Who will be the first overall pick in this years NFL draft?…..
Personally, I don't really care!
Who ever the Detriot Lions take at #1 will most likely not affect my Oakland Raiders, and when it comes down to it, all I really care about is who will be wearing the Silver and Black come game day 2009.
This is not a mock draft where I pretend to know what all 32 will do come draft day, or what needs each team should address. I can venture a pretty good guess as to what players will go to what team, but I would be lying if I told you that I studied the charts in complete depth and accuracy.
What I can tell you, is what the Oakland Raiders should, could, and will most likely do, come draft day.
Before I get into who the Raiders will pick, we should take a look at which areas are of concern for this team. My opinions of what we should do, are somewhat different from what I believe we will do, but when it comes to needs, they are one in the same, because it is pretty straight forward.
In the offseason thus far we have aquired several new additions to the offensive line, T Khalif Barnes, T Eric Pears, G Marcus Johnson, and C Samson Satele. We have also resigned C Chris Morris, G Cooper Carlisle and LS Jon Condo. This is a lot of players to add to your roster, and still have the expectations of drafting more, but that may be exactly what happens on April 25/26. So, even though we have a good number of prospects on the O-line, no team can ever be truly satisfied with the offensive line, at any given time.
Many fans and analysts will tell you that the Raiders need to plug a huge hole at the center of the defensive line. Gerard Warren and Terdell Sands have not lived up to expectations, and Tommy Kelly will not be able to do it himself. On the ends, we have enough prospective talent with Jay Richardson and Trevor Scott along with probowler Derrick Burgess to make due for another season. With Burgess in a contract year, we may just get the best we can out of him. If he doesn't become part of a draft day trade, which is also likely.
There is a great amount of possibility at the receiver position on this Raiders roster, BUT there are NO surefire guarentees, and when you need your young QB to lead your team to greatness, you have to make sure that he has the guys to throw the ball to. Personally, I think that between Chaz Schilens, Johnnie Lee Higgins, Javon Walker, Arman Shields and Todd Watkins, we should be able to make a star out of one or two of them, but I would also have to say that I would not pass on the best receiver in the draft, if he is still there at #7.
We have some good players at safety, but we don't have a lot of depth. We may be able to get by for another season, but soon enough we need to plug this hole.
Not a huge area of concern, but Oren O'Neals health is a concern, and we may want to look at the undrafted FBs after the draft.
We are set in the middle with Kirk Morrison, and on the one side with Thomas Howard, but if the right fit is there for the other side, we may not pass on that chance. We could still fill the void with Ricky Brown, Sam Williams or Jon Alston, but much like our receiving core, there are a lot of questionmarks for that final LB position.
Lee's Personal Analysis of team needs:
My focus would be almost entirely on the offensive side of the ball. We have the QB, we have the runningbacks, we have the tightend. We have done a great job updating the O-line, and we have a lot of promise at receiver. BUT, The o-line and the receiving core CANNOT be a disapointment this year, and too much depth is still not enough. Stockpile the offense and weed out the busts, and give Jamarcus Russell every chance to succeed.
On defense, we have even more questionmarks then on offense, BUT I believe that we have enough to get by for one year. Remember, when this team can keep the offense on the field for long periods of time, this defense tends to play some steller football. By fixing the offense, I believe that we in turn will fix the defense. It is also a new defensive system with new defensive coordinator John Marshall, so giving him one full year to figure out who fits, and who doesn't fit, is needed. Lets see what Marshall can do with guys like Gerard Warren, Tredell Sands, Sam Williams, and Michael Huff, before we replace them in the depth chart.
Draft day 2009
The Oakland Raiders should take WR Michael Crabtree, OT Jason Smith, or OT Eugene Monroe, BUT none of these guys will be available at #7. So our choice will land in the second tier.
Should pick; What the Raiders should do, is try to trade down and get a mid first rounder and a second round pick. With those two picks, we should still be able to get either WR Jeremy Maclin, WR Darrius Heyward-Bey or OT Michael Oher.
Will pick; OT Andre Smith, Alabama
Andre Smith has had a brutal offseason, and he has fallen down on many draft boards, but not in Oakland. Smith is 6-4, 332lbs and he is a pass blocking specialist, and could very well be the best in the draft. Jamarcus Russell will need time to throw the ball, and with Smith on the left side, that is exactly what he will have. Also with Khalif Barnes signed for one year, it will give Coach Cable time to develope Smith.
Top 5 options;
WR Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech. 6-2 215lbs. If he is still on board, I would take him in a hreatbeat.
OT Andre Smith, Alabama. 6-4 332lbs. Pass rush specialist.
OT Michael Oher, Mississippi. 6-5 309lbs. 4th best tackle in the draft.
WR Jeremy Maclin, Missouri. 6-0 198lbs. He will be the Raiders choice if Smith is gone. He is big, speedy and polished, and he fits the mold that Al Davis loves.
DT BJ Raji, Boston College. 6-2 337lbs. Best DT in the draft, and would secure the defensive line. Problem is that we already have too much money invested in the position, and too many other needs to take him at #7.
In the second round of the draft the Raiders will take the player in the position they didn't take in round #!.
Should pick; The best player available at WR, OT or DT, depending on who the took in the first.
Will Pick; WR Ramses Barden, Cal-Poly/ OT William Beatty, U-Conn.
If the pick is Andre Smith in the first round, then it will be WR Ramses Barden in the second. He is 6-6 229lbs and the Raiders love him. He is not a speed receiver, but that doesn't really matter, because we already have lots of speedy receivers. What Barden would add to this team, is a huge receiver that will be perfect in endzone completions. At 6-6 he would be hard for the shorter DBs to defend.
If Andre Smith was taken before #7 in the first, the Raiders would have taken WR Jeremy Maclin with the #7 pick. With that being the case, with the second round pick, they would go with OT William Beatty. Beatty is 6-6 307lbs and has the potential to be a 10 year starting tackle. I would also not be suprised to see the Raiders go with DT Ron Brace, but I believe that the focus in the first two rounds will be at WR and OT.
Top 5 options;
WR Ramses Barden, Cal-Poly. 6-6 229lbs. Big big, endzone threat.
OT William Beatty, U-Conn. 6-6 307lbs. One of the top OTs in the draft.
DT Ron Brace, Boston College. 6-3 330lbs. Might just be the biggest sleeper in the draft. Solid DT.
DE Micheal Johnson, Georgia Tech. 6-7 266lbs. Fast DE with a lot of talent. Risky pick due to lack of production.
OLB Larry English, Northern Illinois. 6-2 255lbs. Can play LB or DE.
With the biggest needs taken care of at OT and WR the Raiders can focus on depth.
Should pick; SS Chip Vaughn, Wake Forest.
One of the best Safeties in the draft and fills a much needed position. He also runs a 4.42 40, and we all kno
w how much Al loves speed.
Will pick; SS Chip Vaughn, Wake forest.
This pick just seems to make a lot of sense, and if I forgot to mention it already, he's 6-2 221 lbs, so he can cover even the biggest of receivers.
Top 5 options;
SS Chip Vaughn, Wake Forest. 6-2 221lbs. Big, Fast and in a position of need.
DT Fili Moala, Southern Cal. 6-4 305lbs. May be tough to pass on if he falls to the 3rd round.
OT Philip Loadholt, Oklahoma. 6-8 332lbs. Huge tackle. Simply huge!
FS Rashad Johnson, Alabama. 5-11 203lbs. Not that tall, but big in size, plus he runs a 4.49 40.
OG Herman Johnson, LSU. 6-7 356lbs. May be the biggest guy in the draft, and he played at LSU with Jamarcus Russell.
Should pick; Best player available!
Will pick; DT/DE Alex Magee, Purdue.
Magee is moving up a lot of player boards and might be gone before the 4th round, but I have a hunch that he will still be available, and the Raiders will get that DT that many believe they need.
Top 5 options;
OLB Jason Williams, Western Illinios. 6-1 241lbs. He will be the Raiders 4th round pick if he is still on the board, but my guess is that he goes in the 3rd.
DT/DE Alex Magee, Purdue. 6-3 295lbs.
OG Trevor Canfield, Cincinnati. 6-5 307lbs.
DT Ricky Jean-Francois, LSU. 6-3 295lbs.
OT Xavier Fulton, Illinois. 6-4 302lbs.
In the 7th, it doesn't really matter what you need, or who you want, you just have to take the best player available at any position and hope that you catch a diamond in the rough.
Will pick; DT Nadar Abdallah, Ohio State
Started to play well when his family lost everything in the Katrina Hurricane, so you know the talent is there, but the motivation needs to be kept.
Top 5 options;
DT Nader Abdallah, Ohio State. 6-4 295lbs.
DE/OLB Phillip Hunt, Houston. 6-1 261lbs.
OLB DeAndre Levy, Wisconson. 6-2 236lbs.
OL Anthony Parker, Tennessee. 6-2 297lbs.
WR Tiquan Underwood, Rutgers. 6-1 184lbs.
About the Author
Written by Lee Tremblay