The Oakland Raiders have had a less-than-perfect record when it comes to first round draft picks since 2000. If they hope to make a better start this decade, then they must learn the lessons of the past.
There are certain players who might look good on paper, but not on tape. The ultimate yardstick for any player entering the NFL is his desire and work ethic. Without it the rest doesn't mean anything.
Neither do 40-yard dash times and bench press reps without the ability to play football.
Here are three players that I believe that the Oakland Raiders should shy away from on draft day:
S Taylor Mays (USC): Mays has started to creep back into mock drafts for the Oakland Raiders at number eight, but there are so many reasons why Oakland should stay away from Mays this year.
He showed at the Senior Bowl that he was very suspect in coverage and often whiffed on tackles whilst going for the big hit.
He has never been a ball hawk, having very few interceptions in his college career.
Despite his amazing physical talents, he doesn’t translate that well to the pros, and if we needed another reason not to take Mays, the Raiders are already well stocked at safety with Tyvon Branch, Micheal Huff, and Mike Mitchell.
Mays is the absolute worst possible pick for Oakland.
OT Bruce Campbell (Maryland): Despite almost everyone on the planet having Bruce Campbell going to the Raiders with the eighth pick of the draft, I have to say that I think that this would be a huge mistake.
Campbell is only listed behind Taylor Mays because Mays would be the wrong pick at the wrong position, and Campbell would at least be the wrong pick at the right position.
It happens every year at the combine...teams fall in love with workout warriors and disregard the fact that the player is less-than-average on the football field.
Yes, Campbell looks good getting off the bus and has impressive measurables in every area. Not on his game tape though, and this is one player who could really have benefited from staying in school for his senior year.
He is a developmental project who is very raw.
I read "all the physical tools to be an all pro" on a lot of draft boards, but the Raiders don’t need a guy to be a Pro Bowler four years from now. Even if that were the case, they need a good player to start at right tackle on opening day.
Players like Trent Williams or Brian Bulaga could easily fill that need. Campbell would be another high risk pick.
OT Anthony Davis (Rutgers): The talk about Davis is that he has got as much upside as any tackle in this draft.
Don’t give me upside, give me production. Give me heart and commitment. Give me a team player. That’s what this team needs first.
Davis has had some character issues throughout his career, has struggled with weight problems, and didn’t turn up in good shape at the combine, the biggest job interview of his life.
The red flags are there for a guy who will take the big payday and then go on to put little effort into the rest of his career. We already have a guy like that and don’t need another one.
My last name on the list will be "any other defensive back ."
Not that there aren’t some good defensive backs in this year's draft. But because the Oakland Raiders are in such dire straits on both sides of the line, unless they address this issue, things will quickly get even worse than they are already.
We need good linemen and solid picks, not high-risk players at low-need positions.
Let’s hope we get it right this year.