Final Draft Thoughts

Exciting, isn't it?

For the first time in a couple years, there's a lot of uncertainty about who the Raiders will take.  Last year, everyone knew it'd be J-Russ.  The year before, everyone knew it'd be Michael Huff.  But now?  Wow.  An embarassment of riches.

The Raiders will take one of the following people:

Glenn Dorsey

Chris Long

Vernon Gholston

Sedrick Ellis

Darren McFadden


Holy crap.

Who wouldn't want to have that problem?

I'm gonna ponder and pontificate for a few minutes.

First, the easy part.  If Glenn Dorsey slips to #4, you take him.  Period.  Not even McFadden.  You take Dorsey, who is probably the best overall top 10 prospect.  This strikes me as a no-brainer.  Dorsey is unreal and as we all know from the fiasco that was last year's run defense, we need big help.

This of course all depends on the St. Louis Rams.  If they take Chris Long, we've got Dorsey locked up.  I've read some speculation Atlanta might take Dorsey, but that strikes me as unlikely.  Did you see their offense last year?  Joey Harrington?  Byron Leftwich?  Chris freaking Redman?  Are you kidding me?  They need Matt Ryan.

Okay, so let's assume the Rams snag Glenn Dorsey (and I suspect they will).  What then?   Our draft prospects open up wide.

Let's talk about Kiffin's trading down comments recently.  Normally, I'm totally against any top 10 team trading out, barring the sweetest deal of the century.  But in one case this year, I won't be against it.  We all know the Jets will come calling because they desperately want to land Darren McFadden.  If they start offering second and third round picks--which by the by we are desperately short on--then you drop.  More picks, maybe a player or two and you're only moving back two spots!  What's not to like?!

If this happens, the Jets will land Darren McFadden and the Chiefs will likely take Chris Long.  We're down to Gholston and Ellis.  Tough call.

Vernon Gholston was the only Buckeye other than James Laurainitis who didn't embarrass himself in the national title game back in January.  He was all over the place.  And--and this is by no means incidental--he made Jake Long look like a complete ass as he whipped him all over the field during Ohio State/Michigan. Gholston is a genuine beast.

But so is Ellis.  I think Ellis is a more well rounded, complete player.  He's absolutely dominating.   And I think the middle of the line is a greater need than the end.  I would pick Sedrick Ellis. There's a chance his might happen--USC isn't far away so he's a well known quantity and I believe our head coach may have been affiliated with USC at some point.  

But I think the Raiders are going with Gholston at this juncture.  He's a workout warrior, a crazy physical specimen, blazing speed, unlimited raw athletic power.  In short, the kind of draft pick that Al Davis LOVES LOVES LOVES.

Again, I will not weep no matter what happens.  How could you?

I may make myself a bit unpopular here, but so be it.  I feel very strongly about this:  If we stay at #4, I don't want to take Darren McFadden. 

Think about it:  Huggy Bear and Michael Bush.  Not to mention Rhodes, who looked real good at the end of last year when he finally got a shot.  McFadden is a demon in human form, but he's simply not who we need at this juncture.  Our backfield is solid as steel.  Our defensive line is not.  Kalimba Edwards?  Not gonna get it done.

That being said...if we do take McFadden...awesome.  How can you be disappointed when your team snags a talent like that?  I'll be a little puzzled by the pick, but by no means upset.  If we DO take D -Mac, then I suspect Dominic Rhodes will be dealt away with Fabian Washington later in the draft to secure more mid-round picks.  He'll be the odd man out.

Finally, Chris Long.  Another legitimate monster and a great deal of sentimental value for Raider Nation.  We'll only get a shot at him if we stay at #4 and the Rams take Glenn Dorsey, which is a very strong possibility.  Will we take him?  I can only shrug and say "We'll see"  If Davis and Kiff are presented with Long, Ellis, Gholston and McFadden.....well, there's just no way to predict what will happen.  But whatever does, it'll be a good result.  Especially if wef can wheel and deal for a second round pick and get one of the great wide receivers who will still be hanging around at that point.

Okay, let's say you hold a gun to my head and say "Make a prediction."  In that situation, I'd probably wet myself, and then say "Vernon Gholston." 

Then I'd run away and probably change my mind a half dozen times before Goodell says, "With the fourth pick in the 2008 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select...."

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