2008 NFL Draft: Darren McFadden Doesn't Get by Oakland Raiders
With all the pre-draft hype surrounding the top five players, I'm sure we are all pretty familiar with Mr. Quick Shoes.
Hailing from Arkansas, the two-time Heisman runner up is just what the Doctor ordered to relieve some pressure from what is actually QB JaMarcus Russell's first real year.
Able to line up anywhere on the field, the two back formations the Raiders will now be able to employ are going to give AFC West defenders nightmares. However, McFadden comes with his share of baggage.
An altercation outside of nightclub right before his sophomore season had some analysts attaching the "character issue" tag to him. A story broke right before the draft about his mother’s former addiction to crack.
As any good organization would do, the Raiders did their homework and found there was nothing along the lines of a Pacman Jones to fret over.
Using the entire seven minutes, the card was turned in with the name of the player that the Raiders intended to draft all along. It was no surprise to Raider fans around the world.
Unofficially clocking a 4.27 40-yard dash at the combine must have been the straw that broke the camel's back, as Al Davis loves him some speed.
Known for drafting mediocre players that move like the wind, Mr. Davis may have finally gotten a player that can move and shake as well as blow by defenders.
Don't believe me? Go watch tape on McFadden and you're going to see some ridiculous runs.
More than once I saw him dart by players who had the proper angle and space to take him down. His position was misjudged because he moved faster than they expected.
McFadden joins a crowded backfield in Oakland that should get a little thinner by the June 1 cuts.
Lamont Jordan is expected to be released. With his large cap numbers and his undefined roll in the offense, he has become expendable. A pretty large fall from starting last season No. 1 on the depth chart.
Expect some trade rumors to surface with the Raiders getting what they can for running back Dominic Rhodes as it makes no sense to keep five halfbacks on the roster.
That would open the door for a duel at the starting running back position during camp between McFadden and Fargas that McFadden should win outright.
Fargas has the knowledge of the playbook and the familiarity with the offensive line, but that will mean nothing once the pure skills that McFadden possesses start showing up on the field.
I suspect that by the end of the year Fargas, who led the Raiders in rushing last season, will end up the No. 3 back. Michael Bush should develop into the hammer to compliment the slick shoes style running of McFadden.
All in all, it was the correct pick for the Raiders to make. The Jets were salivating at the thought of him being there at No. 6. Dallas was willing to give a whole boat load of picks to move up to grab him, but he wasn't getting by Al.
Some teams draft by need and other teams draft by best available. Al Davis and the Raiders draft by heart. Maybe Mr. Davis couldn't forgive himself for letting Adrian Peterson get by him last year.
Sure, Glenn Dorsey would have helped a defensive line in need of a run stuffer. Vernon Gholston could have helped with an inconsistent pass rush but who knows if those players have the skills to be hall of famers.
We all know McFadden does, and Al Davis knew it, too.
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