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:
- 2009—Darrius 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.
- 2008—Darren McFadden, RB
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.
- 2007—JaMarcus 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')
- 2006—Michael 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.
- 2005—Fabian Washington, CB
Was, at best, average during his time in Oakland. Traded away for a fourth-rounder in 2008. Hmmmm!!
- 2004—Robert 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!!
- 2003—Nnamdi Asomugha, DB
Definitely the best first-rounder of the past Decade!
- 2003—Tyler Brayton, DE
A 'Tweener between DE and LB, never showed me much and left to FA. Good riddance but for no return!
- 2002—Phillip Buchanon, DB
Great ST returner, but stunk it up as a DB. Traded away.
- 2002—Napoleon 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.
- 2001—Derrick Gibson, DB
Couldn't cover and tackled like your Gran'mama. Worked hard to get out of the Not For Long.
- 2000—Sebastian 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.