I was at work when the draft was going on. I was nervous about what Al would pull out of his hat this year. I sat doing my job diligently when I got the text: "Yall just took Heyward-Bey from Maryland."
As most could imagine, my reaction wasn't the best to the pick.
It wasn't a surprise that we were going sexy with the pick. After the horrid year of receiving that saw Johnny Lee Higgins lead the WR's in catches with a putrid 22. We have a rising star in Zach Miller at tight end so I knew Al would want a guy on the outside because he likes a good TE, but loooves a good receiver.
All the boards had read that Crabtree would be gone before our pick came up. So I had figured we'd just take Maclin and let bygones be bygones. But then, magic happened and they both sat there in front of us.
Waiting to be picked by the Raiders, and then Al does it. Same thing he does to us pretty much every year. He takes the combine king. Darrius Heyward-Bey.
This guy was never on anyone's list. He wasn't spoken about at all. Except as a guy who did great with the pads off running the 40. Dare I say Michael Huff, Philip Buchanon to name a couple. I mean Al seems like he drafts people based off of how they would be on Madden. A ton of speed, but no awareness to make any difference.
As the Raiders have become the butt of more and more jokes since our Super Bowl run many many moons ago. We have reached more than times than enough at players who didn't reflect great things on actual game film. Heyward-Bey can possibly be the guy who shows that Al still has an eye for the game, or that he has completely lost it.
Since I'm a glass half full type guy I'll be nice about this early on. He'll have a chance to cut his teeth against the best corner in the league, Mr. Nnamdi Asomugha. He's going to learn how to gain separation against a purely man defense.
And if he has the chops and the want, to show people like myself and pretty much everyone except Al and his family that he was worth it, then he may be the one.
But, and you knew there was a but, if this guy is a slacker. If he proves himself to be a player who has a happy to be here attitude. Then we are doomed. I wasn't a big believer when I was younger in the first round pick deal that would set you back.
But in this decade it's proven to me what it means. I just hope you still know something no one else does Al. Otherwise we have another year to wait for our next big top 10 pick.
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