Posts Tagged ‘draft’


Sunday, September 26th, 2010

he missed itHe missed it!

Raiders lose 24-23 at Arizona to a thoroughly undeserving Cardinal team that only had 227 total yards.

Painful loss.  Unexpected loss.  The kind which are always the most painful.  The kind of game this young team needs desperately to win to grow confidence. The Raiders had a chance to be 2-1 for the first time since 2004 and all they needed was for the highest paid kicker in the sport to kick one through from 32, or the opponents 14 yard line.  He’s made 19 in a row from that range.  19.

I was hoping it wouldn’t come down to him –  the sideline shots of Janikowski after the two misses didn’t make me feel confident?   He didn’t look right but heck, I thought, this is a gimme for any kicker, much less him, right?

I feel for Janikowski.  I’m sure however bad I feel, he feels worse.  I doubt he’s blowing it off like rookie Jacoby Ford seems to be doing if his Tweets are any judge.  Pretty sad when a fan takes a loss harder than a player.  Having too many players with that attitude is why the Raiders have been in this 7 year funk.  But back to Janikowski, three missed field goals, including a chippy game winner, should never happen with a first round pick.  I’ll say it again, the Raiders wasted a first round pick on him.  If the Raiders kept someone like Joe Nedney when they had him, they would have been better served.  Jano has been consistent in recent years, but he has lost more games than he has won in his career.

Today, I wish they hadn’t placed it in his hands so quickly.  Raiders had a first down at the 13 with 55 seconds and a time out left.  They ran the ball up the middle twice and then tried the field goal on third down.  I hate it when teams don’t try to punch it in with real football players before they leave it to a kicker.

It was a mistake-filled game by both sides, but Raiders outplayed and outgained Arizona in their opener at home.

Mistakes.  A motion penalty on Mario Henderson on a 3rd and two with about four minutes left really hurt.  First, it made converting the third down much harder (they didn’t) and it pushed Janikowski’s attempt from a 53 yarder to a 58 yarder.  He missed it as it just slid right.  It appeared the extra five yards was the difference.  I noticed that Mario slammed his helmet to the ground later when Jano missed the game winner.  Mirror, anyone?

Mistakes. Gradkowski did own up to it, but he really should have called a time out on 2nd and goal from inside the one.  He tried to beat the clock and it cost the team a probable TD.  I was just screaming at the TV as the play clock rolled down.  Then, he follows that by going twice to that famous TD machine Heyward-Bey from the six.

Mistakes.  I’m starting to see why it is that people were saying coaches wanted to cut S Mike Mitchell – he missed a tackle on the opening kickoff return that went for a TD and really does little else to distinguish himself on defense.  He was practically a first round pick, if you remember.

And what about Jason Campbell?  Trust me, if he were behind center, he would have been sacked at least five times and fumbled thrice.  Gradkowski, even with what happened today, gives them the leadership and best chance to win.  What the Raiders should have done, is make a play for Michael Vick when they had a chance.  Look at him now.  A QB that can run is what this horrendous offensive line needs.

Enough.  I need therapy now.  Please bounce back guys.

And so it Continues….

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

I can’t wait to see what surprises await the second day of the draft after what the Raiders did on Day 1.

Michael Mitchell?  Yeah, the guy can hit and is, of course, fast, but he was from a small school (Ohio U) and not even ranked on most boards.  Yet, he was the Raider 2nd round pick.  Yes, I said 2nd round!  By all other accounts he could have been had in the 5-7 rounds.

Are they outsmarting themselves?  It’s as if the Raiders think they know more than everyone else by picking these guys.  They think they’ll be able to say, “I told ya so”, if these guys pan out.  It’s as if they think it adds to their “renegade” image.  They’re just being ridiculed for it.

Bottom line – both these players could have been had for a much cheaper price.  The Raiders need players and giving up more than a player’s worth is what has been putting them back the last several years.  This is just more of the same, just a different venue (draft vs free agency).

Someone should just rank the players by stopwatch speed so we can get a better idea of who the Raiders might draft each round.

Insanity (still) Reigns

Saturday, April 25th, 2009

Darrius Heyward-Bey?

Seventh overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft.

25th ranked player on the board.  50th on some.

4th ranked WR on the board by most raters!

Note: The other three WRs were available.

This is a classic “reach” pick.

However much we Raider fans hope things have changed in Raiderville, it appears they haven’t changed at all.  Al Davis will take a clockwatch time over football production and football skills every time.  It is truly reached ridiculous proportions.  ESPN put up a graphic listing many of these stopwatch guys and, surprise, most of them were busts.

If they were really so enamored with Heyward-Bey, the Raiders should have traded down and taken him later.  They didn’t even wait their ten minutes to pick in case someone called in with an offer.  I think they chose after only a couple of minutes.  Rare for the Raiders.

The guy has inconsistent hands and was even shut out in two big ACC games last year.  You don’t pick a guy #7 that disappears for a couple of games.  In college!

I was hoping for Maclin, but wouldn’t have been disappointed if it was Crabtree.  But Heyward-Bey?

This joke of a pick will just fuel the Raider haters and we’ll see plenty more Raider ridicule in both the press and TV media.  Sorry, but they’ll deserve it.

And this just in, the Forty-Niners just picked Crabtree so old Uncle Al will just have to look across the bay to see his mistake or pick up the Chron to read about it.

I am very disappointed in the pick.

2008 Draft Wrap

Sunday, April 27th, 2008
  • 1  Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
    Personally, I would have rather the Raiders took Dorsey, but that said, McFadden might be the big play guy the Raiders have been missing for years.  His character issues and skinny legs bother me, but we’ll see what happens.  One thing about the NFL Network coverage – this guy was a human highlight reel and yet after the Raiders picked him, they show a couple of ten yard gains and a bunch of plays highlighting how easy he is to tackle low.  All other picks had a nice set of positive plays in their highlights.  And they wonder why we Raider fans say the media is biased.
  • 4a Tyvon Branch, CB, Connecticut
    The Raiders did their typical second day move of trading a lower round pick to move up a few slots to get their guy, giving up a 7th to Dallas to go from 105 to 100.  Surprise!  They picked a fast cornerback. Don’t know the guy outside of what I read, but he sounds like a great athlete and he looked awesome in his combine video.  But why a cornerback?  I saw where Jason Jones said he thought he’d be a safety, bso if that’s the case it makes more sense.  If he can return kicks, then even better.  Higgins is a bust and I don’t want him back there on either punts or kickoffs – he’s too frail and fumbles too easily.  I like the Branch pick….especially if he is a good tackler and unseats Schweigert at Safety.  Not a choirboy though, as he was involved in a pellet gun shooting incident with four other Uconn players in 2005.  The media will have some fun with that story as well as McFaddens history.
  • 4b Arman Shields, WR, Richmond
    This guy looked good in his combine video as well.  Size, speed, and leaping ability.  He came from just down I-64 too – the Richmond Spiders.  Another guy who had a dazzling time in the 40.  Why are the Raiders so smitten with guys who are a hundredth of a second faster in the 40?  Didn’t they learn their lesson with James Jett?  At least this guy has size and seems to be a football player first, track star second.

    The Shields pick came in a trade with Baltimore for former first round pick, Fabian Washington.  Now that’s depressing.  A former first for a fourth.  The Raiders even traded up to get Washington that year.  Fabian’s only 24 and he can still be a good one.  I think this was way too cheap.  It’ll make much less sense if Shields isn’t a player too.

  • 6 Trevor Scott, DE, Buffalo
    This guy started out at TE in college and Buffalo is not exactly an football powerhouse, but maybe the Raiders saw something in him.  Great workout numbers again here (yes, and speed), and a competitor with a good motor, but he’s a project.  Sounds a little too much like Tyler Brayton, but at least if he doesn’t pan out, it’s just a 6th rounder.  Had some sacks but his thin lower body frame is a concern.
  • 7 Chaz Schilens, WR, San Diego State
    Can a guy named Chaz make it in the NFL?  Not much scouting info on this guy.  He wasn’t even listed with all the other San Diego State players eligible to be drafted on until well after the Raiders picked him.  Even then, the data was sparse.  Just three lines: “Schilens excites people because of his exceptional size and speed. Due to his pure athleticism, he will have a chance to make the roster. He still needs some polish as a receiver.”  Jason Jones has a YouTube video of the guy though and, although the video quality is pretty bad, the dude looks like an exciting player. Big, really big, too.  It’s the seventh round, so why not?

In summary, and as usual, a lot of great athletes, but at least this year they’re also decent football players in terms of production on the field.  McFadden was a TD machine, Shields had some 100 yard games , and Scott led the team in sacks two years in a row.  Character issues with the top two picks are troubling as well.  McFadden,  Branch, Shields, and Schilens would make a great relay team.  I just hope they can play some football at this level.  McFadden is the key – will he be the home run hitter we need?  It’s gonna be a lot of fun watching them.

Nightmare scenario:  Glenn Dorsey terrorizing the Raider backfield twice each year, consistently overpowering the weak center of our OL.  Dorsey hitting McFadden hard and low behind the line of scrimmage, causing an ACL tear.  Noooooooooo!