It bites not having a first-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. And for all the years not to have one! The lockout has stripped us of everything football related to talk about accept the draft.
That is not to say that the draft can't be successful. Look at last year. Had the Raiders not had a pick in the first-round they would have still wound up with three players that were routinely drafted in the first-round of hindsight is 20/20 re-drafts.
No, it is not the physical realities of the on-field ramifications created by the lack of a first-round pick that doth sucketh, but the fact that we don't get to talk about it! And here in Raiderland that is really going cold turkey. We have had some prime draft real estate to discuss for the last 25 years or so. Wait, how long ago was inmate Robbins a football player? Who knows...who cares? Those sordid tales and wretched seasons are further behind us than a certain fat deuce QB's career is behind him.
Well, hell—now I've gone and forgotten the point of this post. Oh wait, it was to travel to imaginationland. So sit back, close your eyes and venture to the land of golden tickets, because the Raiders have just been awarded the first pick in the 2011 NFL Draft and we need to figure out who to take.
The answer is easy for me, Patrick Peterson.
When I think about the prospects in this draft he is the one guy that I fully expect to be on the short list for best player at his position. If I was forced to pick one guy from this class that is going to wind up in the Hall of Fame it would be Peterson.
Peterson is a rare athlete. He is 6'1" and 219 pounds, and he ran the 4.34 40. This is just a hundredths and about five pounds shy of Bo Jackson territory.
He posted a vertical of 38" and a broad jump of ten-and-a-half feet. He put up 15 reps on the 225 pound bench press test.
This explosiveness is apparent on the field. Chris Low of ESPN called him the most explosive athlete he has seen in the SEC since Herschel Walker and Bo Jackson.
Peterson brings to the table something none of the other prospects do: a legitimate shot to dominate on more than one side of the ball.
In 2010 Peterson averaged 11-yards per punt return and he took two of his 38 returns to the house. He also averaged 29.2 yards on 32 kick returns. Even if NFL teams are leery of using him as a return man his skills will come into play when he picks one off. He averaged 33.5 yards per interception return on his four picks in 2010.
Peterson has all the looks of someone who could go on to have an elite 15-year career. He has the size and ball skills that will allow him to switch to safety when he ages and slows down. Peterson is going to be Rod Woodson Part Deux.
So, there you have it. After I spent time earlier in the week explaining how I didn't want the Raiders to draft a corner in this draft I am telling you that if they had the first pick I would want them to draft a corner, because Peterson is just that good.
Who would you take?