One of These 4 Will Be Drafted First By Al Davis
After drafting Darrius Heyward-Bey better known as DHB, I'm very curious to see who Al Davis is going to draft with the 8th pick this year.
I'd love for Trent Williams to fall to Oakland, but the only way he falls to Oakland is if teams consider his lack of love for the game the big reason as to why he drops. He's got all the tools, but if he's another Mario Henderson there's no reason to duplicate the position.
Besides, I doubt Mike Shanahan is going to let Trent Williams get past the Redskins 4th pick as he could be his next Ryan Clady and defend Donovan McNabb's blindside next year.
So scratch Trent Williams off Oakland's possible list of offensive tackles in this draft. Scratching Russell Okung's name was immediate when the list was written.
As the draft approaches more and more teams are now starting to realize that Iowa's Bryan Bulaga might be very similar to Robert Gallery, an over-hyped tackle who was over-coached at Iowa behind the country's best O line coach in Kirk Ferentz.
So scratch Bulaga of the list of potential Oakland Raiders tackles. If Trent Williams doesn't fall to Oakland I can't see Al reaching for Bruce Campbell. He's never been known to draft a super fast offensive lineman and it's highly doubtful he'll draft a lineman without Tom Cable's input.
This leaves four possible players Oakland should think about drafting, DT/NT Dan Williams, QB Jimmy Clausen, RG Mike Iupati, and although they are strong at the position, grabbing a stud DE for depth and a great rotation, DE Derrick Morgan.
Defensive tackle Dan Williams would be an automatic upgrade to the D line and provide the missing link the interior D line has been missing against run defense the past 5 years.
Williams is projected to go anywhere from the 10th pick to the 15th pick, but would definitely help out the D line. It's really tough to for rookie defensive tackles to make much of an impact their first year, but he could be a Raider for the next 10 years and provide solid play.
A rotation of Desmond Bryant, Tommy Kelly, Richard Seymour, and Dan Williams would be a significant improvement to the D line. Combine these players with the upcoming Matt Shaughnessey and Trevor Scott and the D line looks like its set for the next 5 years.
Mike Iupati would be considered a reach as a top 10 pick, but many analysts have pointed out he's expected to San Francisco with either of their first round picks. Iupati dominated a weak conference, but his size and strength make him the most interesting prospect to come out in years. He's 6'5" 330 lbs and moves like he's 300. He struggled at first at the Senior Bowl but improved as the week wore on which was expected considering the level of competition he faced at Idaho.
Iupati could be a great addition to the offensive line. If he's the next Steve Wisniewski then I'm fine adding him. There's an obvious comfort level for Cable considering Iupati is coming from Idaho, Cable's alma matter.
But, there's also the question that if the Raiders draft Jimmy Clausen with their first pick they could take another stud RG in the 2nd round by the name of John Jerry. I'm not sure if there's a big difference between John Jerry and Mike Iupati other than the fact Iupati is more athletic but as long as the RG position is upgraded this offseason I'll be happy because Cooper Carlisle needs go.
Jimmy Clausen just had his Pro Day yesterday and apparently he was very accurate and showed off his big arm. He's a perfect candidate to be picked by Al Davis if he's still available when Oakland picks. Al Davis has never fully believed in chemistry. He believes a team full of athletes should be able to play together provided they are good. Based on various analysts, Clausen isn't known as a leader and is known as cocky and arrogant. I'm not sure which way to go on this, but I'm certain he's cocky and arrogant, but if he works his ass off and comes to work every day willing to be the best QB, I could really care less if he's the best leader.
If you ask his offensive teammates they'll tell you he's a leader. I'm not sure what to think of him, but I do know he'll be in better shape than JaMarcus Russell has ever been in. I do know he'll become a gym rat that'll completely know the offense and be able to lead his team.
If he's a jerk and leads the team to more wins I could care less about his attitude. He's an immediate upgrade over Russell and Bruce Gradkowski, so it becomes an interesting pick if Al decides to take him. Remember Rich Gannon was known as an A hole too.
However, Oakland must decide if they want to trade for Jason Campbell. I'd prefer Clausen over Campbell, but Campbell could come right in for a 4th or 5th round pick and allow Oakland to build their trenches with their first 3 or 4 picks.
The last player the Raiders should think about selecting is Georgia Tech's defensive end Derrick Morgan. He would be selected using the best available player draft strategy. Although Matt Shaughnessey showed a lot of promise last season, he's had injury problems and adding another stud DE would make the DE rotation of Richard Seymour, Shaughnessey, and Trevor Scott rock solid for the next 10 years.
Derrick Morgan is rock solid against the run and getting pressure on the QB. If Oakland determines they don't want to draft a QB with their first pick, believe taking a RG is too early, and want to pick up their run-plugging DT later in the draft, then taking the best available is the best strategy to use.
It would become a choice of Morgan or Bruce Campbell/Anthony Smith. These two LT's aren't first round talents and Morgan would be better over the long-term.