This is first in a series of 3 articles about where the Raiders could have been if better draft picks had been made.
As the old saying goes, "No use in crying over spilt milk." there's no REAL NEED in discussing what could have been if the Raiders had made different draft picks. I generally stick to the facts and the possibilities based on those facts but this was just too interesting not to write about. I was sitting here musing about how great it was to have a good offseason from trades, releases and draft picks to adding new coaches. Then I wondered, "What if the Raiders had made different picks starting in 2007?". How much better would we be right now. I use 2007 as the starting point only because we had such hope in the JaMarcus Russel being our "saviour" and turning around our bad fortunes.This is not a Jamarcus bashing article or bashing any other previous or current player on our roster. If that's what you're looking for .....STOP READING NOW!
Hindsight is always 20/20, so its always easy to look back and say, "Damn! we should've picked that guy instead of..." However, if you look at some of the guys we did pick, some choices didn't make good sense. For instance, we drafted JaMarcus #1 overall to be out franchise QB, a guy who has all the physical talent but was very raw and undisciplined. Notable draft picks for 2007 (who have been productive players so far), were Calvin Johnson (WR), Adrian Peterson (RB), Joe Thomas (OT) Patrick Willis (MLB) and Darelle Revis (CB) and even Omobi Okoye (DT).
Prior to the Draft this are the some of the players we had are key positions that we drafted for or should have drafted for.
QB: Aaron Brooks, Andrew Walter, Marques Tuiososopo
WR: Will Buchanon, Ron Curry, Doug Gabriel, John Marsden, Johnnie Morant, Randy Moss
RB: Justin Fargas, Reshard Lee, Adimchinobe Echimandu
FB: Zack Crockett
MLB, Kirk Morrison
OT: Robert Gallery, Chad Slaughter, Langston Walker
So Aaron Brooks go the boot because he got sacked too much and sustained a shoulder injury and hasn't played in the NFL again. He wasn't a great QB by any stretch of the imagination but he was serviceble. How could he have accomplished as much as he did in New Orleans and be so HORRIBLE when he came to the Raiders. The Offensive Line is why. Robert Gallery was drafted as a LT but was moved to LG for good reason...he couldn't protect the QB and neither could our starting RT Langston Walker.Our Offensive line was horrible in pass protection. As much as would like to say we should have picked Adrian Peterson or Patrick Willis, the pick up of Left Tackle Joe Thomas has a much better ripple effect and I will show you why.
The following are Rds and Picks that we made in the 2007 draft:
Rd1: 1st Pick: QB Jamarcus Russel. (Should have picked LT Joe Thomas - Cleveland)
Rd2: 1st Pick: TE Zach Miller. (Good Choice)
Rd3: 1st Pick: DE Quentin Moses (Should have picked RT Ryan Harris - Denver)
Rd3: 2nd Pick: LT Mario Henderson (Depth at Position)
Rd3: Compensatory Pick: WR/PR Johnnie Lee Higgins (Decent Pick)
Rd4: 1st Pick: RB Michael Bush (Good Pick)
Rd4: 2nd Pick: CB John Bowie (Should have picked FB LaRon McClain - Baltimore)
Rd5: 1st Pick: DE Jay Richardson (Should have picked WR Steve Breaston - Arizona)
Rd5: 2nd Pick: S Eric Frampton (Should have picked WR Legadu Nanee - San Diego)
Rd6: 1st Pick: FB Oren Oneal (Depth at position)
Rd7: 1st Pick: WR Jonathan Holland (?)
I do realize that my version only covers the offensive side of the ball but if we fixed just one side of the ball we would have been better off in 2007 than we were. Quite possibly, Lame Lane Kiffin would still be our coach! eeeewww. Don't wanna think about that possibility.
So take a break from reality for a moment guys and tell me what you think. If you don't agree with my choices, tell me who you would have chosen and why.
Like it if you like it. Comment if you have an opinion.