2009 Expert NFL Picks Preview: Oakland Raiders

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2009 Expert NFL Picks Preview: Oakland Raiders
(Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

The 2008 version of the Oakland Raiders was a lot like the previous few years of the Oakland Raiders: dysfunctional, terrible, and a laughingstock. They stumbled through the season, fired their coach, and watched their No. 1 overall draft pick play uninspired football.

This was actually only the first half of the season! From there, it only got worse. Did the Raiders do anything in the off-season to make anyone believe that they can compete? If you're looking for good NFL preseason football picks, look no further. The Oakland Raiders will battle it out with the Broncos for last in the division again this year.

The Good News: Hmm...surely there's got to be something good about this upcoming season for the Raiders, right? Well, there is an ultra-talented first round running back in Darren McFadden coming back, so that's good.

It remains to be seen whether he can carry the load for a full season or not. He played second fiddle to Justin Fargas last year until he got hurt and was knocked out for the year. If he matures and learns from last season, he could be a special player in this league.

The Bad News: Where to start? First of all, the No. 1 overall draft pick JaMarcus Russell is pretty much a joke. He's got a rifle for an arm, but unfortunately, being able to throw it the hardest doesn't translate into Super Bowl victories.

Usually someone drafted that high is expected to be a leader. Russell showed up to camp out of shape yet again this year. His accuracy was terrible last year and he didn't inspire much faith. In fact, they went out and got Jeff Garcia as an insurance policy this year.

Then there was the debacle of the NFL draft for the Raiders. Al "I love speed" Davis again went with his mantra. He drafted Darrius Heyward-Bey at No. 7 overall, even though every other draft board had Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin ranked ahead of him. Why did he do such a thing? Speed.

The guy can run fast. However, he can't catch a cold, which is a bit of a problem as a wide receiver. Then as if that wasn't a big enough joke, he drafts a safety in the second round that wasn't projected to go until the seventh round. In fact, when Michael Mitchell's name was called, ESPN didn't even have any footage of the guy.

How often does that happen? Why would Al Davis do this? Again, the answer is speed. Mitchell had a good 40 time. As long as Al Davis is in charge of the Raiders, they will never be competitive again.

Outlook: Free NFL betting picks are pretty much in unison again this year in regards to the Raiders. They're going to lose and lose frequently. They'll probably stumble along to another three or four win season. Then Al Davis will watch the combine and proceed to draft the fastest player out there.

If you're a Raider fan, I'm sorry, but it's the truth and preseason wins mean absolutely nothing.

 

Make sure you Check out Vernon Croy's Expert NFL Picks this season.

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