Raider Nation: What Makes Darren McFadden So Appealing?

Rob CalongeAnalyst IMarch 28, 2008

Last year while most of you were champing at the bit for the Raiders to draft JaMarcus Russell, I was feverishly preaching that the Raiders needed to draft either Adrian Peterson or Marshawn Lynch.  Then, my reasoning was that with Andrew Walter already on the roster, a horrible offensive line, and no running back on the roster capable of putting fear into a defense to keep them from blitzing every down, the Raiders HAD to get a big-play running back.

A year later and it looks like you all have caught up to me by raising the fervor for McFadden, but now I'm in disagreement...again.  You see, after last season things have changed.  Okay, so the Raiders still have Walter on the roster, but you got your wish last year when they drafted Russell.  Even though, I think Andrew Walter is going to tear up the league when he gets the chance, I'll concede that you guys were probably right about Russell.  He's as good as advertised, but so was Peterson and Lynch.

So what's different?  Why don't I believe that we still need the home-run hitter that I so passionately argued for last year?  The Raiders took care of that last year.  Michael Bush, selected with the first pick of the fourth round in 2007, IS that guy.

Not only is he the guy that can take the Raiders to new heights, the team's offensive situation is completely different.  Going into last year's draft, they were arguably the worst offense ever.  This year, they go into the draft with the sixth-best running attack in the league and an ever-improving passing game.  With Russell at the helm, Walker running routes opposite Curry, and Fargas pounding tough yards while Bush makes his mark, the Raiders need anything but another running back!

If you say they need an offensive lineman, sure I'll agree.  If you tell me they need a defensive end...okay, that makes sense.  Even if you were to tell me they still need a defensive tackle, I'd have to listen.  The problem is, you're telling me that the Raiders need a fifth running back, and that, my friends, doesn't make sense to me.

If they cut Jordan, which is expected, and then trade Bush or Fargas—then yes, they should draft McFadden.  I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but the Raiders are not drafting McFadden!  This year, I'm going to preach that they should trade down, but I'm not going to rule out drafting either Long or defensive tackle if/when any of them are available with the fourth pick.

If Al Davis can work a trade to get two first round selections and a second or third round pick, that would probably enable the Raiders to select a good receiver, defensive tackle, and a defensive end.  So I'm going to fly in the face of logic and defy all of the so-called draft experts and call it right now: The Raiders are trading down in the draft (probably to Dallas) and they are going to stockpile a few picks in return.  However, I did think they'd pick Peterson last year too.