There has been talk of the Raiders' upcoming draft possibilities.
People, including me, have written articles based on what they would want to happen, rather than actually realizing what the Raiders are going to do.
There are some things that are completely ignored.
The fact that the Raiders have signed Khalif Barnes, Sampson Satele, and Marcus Johnson shows that they are trying to avoid signing a high-salary OT. A ZBS doesn't require a whole lot of talent.
I think Khalif Barnes was a great pickup because he helped the Jacksonville Jaguars have a monster of a rushing attack, and he has the drive to be a dominant left tackle in the NFL.
"I am so determined to be the left tackle for the next nine years," Barnes said. "I know that is a big challenge, but that is my goal. What better place to be a dominant left tackle than with the Raiders? I get a chance to come in here and start. I'm not going to let it go."
He is only 26 years old, was a starter for a playoff-caliber team, and he wants to be a Raider. I say he is going to be great for our franchise. Tom Cable is going to give him a chance to be the left tackle for Oakland.
Samson Satele has started all 32 games of his career in Miami, and he was named to the all-rookie team of '07. He also started at guard late in the season last year, showing he is a versatile interior O-lineman. He is going to be a solid starter for the Raiders for years to come—he is only 24 years old.
The big question mark is over Marcus Johnson's head, though. At 6'6" and 321 pounds, he can push any DT back, and he has played at RT, but he only started 18 out of 47 games in Minnesota. But he was the first rookie OG in Vikings history to start on opening day. He might have something to offer the Raiders.
And, of course, we have Mario Henderson. He played great at the end of last year and helped J-Russ play consistently. He will also have a chance to start for Oakland.
I wouldn't mind having a big-name, high-priced, and very talented OT, but it really isn't necessary. We might sign an offensive tackle in later rounds.
Then there is our 31st-ranked rush defense. The stats might be a little inflated because of the offense's inability to achieve the holy grail that is the first down. But you can't put all of the blame on the offense.
So, I think that the DT position does need to be addressed. But, at the same time, I believe that B.J. Raji is one of the most overrated players in the '09 draft. Sedrick Ellis and Glenn Dorsey, anyone? He feasted on an easy schedule that contained teams that hadn't produced any good O-linemen in recent years, or even in this year's draft.
I would rather have Peria Jerry—he missed two games, but he still amassed six sacks and two forced fumbles, to Raji's seven sacks all year. And there really isn't a guarantee Raji will be there at seven.
Now, the biggest question of all: Will the Raiders take a receiver at No. 7?
I am a Michael Crabtree/Jeremy Maclin enthusiast. I think even though he is a "trenches guy," Cable will want Crabtree if he is still available, and by recent comments, he doesn't care about speed.
"At the end of the day, it's about touchdowns and production, and if you look at that, there's probably nobody better," Cable said.
I hate when people say he won't be able to get separation in the NFL. Funny, isn't it, how he was able to get more separation than any other receiver in the draft while in college? Speed is overrated. Larry Fitzgerald ran a 4.6 at his pro day, and he is the best receiver in the NFL.
I think that they will take Crabtree, who is undoubtedly the most appealing talent- and stats-wise. But, if he isn't there, the Raiders will take Jeremy Maclin.
In the second round, look for them to select a defensive tackle, whether it be Ron Brace, Peria Jerry, Fili Moala, Evander Hood, or even Ricky Jean-Francois.
With the third-round pick, they might go with safety and pick a player like Louis Delmas, Patrick Chung, Chip Vaughn, William Moore, or Kenny Phillips.
Also, there are players who may be traded for draft picks, such as Justin Fargas, Derrick Burgess, and Michael Huff.
But, you never really know what's going to happen on draft day...