Have you ever been sitting around your house on Sunday watching the weekly games when, BAMM! Some player you haven't paid much attention to from another team starts making you notice?
I can't say I watch every game of every team, but I do catch my fair share and there are players out there that are impressive. Many of the guys I'm referring to are throwback players who like to hit hard and play with reckless abandon, while some are just very talented players who also are very good at the team concept.
This is part three of an eight part series detailing players that have jumped out at me and made me say, "Man!! That guy would be a good Raider!"
So let's roll: For part three, I'm going to troll the NFC North for guys that would be great additions to the Silver and Black.
I'll be listing my guys by division in the following order:
- Mar. 29 - NFL-Oakland_Raiders-Arizona_Cardinals-San_Francisco_49ers-He_d_be_a_good_Oakland_Raider_-_NFC_West-300308">NFC West
- Mar. 31 - Falcons-New_Orleans_Saints-He_d_Be_a_Good_Oakland_Raider_NFC_South_Targets-310308#comments">NFC South
- Apr. 1 - NFC North
- Apr. 2 - NFC East
- Apr. 3 - AFC East
- Apr. 4 - AFC North
- Apr. 5 - AFC South
- Apr. 7 - AFC West
Surprisingly, at least to me, this team has plenty of guys on it to choose from. Let me go ahead now and give honorable mentions to Matt Birk, Steve Hutchinson, Chester Taylor, Jim Kleinsasser, and Darren Sharper. I wouldn't complain about any of those guys wearing the colors, but I can't be choosing the whole freakin' team now can I?
RB—Adrian Peterson: Many in Raider Nation are clamoring for DMC this year for the Raiders first pick. Last year, it was Russell and I was telling everyone who'd listen that we needed to draft AP. Alright, that's Ok, no hard feelings...right? Yeah, right. I'm going to draft him this year and even though it counts for absolutely nothing, everyone now knows that this guy would be a good Raider.
WR—Sidney Rice: Few rookies impress me and even fewer rookie wide receivers (read Johnie Lee Higgins). His stats aren't impressive, but I attribute much of that to the system he plays in and the tossing him the ball. He's got sprinter speed, he's tall and lanky, and he can make the acrobatic catch...hmm...almost sounds like a guy the Raiders used to have. Except from all appearances, this kid has his head on straight and doesn't just play when he wants to play. I know that I'm going to hear about Berrian, but I really believe this kid is the one that will be doing damage.
OT—Bryant McKinnie: Besides being good, the guy looks mean. What should I expect from a lineman from the U, right? He gets in there, does his job, and does it well, and then he stands around looking like you've just slapped his mother. I like that, so he's in.
LB—E.J. Henderson: You want to talk about scary looking guys? Take a look at this dude! He doesn't just stand around looking scary either. He racked up over 100 tackles last year with 4.5 sacks! I'll take that production and his ugly mug any day, but I also like the kind of hits he puts on opposing players.
DT—Pat and Kevin Williams: I couldn't split this tandem. In my opinion, there isn't a better pair of defensive tackles in the game. They anchor a defense built to stop the run and they do it well leading the Vikings to be the #1 team against the run. What fan of the Raiders wouldn't mind that?
Brett Favre would definitely be on this list. I truly would've rather seen Brett lobbing long balls to Moss than Kerry 'freakin' Collins or Aaron 'I ain't going out there' Brooks. Ah well, that's why they call them dreams. In his first few seasons in the league, Charles Wood...err...uh, never mind that one. I like Al Harris too, but since his twin, Mike McKenzie, only got honorable mention, I guess I'll do the same for him.
DE—Aaron Kampman: A friend of mine told me to make sure I didn't forget this guy. I highly doubt I would've. He's a monster on the field! Over the past two seasons, this guy has racked up 27.5 sacks and he's always around the ball or in the quarterbacks' face.
DE—Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila: Something tells me that if Al Davis could sign this guy, Akbar (KGB's brother and current Raider) wouldn't be getting contracts from the Raiders. Although KGB's sacks have declined in recent years, (8, 6, & 9.5), he's still a solid pass rusher that makes himself noticed in every game.
OG—Daryn Colledge: Not only was this rookie impressive when thrust into the Left Tackle spot due to injury, he was impressive in how well he improved throughout the season. After losing his starting spot in pre season, he didn't hang his head and mope. He kept getting better, and when an injury gave him an opportunity he didn't miss it. Opens big holes and fights to the whistle for position.
OT—Chad Clifton: This guy looks the part of Hog Molly. With a mug only a mother could love, he's got a game that NFL players and scouts rave about. It's not easy protecting the blind side of a quarterback, but he's been pretty successful keeping Brett Favre healthy.
RB—Ryan Grant: Not bad, considering this guy was nothing but an afterthought going into last year. He's a tough inside runner with good enough bursts to break away for good yardage. He's a lot like Justin Fargas in his work ethic and toughness.
Now that their off season purge is nearly completed, I find that there are still guys that can get the job done on this roster. They may be the only players worth noting right now too. By the way, Corey Hulsey was a good Raider, but he's not going to make the list.
QB—Jon Kitna: This may be the last season he starts for anyone now that Martz is gone, but I admire this guy for his determination, hard work, and toughness. Besides, how can I leave a quarterback off of this list who's been sacked a staggering 114 times over the past two seasons! I had designs about putting Backus and Riola on this list, but after seeing that and remembering how horrible they were running the ball last year, my job has just gotten easier. At least Detroit was able to get this era's Steve Deberg on the list.
LB—Ernie Simms: I really like this guy. When he came out of college, I wished the Raiders could somehow get another first round pick to get him. He is everything that he was billed to be and more. In two seasons, he's amassed 258 tackles! Not bad for a guy who is only 23! What's this guy going to be like in three years?! He has sub 4.5 speed and he really is standing out during games.
K—Jason Hanson: Yeah, I know. This is no disrespect to SeaBass, but don't tell me that you haven't thought about Hanson taking that last second field goal after a three point loss with two missed field goals by Jano. Hanson is probably the closest thing you can get to automatic, plus you gotta' love how he lines those kicks up.
This one is easy. I'll tell you now that Lance Briggs isn't one of my selected few. I don't think this guy is the type of 'team' player that a clubhouse needs. Some of the comments attributed to him and the fact that he's still with the team he said he'd, "...never play for again," has something to do with it too. I also like Charles Tillman and Nathan Vasher, but I don't think that I'd put them in this list yet. Devin Hester...no. When he can play at an NFL level at a position other than return man, then there will be reason to include him.
LB—Brian Urlacher: Of course. Do I have to say anything about this pick? Yeah, didn't think I did.
OC—Olin Kreutz: I like this guy. He's mean and nasty, but he's also a great technique guy. That's probably why he's bee in six pro bowls. The reason everyone in Chicago is all over Grossman and Benson is because they don't have anyone on the line to blame. I credit the center for that more than any other position. Raider Nation knows how important a center can be to an offensive line.
DT—Tommie Harris: The anchor of the Bears defensive line, when you think Monsters of the Midway, he runs with that crowd. He wreaks havoc on opposing centers and constantly disturbs plays. He's not going to have the gaudy stats that an end would have, but watch him. You'll understand why he'd be not just a good Raider, but a great one. He's got an attitude as seen by his press photo and that's always a good attribute to have if you play for the Silver and Black.
TE—Desmond Clark: He's a tough guy. I'll admit that I've been a fan of his since he was a Bronco, but the guy continues to produce. He's not the most popular tight end in the league, you'll probably find him on your fantasy free agent list after your league drafts, and if he's there think about picking him up. He's good enough to hold off Greg Olsen who was supposed to be the next Shockey from the 'U'. He blocks and catches, where many of today's tight ends don't do both, and he also catches in the clutch. I don't know if I'd start him on the Raiders, but I wouldn't mind him being around to spell Miller now and then.
Tomorrow, I'll be looking at arguably the best division in all of football, the NFC EAST. I can tell you right now, that I'm unsure of what T.O.'s status will be at this time. So tune in tomorrow to see if I got it right.
If I didn't, post yours now. Tell me who I should've selected so far or who I should select in the other divisions.
Remember the only criteria to make my list, is that the player has had to have made an impression on me so significant that I would say to myself, "He'd be a good Raider," or "I wish he was a Raider."
Who's done that for you?