Oakland Raiders: Shopping for Al Davis' Groceries (List Two)
There is a plethora of ways that the Oakland Raiders can put together the right ingredients to cook up for 2011. I have written plenty of articles on what the Raiders could and should shop for to make the right mix.
Since there are so many ways to do it, I will write plenty more on what could be done. This article is yet another shopping list the Raiders can take for their recipe to cook up a contender.
Some of these ingredients are the same but there are some that are different.
Turn the page to see it.
Keep a Key Ingredient at Home
Many believe the Nnamdi Asomugha's days as an Oakland Raider have come to an end. This is because the recent signing of Stanford Routt for over $10 million a year.
But that isn't necessarily the case.
When it comes to Al Davis, you have to think outside the box.
If Routt makes over $10 million, what is Nnamdi going to ask for on the open market?
The Jets and many in the media believe that Darelle Revis is the best corner in NFL and he doesn't make that. This causes me to believe that the other teams around the league, namely the contenders won't pay such a price for Asomugha's services.
You also have to remember that Davis loves his corners and shows it when doing their contracts. I can't see Davis letting Lester Hayes go for Mike Haynes or vica-versa if they played in today's game.
In today's game, it is more important than ever to have two great corners.
Item 1: Franchise Left Tackle
If you have read my previous article, this slide will probably look familiar. Jared Gaither is a immensely talented franchise tackle that the Raiders need to protect quarterback Jason Campbell long enough to get the vertical game off.
At 6'9", 340 pounds, Gaither perfectly represents the bully movement the Raider head coach Hue Jackson is ushering in. He has also worked with Jackson and Raider offensive coordinator Al Saunders in Baltimore.
Word out of Baltimore is that he is unlikely to return to the Ravens for 2011. Gaither himself has said that he will not return to Baltimore unless he is moved back to left tackle by the team.
That isn't likely because they seem to be committed to Michael Ohr at the position. Many may be concerned about the issues Gaither has had with being tendered and not showing up to O.T.A.s in Baltimore.
But that is much to worry about nothing as Al Davis will pay, Saunders and Jackson will coach, and Gaither will play.
Item 2: Power Blocking Guard
With Asomugha still at home, the Raiders can now focus on the offensive line as it was truly the Raiders weakness. Samson Satele was given a second round tender so they must think he's not so bad.
Many in Raider Nation want to see Stefen Wisniewski drafted in the second round because of his uncle but there is a better player for the Raiders out there. Wisniewski is considered to be a zone blocking type of center and the Raiders have gone back to power blocking.
Robert Gallery is leaving, probably to the Seattle Seahawks, so a big, power blocking guard is what the Raiders need. Marcus Cannon fits that bill as he is a huge man and there is plenty of power in his blocking
It's also helpful that he's versatile as he can and has played tackle.
Item 3: Outside Linebacker
With the foundation of the offensive line taken care of, the Raiders can take care of their lone weakness on defense. The Raiders are set on the line and in the secondary with two play making linebackers.
Dontay Moch could come in and fill a need at outside linebacker as Quinton Groves didn't work out. He was a defensive end in college so he should be stout against the run and able to come of the edge to the quarterback.
His 4.4 40 40-yard dash speed should help in pass coverage in addition to his pass rush off the edge. This guy is a bigger man than Thomas Howard and a nose faster at the same time.
If he develops some coverage skills, he may become the next Rod Martin.
Item 4: Tight End
In recent years, Davis has has done better in the fourth round of the draft than in the firs with the exception of Rolando McClain and Darren McFadden. This year, I am looking for him to find another gem that others will say he is reaching on ect.
Tight end Wesley Saunders is that guy I see in this years draft that I see Davis grabbing early in some eyes. But the thing about Saunders is he is a top tight end coming out that was suspended for 2010 for improper benefits.
But he is an exceptional athlete at 6'5", 270 pounds and has excellent hands to go with it. That improper benefit stuff won't bother Davis the least bit as he takes him in the fourth round.
Zach Miller will then have a partner that can also block.
Item 5: Quarterback Project
Have you ever heard of Joshua Portis?
He's the cousin of former Redskin running back Clinton Portis.
He is projected to either go real late or not at all because he has character issues and he from a small school. Portis was a blue-chipper out of high school that left the University of Florida for Maryland because he was stuck behind Tim Tebow.
There, he was suspended for being caught cheating on a pop quiz in school.
"If you're not cheating you're not trying." lol
Then he felt that he wasn't getting a fair shot and took off for California University of Pennslyvania. Now, scouts are calling him a poor man's Cam Newton as he has a big arm and ran a 4.62 40-yard dash at the combine.
The Raiders like their quarterback situation for now with Kyle Boller being resigned to back up Jason Campbell. Portis would need to adjust to the speed of the game and NFL defensive strategies but played in a pro style offense.
Perhaps Portis could develop into a late round gem one day as the career of Campbell and Boller wind down.
Tom Brady was a sixth round pick.
Item 6: Center
This could be the Raider's late round gem.
The Raiders only have one center on the roster so the position has to be addressed at some point. Ryan Bartholomew was originally projected into the seventh round or undrafted until the combine.
He now stands to be drafted by the Raiders in sixth round by the Oakland Raiders because he ran a 4.93 40-yards dash and benched pressed 225 pounds 34 times. Those numbers make him the strongest and fastest offensive lineman in the draft.
I know this is some typical Davis stuff but the Raiders now have the coaching staff to develop these athletic freaks. On top of that, he got his strength and speed from working hard according to Syracuse strength coach William Hicks.
A guy with great athletic ability and character to be coached be Mike Wylie and Steve Wisniewski.
Item 7: Speed
With a 4.28 40-yard dash, Demarcus Vandyke is the fastest man in this year's draft. He wasn't projected to be drafted going into the combine but the Raiders usually like to have the fastest man in the draft.
He wasn't the greatest of corners at the University of Miami but you never know what a guy like Rod Woodson can do with that type of speed. He will probably compete for the punt return job as that wasn't a good area for the Raiders in 2010.
He will at least be a gunner on the punt team.
That's good value for a seventh round pick.
As I said after the first shopping list, this is one of many outcomes but this one happens to be my favorite. But there are a few ways to build a great team so another list is on the way.
Even though I like this one the best, I believe that all of them would make the Raiders contenders.
What does that tell me?
The Raiders are close.