November 5, 2008
The 2009 NFL Draft, as of this posting, is 171 days away but the Raiders are on the clock. The Oakland Raiders will be looking at a top five pick in the draft, again. The needs for the team are OL, DT, MLB, WR, SLB, FS.
The Raiders need to draft an impact player in the first round but fill the above mentioned needs throughout the draft.
The team can go in several different directions but with the first pick the choices that meet the need are as follows: MLB Rey Maualaga, LT Micheal Oher, LT Andre Smith if all three of these players are gone then the decision should be to trade down and secure more draft picks to build the team.
WR Michael Crabtree is the one wild card to change matters at the top of the draft board if he comes out. He has reminded several people of AZ WR Larry Fitzgerald.
If the team trades down SLB Brian Cushing, SLB Aaron Curry, FS Taylor Mays, DT Fili Moala, DT Peria Jerry, DT Terrance Cody a.k.a. "Mount Cody", DT Terrance Taylor, DE Brian Orapko become possibilities later in the first round as well as second round on.
Drafting Rey Maualaga gives the team a hard hitting impact MLB to help stop the run and gives the team the ability to move Kirk Morrison to SLB. The team needs to draft a DT or two but at this time none rate as a top five pick and can be had later in the draft with this draft having several quality DT's in it.
The two best LT's in the draft are Michael Oher and Andre Smith, both should be rated as top five picks at a need position for the team. Selecting either one will allow the team to move Kwame Harris to RT or release him.
If the team can focus on building both offensive and defensive lines in the draft that will be a step in the right direction. Especially seeing as there isn't a direction right now.
It would be great to see this team have a game plan going into the draft and not concern themselves with how well a guy performed at the combine; establish some sort of identity on both sides of the ball.
The only thing that has been close to being established offensively is being a running team. Build the O-Line and the D-Line and draft players that take teams running the ball on them personal. Bring in 2 DT's and a 260 lb. MLB will work toward establishing that you will not be able to run on this team.
The team has ranked last or close to it in stopping the run since 2003, the team would make a definitive statement if say they could pick MLB Rey Maualaga in the 1st round, LT Eugene Monroe in the 2nd round, OL Max Unger in the 3rd round, secure DT Terrance Cody in the 4th round, WR Michael Jones in the 5th round, DT Terrance Taylor in the 6th round and FS Josh Pinkard in the 7th round.
Another important issue is the coaching staff, Al Davis has fired several coaches and it wouldn't surprise anyone if he chose to fire the current coaching staff. It would mean that the team is starting over, again which isn't good but still a possibility.
This team needs continuity of some sort even though that was killed when Lane Kiffin was booted early this season. Addressing the above mentioned needs for the team as shown in the mock Raiders draft for 2009 would be a huge step in the right direction.
There are no guarantees but it would make a definitive statement for progressive change within the Raiders organization.
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