Al Davis: The Draft and Recognition of Talent

MInus VasiliadesContributor IApril 30, 2009

3 Dec 2000:  A close up of Owner Al Davis of the Oakland Raiders as he looks on during the game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Three Rivers Stadium in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  The Steelers defeated the Raiders 21-20.Mandatory Credit: Tom Pidgeon  /Allsport

A lot of "experts" say the game has passed him by. He's become senile. He's lost it and at the same time is taking the team down with him. The "Team of the Decades" has become a decaying team as of the past six or seven years.

Frustration is always present when watching us play. Few sustained drives, few big plays, blown leads, divisional woes, blah...blah...blah.

Can Al Davis still spot talent that comprises a winner and not a track team? That can come together and produce a playoff contender? Let's take a look at the draftees since 2000.....

2000: Two pro bowl type players in Lechler, Janikowski. Porter underachieved.

2001: Disaster all the way...Gruden????

2002: Not much better.

2003: Nnamdi Asomugha—maybe one of the best ever; certainly the best today. Thrown to only 28 times last year, eight completions...C'mon...Wow!!

2004: Robert Gallery—pro bowl kinda player, albeit at guard. Jake Grove not bad, gone now. Stu Schweighert—good player (not more, not less)

2005: Fabian—good player in right system (not for Raider defensive man to man), Kirk Morrison—solid LB without a doubt; needs quality DT to take pressure off him but is a tackling machine.

2006: Thomas Howard—I like him a lot, solid player. McQuistan - we need to see when healthy, but i think can contribute now; seems in shape.The big question is Michael Huff—the Raiders dont usually strike out with DBs—this is the year to see if he's really a bust or not (with Mitchell added); don't see why this excellent athlete from a national champion can't pair up with him and have a decent year..... I don't know guys.

2007: Russell, Miller, Henderson, Higgins, Bush, Richardson, Bowie...what a draft! Miller is an all-pro TE (when our offense produces the numbers). Higgins is versatile, fast, special teamer also. Henderson - wait and see this year guys.Bush—solid back and proved it: was a steal. Russell needs that step forward for the team to make playoffs, and if he himself works at it, why not. I think his reads will improve and did with Henderson at the blind side. DHB should help.

2008: McFadden - Needs to step it up this year and has all the ability in the world. I think he'll be fine once the passing game clicks. Tyvon Branch is a contributor and will contribute this year. Chaz Schilenz—did you see that catch against the Ravens?? He can play; solid No. 3 receiver. Trevor Scott: 6'5" 250lbs with good skills. We're deep here after this year's draft.

2009: It's fresh in our minds. Can't wait to see Mitchell. I think we could have gone Raji 1st, maybe Robiskie later, but it is what it is. If Kelly and Sands or FA play to ability, than I like what we did. If guys fill it in.

Al Davis loves the Raiders and that's why I love the Raiders and Al Davis. He is hands on and that's why coaches don't wanna come here. He needs the Cable sort of coaches...not the moronic Kiffin kind (and I care about what the players said).

It's coming together for us. I think Al is waiting for all of it to click. JaMarcus is the key. The AFC West is there for the taking (see ya Marty...c'mon Norv, K.C well it doesn't matter, but they HAD our number).

I give Al a solid B on the drafts. Not Raven-like when it comes to pro-bowlers...but look at the later rounds and you know that he still knows talent. It only takes a little time to gel...and it is baby, it is. Just no more Javon Walkers and DeAngello Halls (attempted quick fixes with these kinda players don't work Al...)

Just win Raiders...the rest is for us to enjoy.