Commitment To...Well...Anything But Winning!

Preston ParkerCorrespondent IFebruary 7, 2009

Ahh...The Raiders. For a draft junkie like me, I love the Raiders, because the player who has top 10 talent with the best 40 time is always Al Davis' pick.

JaMarcus Russell had great measurables and a nice 40 time for a QB. Darren McFadden? Who cares if our running game is our best feature, draft him!

Unfortunately for us draftniks, however, Tom Cable is the complete opposite. A former offensive guard at the University of Idaho, Tom Cable served as head coach there from 2000 to 2003.

Afterwards, he spent time with the Falcons as their offensive line coach before moving on to the Raiders. He spent one year in Oakland before moving up to their head coach position, which he currently serves.

The issue with all this is simple; Tom Cable believes in hard-nosed, smashmouth football. Al Davis believes in 40 times. Unless there's an offensive tackle out there that runs a 4.4 40 yard dash, there's bound to be controversy in the war room.

Of the Big Four offensive tackles [Andre Smith, Jason Smith, Michael Oher, Eugene Monroe], Jason Smith and Eugene Monroe are the most athletic, the former being a converted tight end.

When you look at the top of the draft, numerous teams, including the Lions, Rams, Seahawks and Bengals, could be on the hunt for a lockdown tackle.

The Lions may very well take an offensive tackle No. 1 overall, but that pick is becoming more and more likely to be Matthew Stafford. The Rams seem to be almost guaranteed an offensive tackle; they've been trying to address the trenches for years.

Although the option of Michael Crabtree enters the picture, I'm going to say that Andre Smith from Alabama goes here, mainly because of his versatility; he can play either guard positions and either tackle positions. 

If Michael Crabtree does in fact go to the Rams, then the Seahawks take an offensive tackle; simple as that. So more than likely, Andre Smith will be off the board by pick No. 5.

Then comes the Bengals at No. 6; a very tough choice. It's essentially a matter of Oher, Smith, or Monroe; which to choose! Oher is similar to Smith in the fact that he can play both tackle positions. Smith and Monroe are both athletic.

Even before the season began, when I was considering either Oher or Monroe to go to the Falcons at #1 [hey, it looked like the Falcons were going to be horrible!], I had an opinion on who to take. Oher was the raw talent, the guy that would be better down the line. But for the No. 1 pick, you want a guy who can step in and make an impact, which was what the more polished Monroe could do.

Although that was seven months ago, I still believe those same basic ideas to be true, which is why I think the Bengals grab the natural left tackle, Eugene Monroe. Then, at No. 7, the Oakland Raiders war room explodes in chatter. Whom to take?

In my opinion, this pick could come down to Jason Smith, Michael Oher and Jeremy Maclin [WR from Missouri]. Maclin follows the old Al Davis adage; 4.33 speed = Oakland Raider speed! P

lus, JaMarcus Russel needs a reliable target, especially one he can hit down the field with his big arm.

But then there's what Tom Cable brings to the table; old-fashioned football. Running the ball, playing good defense.

The Raiders defense isn't completely horrible, especially their cornerbacks [even without Nnamdi Asomugha, Chris Johnson and Stanford Routt proved this season that they can play with the best of them].

The best offensive tackle of the two? Oher, in my opinion. Plus, if they feel well about Mario Henderson, their young offensive tackle who played extremely well in his time at the end of the season, then Oher can come in and play right tackle extremely well. The best of both worlds? Jason Smith.

The Baylor prospect, as previously mentioned, was a former tight end whose stock has risen like no one elses through his senior season.

At 6-foot-5, 310 pounds he's a big player, but also runs a 5.1 40 time. Eventually, I think Jason Smith will be the pick, but never put anything past Al Davis.

I just hope he doesn't decide to draft Knowshon Moreno.