Al Davis, when he wants to be a tactical genius, can be really, really good.
When he wants to be as mean as a junkyard dog, he can fit that personality as well.
It has been said that when you're a friend of Al Davis, he will go out of his way for you...and if you have an enemy in Al Davis, he will do everything in his power to remove you—from ignoring you in press conferences to trading you away.
With the Draft ahead and free agency over with (for the most part ), everyone can breathe a sigh of relief, right?
Don't count on it.
Players like Ken Stabler, who verbally sparred with Davis at times, discovered no matter what they had done for the club, in a moment's notice you are no longer a Raider. Or, if you happen to be unlucky, as in the case of Marcus Allen, you find yourself in exile, unable to leave, but barely able to play, either.
So, how does this play into this year's draft?
Al was already rumored to be shopping players, with few exception. Asomugha, who would be a great pickup for any team, could still be on the line. A trade to ditch Bruce Gradkowski, both to reinforce Al's opinion that Russell is the QB of the future, might happen.
Or, Al Davis could sit tight with the No. 8 pick and play the wait-and-see card.
Right now, three names have been spiraling around the black hole, two are more obvious but the third, would be a stretch.
The first is Trent Williams, out of Oklahoma. As an Offensive Tackle, he would address a quick fix to a spot that has haunted the Raiders for the last couple seasons, and give the QB a chance to throw, rather than run like mad as blitzes happen.
Or, for that matter, the Raiders shouldn't false start eight times a game, either.
The second name comes as a risk depending on how Cleveland, who picks ahead of the Raiders, plays their cards.
Right now, the Browns have picked up Jake Delhomme, but it can't be reasoned that they will spend any time expecting him to be the future for the club. A guess would have them going after Jimmy Claussen out of Notre Dame, and dropping Joe Haden, a CB to us at eight.
However, if the Browns do play to protect for a season, or elect to get a QB later in the draft, Joe will be gone, leaving the Raiders to possibly look for Dan Williams from Tennessee, or Anthony Davis from Rutgers.
The third is a longshot, due to the flexibility involved in what the Raiders can deal for.
The Raiders trade off a player, or players, ditch the No. 8 pick, and snag Ndamukong Suh out of Nebraska. The hard part about this deal comes with guessing where he would go.
His name has been mentioned in the top three, with any of the three teams taking him. Obviously, for a team to bite, it would be a guess on if the Raiders can go high enough to draft him, and not lose out.
It doesn't make sense for the Raiders to trade up to No. 3 and then have the Lions pick, does it?
Expect Al to wear out the phone somewhere between picks one and three....but it won't be a dull draft, that is for sure.
I just hope Al gives the team a chance to work. It's a work in progress, and needs time.