. Harvin can line up
a few plays out of the backfield. You have to find ways to get him the
ball, because he is a threat every time he touches the ball. As long
as a team utilizes him well and does not overwork him he should be fine.

Raider X:
Looking back at the Raiders drafts, there have been more misses
than hits? Is it the players, the coaches, the front office?

Scott Porter: It’s easy to do, but I would say the
coaches and the front office. When you have player after player bust
it’s hard to say it’s “just the players”.

Raider X: You have
interviewed many players over the years for the various sites you have
been on?  What players have you talked to this year and what Raider players
have you talked to over the years?

Scott Porter: Raiders players, Michael Huff and
DJ Hall

Scott Porter: Current draftees, Knowshon Moreno
Georgia, BJ Raji Boston College, Vontae Davis Illinois, Chip Vaughn
Wake Forest, William Moore Missouri, Rashad Johnson Alabama.

Raider X:
Who are some players you see as a little underrated as we creep
so close to the draft?

Scott Porter: I think the following are underrated
by many. Cary Harris, CB, USC, Kevin Olgetree, WR Virginia, Mitch King,
DL, Iowa, Brian Hoyer, QB, Michigan State, Brandon Williams DE Texas
Tech, Frantz Joseph LB Florida Atlantic, Lee Robinson LB Alcorn State
and James Davis RB Clemson

Raider X:
and next, we have the Overrated?

Scott Porter: Brian Orakpo, Texas, James Laurinitis
Ohio State, Mohammed Massaqoui, Jairus Byrd, Nate Davis Ball State.

Thanks Scott for the information. 
Check out
NflDraftU.net for player rankings, mock drafts
and the interviews with players.

Ok, here is the rest of the
list of players the Raiders drafted, round by round, who made the Pro
Bowl.

Last 2nd round pick to make
it to the Pro Bowl… Barrett Robbins C TCU 1995 – made it after 2002 
Last 3rd round pick to make it to the Pro Bowl… Mark Van Eeghen RB
Penn St 1974 – Made it to the 1977 Pro Bowl 
Last 4th round pick to make it to the Pro Bowl… Greg Townsend DE TCU
1983 – Made it twice 
Last 5th round pick to make it to the Pro Bowl…  Shane Lechler P Texas
A&M 2000 – has made it a few times 
Last 6th round pick to make it to the Pro Bowl… The Raiders have never
had a 6th round pick make it to the Pro Bowl 
Last 7th round pick to make it to the Pro Bowl… Bo Jackson 1987 -
Was elected to the Pro Bowl but never played.  

I know LaRoi Glover and Steve Beuerlein were picked as pro bowlers,
though not as Raiders.  This is a problem; rounds 3-5 are what
separate the Raiders of 24-72 from teams like the Colts and Steelers. 
However, Van Eeghen was picked before the Raiders 3 Super Bowl wins
so it shows how little the Raiders wait for talent to develop because
Al Davis, not saying this is a bad thing, is always trying to win now
instead of build for the future.  It also upsets me while the Raiders
have had 5 head coaches over the 6 seasons of misery; yet the average
time a scout has been with the Raiders is like 32 years.  The Raiders
drafting has been a major reason the Raiders record is terrible. 
However, I pose this question to the fans…

Is it the players themselves,
or the constant turnover of coaches and philosophies?

Needless to say, I feel a shakeup
is needed upstairs with some new blood brought into have people in there
to bring in fresh perspectives and the authority to tell Al why he shouldn’t
draft someone without fear he will lose his job.

Fresh ideas, kind of like new
coordinators and coaches every 20 games, right?

Isn’t what AIG and Goldman
Sachs needed too?

As for a Raider mock draft
here we go.  If I get any of those right, I’ll be as shocked
as you probably are.

  1. Michael Oher OT
    Mississippi – Becomes the pass blocking protector Russell needs.
  2. Brian Robiskie WR
    Ohio St – Might not be Raider fast but apparently Al likes his dad.
  3. Chip Vaughn SS Wake
    Forest – Raiders need some help here.
  4. Zach Follett OLB
    Cal – Local guy who is Raider-ish for a SAM LB

    6.   Johnny Knox
    WR, Abilene Christian – Al gets his deep threat

    7.  Chris Baker DT,
    Hampton – Need one somewhere

About Patrick A. Patterson, Senior Writer

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