The Golden Left Foot
"With the 17th Pick in the 2000 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select...kicker from Florida State, Sebastian Janikowski."
No, the announcement was correct.
For years upon years Janikowki's selection in the draft has been ridiculed, often times those who like to insult the Oakland franchise and Al Davis have used this to knock us, but after the Monday night game who's got the last laugh?
Tying the NFL record for the longest field goal in NFL History is one of Sebastian Janikowski's goals. The other two are eventually breaking the record and winning a Super Bowl.
A reliable kicker is the key to not just getting into the Super Bowl, but also winning the Super Bowl. How many times did Mike Vanderjagt or Adam Vinatieri have to look from the sidelines to see their counterpart put away a game and win?
In recent memory, Janikowski has in fact missed some kicks, last year if he did not go wide right against Arizona, Oakland could have been in the playoffs instead of Kansas City and we would of won the AFC West. Is that important now? No, because as coach Hue Jackson said, "Last year is last year, this year is this year."
Did Oakland's decision to draft Janikowski in the 1st Round pay off?
His accuracy is improving, I am a Florida State fan, so I may be a bit skewed against other kickers in the league but I believe that the 2011-12 NFL Season will be the year that Janikowski finally puts to rest any questions regarding his skill. Knocking down a field goal from 63-yards on a wet field is not an easy task, but Janikowski did it anyway.
If and when Darren McFadden and the Raiders' offense cannot punch it in, knowing that Janikowski is almost a lock for three points is a sign of relief. However, our offense should not rely on Janikowski to win us games, just relying on Janikowski to put games away is more like it.
Was drafting Sebastian a reach in the first round? No, not in my opinion. Looking over the 2000 NFL Draft, the only players off the top of my head that have a starting job in the NFL right now are Shane Lechler and Cooper Carlisle. They were drafted after Sebastian Janikowski.
Was it the right pick? It seems so as Janikowski is the all-time leading scorer for the Raiders franchise, definitely an impressive accolade.
After Janikowski's performance on Monday, the Raider Nation knows that Janikowski's left foot can bail us out of trouble as well as lock games up for us. The days of the finger pointing and laughing is going to come to an end when Janikowski breaks the record and hits beyond a 63- yard field goal this year.