2011 NFL Draft: Willie Brown Will Tell the World Who Will be the Next Great Raider

The 2011 the NFL Draft is the one big shining star of NFL purity left. It is the only thing to distract us from the lockout. So, it is no surprise that the league continues to transition it from an event only for teams and hard-core football geeks to a prime time ratings grabber.

Last year the NFL stretched out the draft to last three days. This year they have decided they will only announce one pick a day until the lockout is over. They will then show the same highlight package over and over while Mel Kiper, Todd McShay and Mike Mayock fist fight for draft guru dominance. Oh wait, that was last night's dream. They are tweaking the format though. 

The changes turn this even more into an award show style "let's celebrate ourselves" event. And hey, why not? You might as well make it a spectacle. They could have musical guests, stand-up comedians and strippers. We'll make it a good ol' fashion par-tay. Jump over to see if the NFL agrees with my proposed changes.

Shockingly and disappointingly they don't. The NFL announced yesterday, via its website, that retired players will announce the second-round picks for their former teams. That means the Raiders representative will be the only player lucky enough to call his team's first pick. The Carolina Panthers, Miami Dolphins and New York Jets are the only teams who do not currently have a second-round pick, and their retired player representative will announce their team's third-round selection.

Hall of Famer Willie Brown receives this year's honor. A rock solid choice if you ask me.

Brown was drafted by the Denver Broncos and he was forced to spend his first four years there. He even made two Pro Bowls and one All Pro team as a Bronco, but he has left little doubt over the years that he is a Raider.

In his 12 seasons as a Raider he made seven Pro Bowls and earned four first team All-Pro selections. He also has one of the most memorable highlights in Super Bowl history. I am sure you know which one I am talking about.

Willie Brown picked off a Fran Tarkenton pass and took it to the house as the cameras zoomed in on his smiling face. It helped the Raiders seal the victory against the Vikings as they captured their first Super Bowl Victory. Maybe Brown can pick off a first-round pick for the Raiders while he's there.

It will be nice to see Brown up there. It is also interesting to see who the other AFC West teams selected. The Chiefs have fellow Hall of Famer, Willie Lanier—rock solid.

The Broncos chose Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe. The Broncos have two first-round selections—so let's hope the Draft has some Grammy style "wrap it up" music. The second-round may take 88 hours if they let Sharpe get to rambling. 

This leaves us with the Chargers choice. They picked the esteemed Natrone Means. So for the AFC West that is three Hall of Famers and Natrone Means. Was Dan Fouts or about 1573 other former Chargers too busy? Maybe I should go easier on the Chargers. It's not like they have as many great former players to choose from as the Raiders, and Means did help lead them to their one Super Bowl appearance.

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