OAK's Recent First-Round Picks: Has Al Held On Too Long and Dropped The Ball?

Michael Keller@@MichaelK_NFLAnalyst IIIJuly 23, 2009

DENVER - SEPTEMBER 16:  Detail view of the official NFL 'The Duke' game ball complete with commissioner Roger Goodell's signature as the Denver Broncos defeated the Oakland Raiders 23-20 in overtime during week two NFL action at Invesco Field at Mile High on September 16, 2007 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

I just read a nice article by Bryan Leifeste, entitled "Oakland Raiders: Success in the Second Round". It was about great second-round Raider players.

This article was very well written and brought back some fond memories of past great Oakland players.

But it also got me to thinking about how some of the recent first-round picks have turned out and I thought a review of the more recent 1st Rounders was in order.

In doing my research, it struck me that maybe Al  Davis needs to trust his Head Coach and staff more in the personnel department in the first Round, before he takes his nap. I know he loves some first-round flash but let's look at what cost to the team over the past 10 years:

  • 2009Darrius Hayward-Bey, WR

A definite reach but too early to tell. Needs a better QB than the current one projected to start to give him a chance.

A bit early to call. Not huge production last year but was bothered by a foot injury for part of the season. This year will tell the tale.

  • 2007JaMarcus Russell QB

So-So so far. And if he doesn't show up to Training Camp in the best shape of his blubbery life and start turning it around in '09, there will be another J. Garcia known in the Bay Area as a savior (And he doesn't play guitar and sing 'Keep on Truckin')

  • 2006Michael Huff, S

A bust, and worked hard to earn that moniker. Can't cover or tackle, two skills most people look for in a DB.

Was, at best, average during his time in Oakland. Traded away for a fourth-rounder in 2008. Hmmmm!!

  • 2004Robert Gallery, OT

Started out pretty bad as a tackle but has become an OK Guard, but was he worth a No. 2 in the first Round to be an OK OG?  Duh!!

  • 2003Nnamdi Asomugha, DB

Definitely the best first-rounder of the past Decade!

  • 2003Tyler Brayton, DE

A 'Tweener between DE and LB, never showed me much and left to FA. Good riddance but for no return!

  • 2002Phillip Buchanon, DB

Great ST returner, but stunk it up as a DB. Traded away.

  • 2002Napoleon Harris, LB

Average to above average LB for a few years but will always be known as the bait that brought the rotten fish, Randy Moss from MIN to the Raiders.

  • 2001Derrick Gibson, DB

Couldn't cover and tackled like your Gran'mama. Worked hard to get out of the Not For Long.

  • 2000Sebastian Janikowski, K

Who but Krazee Al would burn a first-round pick on a beer-gut Kicker? He has become a pretty good placekicker, but not many teams would draft a kicker in the First.

All I am trying to say here is when Upper Management and their inflated egos get involved in the 'glamour' first-round picks, it usually ends up sucking for the Home Team.. And no more so than for Da Raida's! But the same can be said for the Cowboys, the Redskins and a few other teams where the owners have too tight a rein on some VERY critical decisions.


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