As everyone knows, this is Al Davis' time to shine. Nothing involved in tonight's draft will move unless Al Davis gives the word. That said, Mr Davis hasn't hit on a number one pick since Nnamdi Asomugha in 2003.
Davis hasn't changed his approach on drafting, and everyone knows what his tendencies are. If the height/weight/speed ratio aren't on an off-the-charts level, it's likely you won't be first-round pick for the Raiders.
That said, there are certain red flags that Davis should take into consideration before knighting a prospect as a great player. Here are just a few things Al Davis should avoid in the war room.
Mr. Al Davis. DO NOT:
Trade for Ben Roethlisberger
There have already been reports that the Raiders are looking into this trade. This should be avoided at all costs. It's not for the fact that Big Ben isn't a good player. He's a proven player on the field, and at 28 years old, still has a number of productive years left.
The problem is the PR baggage this trade has with it. Roethlisberger will be suspended for, more or less, six games due to violating the NFL personal conduct policy. Roethlisberger officially has the image of a bad seed, and that image won't be leaving any time soon.
People still think of the Raiders from the late 60s and 70s. A squad of physically gifted goons and cheaters that would just as quickly fight you off the field as on the field. The Raiders constantly get pegged as the home for players with character issues, when in reality that's not really the case for today.
Trading for Roethlisberger will continue to instill that image into the NFL fan mindset, and that's not really what the Raiders need right now. Davis has always been open to giving players a second chance, but this is a case where it shouldn't be considered.
Draft A DB
This shouldn't happen, but it's no secret that Al Davis loves DBs. Since 2001, Davis has drafted 5 DBs in the first-round. The only one that is still on the team is Nnamdi Asomugha.
A defensive back isn't really a need, but a player as physically imposing as Taylor Mays might be too good to pass up in Davis' eyes. Never mind that he can't cover and whiffs on tackles because he always wants the big hit. Don't do it Al.
Draft Bruce Campbell In The First Round
Campbell has been the name that's most associated to the Raiders number eight pick. He's been hit with the "workout warrior, but few starts and average tape" label, and that's usually just fine for Davis. Davis loves combine stats and Campbell was a huge standout.
Campbell is projected as a second round choice, but as last year showed us value doesn't concern Davis as long as he gets what he wants before everyone else can. If Trent Williams is there, he should be the choice as his measurables were very close to Campbell's and has more experience.
If he's not there, wait for Campbell in the second-round and draft Dan Williams. He fits a huge need, and automatically makes the defense more formidable.
Draft Jason Pierre-Paul
The reasoning is the same as Bruce Campbell. Athletic freak, but little tape or consistency. The need for elite pass rushers is always a hot commodity on draft day, but the bust rate is as high as the bust rate for quarterbacks. Pierre-Paul is high-risk/high-reward, but this isn't a gamble the Raiders should be taking.
Davis has been pumping money and draft picks into questionable prospects and free agents for years, and it's stifling the development of the team. From top to bottom, the Raiders roster has some talent developing, and a few hits in the early rounds could be all they need to start changing their franchise fortunes.
There are a number of intriguing players being used as trade bait, but the Raiders should stay away from the Haynesworth and Faneca's dangling in front of them. If any trades should be done, it should be to trade down. Davis rarely does this, but it's their best option.
Do What You Normally Do
Because everything you've done hasn't worked. It's time to use more unconventional (conventional to everyone else) methods.
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