I think its time I paid homage to my roots, my past and respect where I come from: the land of the sidekicks.
The Oakland Raiders—where do I begin? How do I summarize their play in a nutshell? I'll try my best.
Their glory days are behind them and since their Super Bowl berth in the 2002-03 season, they are a combined 19-61 in the regular season and have not made it to the playoffs since.
With last year's No. 1 pick, they drafted Jamarcus Russell out of LSU. Russell only appeared in less than half of their games. Last year, they were involved in a quarterback fiasco that included Russell as well as Josh McCown, Daunte Culpepper, and even Andrew Walter.
Russell was named the starting quarterback for the upcoming season. Now who's he going to throw it to?
The Raiders' depleted receiving corps consists of Jerry Porter, Ronald Curry, Johnnie Lee Higgins, Drisan James, and Jonathan Holland. Not exactly names that blow you away.
That is why with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft the Oakland Raiders should pick Desean Jackson from the University of California.
Reasons why the Raiders should draft Jackson
- Jackson had the second fastest 40-yard dash time at the combine at 4.31 seconds. Jackson brings explosiveness that the Raiders thought they were getting in Moss and also brings great work ethic.
- Desean also has great elusiveness, speed, agility. He draws comparisons to Santana Moss, Dante Hall, Steve Smith, and Antwaan Randle-El. With proper experience and technique, he could grow into a Torry Holt or Larry Fitzgerald type of receiver.
- Jamarcus Russell needs to be kept happy. You don't want the quarterback of the future to be upset or complaining about lack of talent surrounding him. Jamarcus loves to throw the long ball and needs another playmaker alongside him in Oakland. Who better than someone who actually has the speed to go out and catch one of those bombs? Bottom line is if your star is pleased, he plays better, and your team benefits.
Reasons why the Raiders shouldn't draft Chris Long
- Let's not forget that the Raiders were pretty solid on the defensive side two years ago, finishing third in the league in total defense and first in passing defense. Their passing defense wasn't bad last year, as they were eighth best in the NFL. The only reason Oakland was terrible last year on rushing defense was because of Warren Sapp age, lack of effort, and frustration. Terdell Sands's underachievement also hurt the defense. Long is being talked about drafted to the Raiders mostly to fill the hole left by Warren Sapp
- Chris Long would be brought in to help the pass rush. No disrespect to Howie Long, but I think his son is not needed. Chris Long is not necessary because Oakland already has Pro Bowl defensive end Derrick Burgess, physical tackle Gerard Warren, and great talent in defensive end Jay Richardson.
In the end, either pick will not single-handedly bring the organization from the depths of the AFC West or the NFL for that matter. But with experience, hard work, due time, and a little luck I believe we will be seeing the Raiders that took it all the way to February.
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