Saturday can't get here soon enough.
The mock drafts are starting to get to the point of ridiculous where the Raiders are concerned. They are based solely on a thought that the Raiders don't make picks based on need, but athleticism.
While Fabian Washington may have fit that mold in 2005, CB was a major need and the Raiders first and second round picks filled that need.
Certainly, the Raiders weren't infatuated with the 40-times of Robert Gallery, JaMarcus Russell, or Sebastian Janikowski, were they?
The Raiders have historically drafted on need in the first round.
Russell over Calvin Johnson, Michael Huff over Matt Leinart, Gallery over Larry Fitzgerald and Roy Williams.
This is not to say the Raiders haven't botched their picks, they've had more than their fair share of busts. The revolving door of coaches has stunted player development, and there have been character issues that should have been weeded out in the scouting process.
In the latest mocks by Peter Prisco at CBS Sportsline and Todd McShay at ESPN, both have the Raiders picking Darren McFadden over Chris Long and Glenn Dorsey, respectively.
Let me shed a little light on the flawed logic at work there:
The Raiders have just spent an enormous amount of money and draft picks to shore up their defense.
This offseason they traded for CB DeAngelo Hall, re-signed Tommy Kelly, brought in SS Gabril Wilson from the NY Giants, and slapped the franchise tag on the greatest CB never to make a Pro Bowl in Nnamdi Asomugha.
Add to that defense two ball hawking Pro-Bowlers-in-waiting at linebacker in Thomas Howard and Kirk Morrison, and you have the makings of a dominant defense.
The Raiders also added depth along the defensive line with the signings of Kalimba Edwards and William Joseph, both of those players are hit-or-miss reclamation projects.
So, on to my three reasons for disputing the Raiders picking Darren McFadden.
1. The Achilles’ heal for the Raiders last year was their run defense. They were 31st in the league giving up a whopping 4.8 yards per carry.
With a huge investment in the DB's, it makes absolutely no sense to ignore their biggest need, the defensive line. You just don't build a house, then forget to put on the roof.
Bringing in a talent like Long or Dorsey should instantly solidify the run D and force teams to throw the ball into the hornets’ nest that is the Raiders new secondary.
Either pick will fit simply because Tommy Kelly can be moved inside or out depending on which player is available.
Not facing Allen twice a year will allow JaMarcus Russell to sleep a little better at night. Would the Raiders really hand the Chiefs a gift like Dorsey or Long?
Particularly troublesome is the thought of having the son of one of the all-time great Raiders pinning his ears back and attempting to assassinate your $30 million quarterback twice a year.
3. The Raiders are loaded at running back, finishing sixth in the NFL in rushing in 2007. They currently have Dominic Rhodes, Justin Fargas, LaMont Jordan, and the unknown entity that is Michael Bush on the roster.
The Raiders were comfortable enough at RB in 2007 to let Bush sit and heal an extra year from the broken leg that sidelined him in his senior season at Louisville.
He was projected as a strong first round pick before his injury and the Raiders picked him up in the fourth round. Bush may yet end up being the steal of the 2007 draft.
In seven starts last season, Fargas gained over 1,000 yards and averaged 4.5 yards per carry.
Rhodes averaged 4.0 YPC but was stuck behind Jordan and Fargas after spending the first four weeks of the season suspended due to a DUI he got while still in Indianapolis.
Jordan will almost certainly be released after June 1, as his cap number is just too high, and his productivity and bad back make him expendable.
Adding Darren McFadden to that mix just doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
It seems that some of these so-called experts are more interested in perpetuating the belief that Al Davis is senile enough to look past his team needs while salivating over the athletic ability of McFadden.
Davis is a favored target of the sports media, both locally and nationally.
While he's earned it in some instances, slamming Al just makes for good copy in the off season. In January, Chris Mortensen reported that Lane Kiffin would be fired before the week was out; last I heard he was still coaching in Oakland.
Meanwhile, the crafty Mr. Davis has put together a defensive secondary that looks like it's going to create a lot of angst in opponents’ game planning sessions next year. I can't imagine he'll pass on the opportunity to put the finishing touches on his masterpiece.
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