Chasing the Dragon: The NFL Draft

Can you hear the slamming hoofs of the approaching thundering herd? Here it comes; the most anticipated event in the annual recurrence of the NFL: The Draft!

It may not be the most watched or hyped, but given the duration of the sustained void of other NFL news, the draft is covered and speculated upon like no other event in the NFL.

Enough talking! We don’t have time for this! The draft is coming! The draft is coming! Where are my notes, charts, bar graphs, videos and voodoo dolls. For a team like the Raiders--i.e. the Raiders, since they are on an unprecedented run of ineptitude--the draft is vitally important. 

Reviewing my notes, charts, bar graphs, videos and voodoo dolls from last year it appears they were completely worthless. Al Davis obviously has different charts than I do.

I quickly classified last year's version as a travesty of senility, or a tranility. According to the experts, these judgments may have been premature. Here is a sample of some typical draft day banter.

Chris Berman: Bawbmhmpf STUMBLIN’ BUMBLIN’…thoughts, grades Mel?

Mel Kiper: Well Chris, the Raiders reached in this year’s draft. Of course, you can’t really grade a draft until 3-5 years down the road. Any serious analyzing on the quality of a draft should be focused on those years.

Berman: Bahamph! Berman, Berman! BACK, BACK, BACK…Raiders. Grade. Mel?

Kiper: We really need to go back and review…

Tom Jackson: Come on, man!

Berman: Swami say, grade!

Kiper: Fine, D…are you numb nuts happy, now! The Hair gives them a D!

TJ: Tom like cereal! Er…um, come on, man! ...Broncos!

Kiper: Tom, you are drooling on the desk….

Berman: Mel "Grade one for the Giper" Kiper gives a D! Berman pronounces Giper with a long I to rhyme with Kiper.

Kiper: It’s actually Gipper, Chris

Berman: I’m Chris Berman bitch! Berman has his sweat bucket boy slap Kiper.

TJ: Al Davis bukkaked my wife! Come on, man!

Kiper: I am going back to my basement ‘til next year.

Enough of the in depth analysis from the war room, I am going to do what is said should be done, but never seems to be done and that is, look back at the drafts from 3-5 years ago.

 

2007

1. DT JaMarcus Russell

An in depth look at this draft pick reveals…moving on.

 

38. TE Zach Miller

TE’s picked in the 2nd round should be good and he is. He is clearly the teams best offensive player, which sucks, but is good for him. SUCCESS!

 

65. LB Quentin Moses

He has the wonderfully dubious honor of being the year’s highest drafted player to be cut. FAIL!

 

91. T Mario Henderson

A solid 3rd round pick. Hopefully he is still developing, but even if he isn’t: SUCCESS!

 

99. WR Johnnie Lee Higgins

He is good…until he gets hit once, then he needs a year to recover.

 

100. RB Michael Bush

Even if this isn't Bush's breakout year, like many expect, this is still an excellent fourth round pick. SUCCESS!

 

138. DE Jay Richardson

He is still on the roster, 7 career sacks, at number 138, you sir, are a SUCCESS.

 

165. S Eric Frampton

Frampton comes alive! However, he never made the roster. FAIL! The Bears took S Kevin Payne two picks later. Payne has started 22 games for the Bears.

 

175. FB Oren O’Neal

O’Neal looked like he was on his way to becoming the FB of the future, until his leg was ripped off at the knee. This was a solid pick. You can’t blame the Raiders for failing to notice his detachable leg.

 

254. WR Jonathan Holland

One pick away from being Mr. Irrelevant! Holland is a fine tackling WR. Maybe there is a use for DHB’s hands after all! The fact that the second to last pick is on the squad means: SUCCESS!  

 

Overall, this was a strong draft for the Raiders. 7 of 10 drafted players are still on the roster. Including an all-pro caliber TE, starting LT and possibly the starting RB. The problem with this draft is its epic failures. You can’t fail on the #1 overall pick. Also, it is never good to have the highest drafted player to not make a roster.

 

2007 Grade B-

 

 

2006

 

7. FS Michael Huff

Huff finally made some plays last year, but were it not for the fact he sucked so bad every other year, last year would not have been viewed as a success. S Donte Whitner was selected the very next pick. His productivity has declined each year and last year he lost his starting job, yet had roughly the same stats as Huff. FAIL!

Five picks after Huff, the Ravens selected Hghahftzd (sp?) Nata, their big ass (literally) all pro NT.

 

38. OLB Thomas Howard

A solid 2nd round pick. SUCCESS!

 

69. G Paul McQuistan

Is now ready to suck for the Jaguars. FAIL! 

 

101. SS Darnell Bing

The plan was to take this college safety and make him an OLB. Shockingly this didn’t work. He made a solid contribution to the IR squad his rookie year. Not comprehending the value of IR players named after search engines the Raiders released him in ’07. FAIL!

 

176. T Kevin Boothe

Is greatest T ever to come out of Cornell University. Started 14 games at G for the Raiders his rookie season and was so impressive they cut him the next year. He is now a versatile and valuable back up for the Giants. This would be a solid pick, if they hadn’t cut him, but…FAIL!

 

214. C Chris Morris

A good 7th round selection. He is a flexible back-up lineman. Unfortunately, he started 10 games last year. SUCCESS

 

255. Kevin McMahan

Mr Irrelevant. Didn’t make it through camp.

 

3 out of 7 players drafted are still on the roster. This is not good. There is not nearly enough production from Huff to justify the #7 pick. Howard was a solid second round pick and Morris an excellent 7th round pick. The other four were a waste.

 

2006 Grade D+

 

 

2005

 

Traded the #7 pick for WR That Shall Not Be Named. Players available at 7 that year included: DeMarcus Ware, Shawne Merriman and Jamal Brown. WR That Shall Not Be Named sucks at life.

 

23. CB Fabian Washington

He is super fast. FAIL!

Oh and the player picked after the super speedy Washington, Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers is glad Washington is super fast.

 

38. CB Stanford Routt

Lame! FAIL! Next.

 

69. QB Andrew Walter

Walter is now broken and unreturnable. He is currently throwing tight spirals in his backyard, when not ducking the two hand touch of his daughters. FAIL!

 

78. MLB Kirk Morrison

Personally, I am hoping for a new MLB next year, but after accumulating about a bazillion tackles, this is a good third round pick. SUCCESS

 

175. DT Anttaj Hawthorne

Played in 16 games in ’06 and then went onto World and Arena League Superstardom! FAIL! 

 

212. DE Ryan Riddle

Riddle me this: How was the Arena League? FAIL!

 

214. T Pete McMahon

He has graced the rosters of 9 different teams and played in as many games as I have. FAIL!

*Riddle and McMahon made a Derek Anderson sandwich, who was picked at 213.  

 

2 of the 7 players drafted are on the current roster and unfortunately Routt is one of them. Morrison may be gone, but the Raiders will recoup their original 3rd round pick if he is. Which will make this the lone bright spot of this draft. Except of course, for the destruction of Andrew Walter’s psyche.

 

2005 Grade…there is no letter representative of the quality of this draft, but I think it can be represented by the symbol left in my underwear after eating 12 Taco Bell Shrimp Taco’s.

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