Al Davis: Speed or Need in This Draft?

Rick FallerCorrespondent IApril 23, 2008

Rumors seldom affect Al Davis' decision making when it comes to his Oakland Raiders.

Rumors run rapid this time of year, with much speculation about what Al Davis and the Oakland Raiders will do in the draft with the fourth-overall pick.

I believe that Al Davis can see a super-fast Marcus Allen in Darren McFadden, and although we can't be sure of his true beliefs, he probably understands that the Raider's greatness of the past is entwined with the Marcus Allen era.

Darren McFadden would certainly bring some much-needed excitement to the Raiders and their fans. The question is however, would he bring more wins?

Running the ball was not the problem last year. The Raiders ranked sixth overall in the NFL in rushing. So let's speculate with DMac that we move up five places to first in rushing. Would we win more games?

With the many needs of the Raiders, DMac may be a luxury we cannot afford. Keep in mind the optimum shelf life of RB is about five years. Having said all that, don't forget we have Michael Bushm, who basically red shirted last year. He could be a special player given the chance this year.

The defense was ranked dead last in stopping the run in yards per carry and in yards allowed per game. Now if we really stretch our imagination and believe that Terdell Sands, newly acquired William Joseph, Kalimba Edwards, a rehabbing Tommy Kelly, and often injured Gerard Warren can do the job, then McFadden is a good pick. If you think this is not the case, then a DT or DE to occupy the minds of our opponent's offensive coordinator should be the pick.


Chris Long, Glenn Dorsey, or Sedrick Ellis would be the safe way to go if available. I can’t help think that a good offense may get you to the playoffs; however, it’s a great defense that wins championships. Ask the Patriots!

On Todd McShay, I agree with his assessment. We need either a game-decider DE or DT. The WR position was addressed in free agency (quite an upgrade from last year). A sleeper that is already on our roster coming off IR could be Johnathan Holland, if he can stay healthy. The kid is a missile!

Strong-side LB could use an upgrade, however, a good D-line, like the one at Baltimore or at Jacksonville, would protect our LBs with overwhelming play that allows the ordinary LB look like a pro-bowl player.

So fix the D line, and you will improve the LB position also.

After all is said and done, I would not be surprised to trade out of the fourth spot for more picks in the first, second, and third rounds. Dallas, New England, or even Cincinnati probably would love to jump into our spot if DMac is available. I would love to see the Raiders switch first-round picks with Cincinnati, plus they can throw in WR Chad Johnson, and we could still get Sedrick Ellis out of USC in their position.

No matter who big Al picks, the Raiders will gain an excellent player that will help tremendously with the upcoming season.

My overrated players, or those that have a chance to be busts, it is hard to say. History shows there are no favorites when it comes to overrated players. The problem as I see it, is there is too much put on the measurables, and not in the real fact that this guy is a football player.

Matt Ryan, Dominique Rodgers-Crommartie, Ryan Clady. All played well in college. The difference in some divisions in college and jumping to the NFL is much like comparing a Peugeot with a Cadillac. Only time will tell on these players.