The playoff clock has finally struck twelve in Oakland and garbage time has begun. I admit I was finally getting used to every week of the season mattering but that's all in the past now. The only good news I can think of is the Raiders actually have a first round draft pick and it's looking like it's going to be an early one. With bowl season coming up, soon all the GMs and Jerry Jones will have all the game tape they need to make decisions on who their team will be drafting.
The Raiders aren't playing like Raiders and I hope that stays that way. Why you ask? For that first pick in the draft. Thanks to RG3, Andrew Luck, and Cam Newton for making the transition from a college QB to an NFL QB look so damn easy. Yes, I want the Geno Smith pick.
Geno Smith to the Raiders? No. Carson Palmer is and will continue to be the Quarterback for the Oakland Raiders and the faster we can all just accept that the happier we'll be. My apologies to Geno Smith, Terrell Pryor, and of course the ever popular Matt Leinart. Now The Raiders have their QB but there's a couple of teams that do not and will pay a hefty amount to obtain one. Arizona Cardinals, Minnesota Vikings, Jacksonville Jaguars, New York Jets, and possibly the Philadelphia Eagles would give up a good amount to obtain this years RG3. Is Geno going to have the impact RG3 did? How should I know? Does it matter to me? No. Alls I can tell you is Geno isn't the right guy for the Raiders.
If Reggie really pulled this off and could get a trade similar to what the Rams got for RG3 it would give Reggie McKenzie the picks to give Dennis Allen the tools to make this team a powerhouse once again.
Now that you read my crazy though well thought out rant about the future let's talk football. The Raider's have many holes that need to be filled and besides maybe the skilled positons on offense and Strong Safety The Raiders could use some upgrades at every other single positon.
Finally, here are my top ten players the Raiders could use pronto.
1. Luke Joeckel, LT, Texas A&MA very dominant Left Tackle out of Texas A&M. At 6-6, 310 lbs he earned the Left tackle job as a true freshman and has only got better each year. Having two great games against LSU and Alabama his draft stock is at an all time high. I don't think he can walk in day one and shut down the best pass rushers in the league but who can? The Raiders will need to shore up that Offensive line that struggled really hard in the beginning of 2012 to become competitive once again. Taking Joeckel won't only improve the left side but it will allow Veldheer to kick over to shore up the right side. The Raiders would have both future tackles in place along with some young promising inside linemen. This would be a killing two birds with one stone type move. It would also save The Raiders a pretty penny when Veldheer's contract is up because RTs get payed a tad less then LTs.
2. Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah The Raider Defensive line needs a star and Star Lotulelei is a massive one. At 6-4, 325 pounds he would become the NT the nation has been dreaming of. With Star the 3-4 does become an option but a 4-3 with a legit NT also looks appealing. Wait is that the multiple defense Allen was talking about and Star is the missing piece? Could be. Star has had an excellent senior season to go along with a pretty good junior season. Star has 33 tackles, nine tackles for a loss, five sacks, three forced fumbles and three passes broken up on the season. Sounds disruptive to me. Reading some of the stuff Utah fans have been saying is Star makes more plays then he gets credit for. Collapsing plays isn't a stat but it is something he does a lot of. Star would be my pick on draft day but then again I'm a defensive guy. He has beaten double teams several times over the season. Wilfork Jr Cough cough. He also makes Seymour and Kelly along with their big contracts expendable.
3.Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida St.The "Germinator" finished the 2012 regular season with 13.0 sacks and 18.0 tackles for loss heading into the ACC championship game. This is a Reggie McKenzie like pick. He's a mean complete football player with huge love for the game. Has a huge motor and the athletic ability to stand up in the 3-4. Would help the Raiders lousy pass rush and getting to the QB is the only way Raiders get more wins next year. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtP-K5E3UAY
4. Jarvis Jones, OLB, Georgia. Pass rushing is his game. He wants to get after the QB. He's athletic enough to get into coverage as well. If the Raiders drafted him it'd be like having a 2nd Wheeler except Jones is more talented. Fits best in the 3-4 but so did Von Miller and look how that turned out. He's an agile monster that stacked up 11.5 sacks this year. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QO6wLT48vjY
5. Manti Te'o, ILB, Notre Dame Yes, number 5 is number 5 Te'o. Plays with a lot of passion. Te'o has totaled 92 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, 1.5 sacks, four passes broken up and six interceptions this season. Has above average coverage skills and can hold onto the ball. He is on the top of the wishlist for most Raider fans but I think that has more to do with our most recent bust MLB Rolando McClain then it does with Te'o's actual play. I'm all for getting him though. He's a leader and maybe that's what the Raiders need. I'm not making the decisions though and I doubt we find out how McKenzie feels about him until he actually drafts him. I will say out of all prospects Te'o will not be a bust. My eyes will be on him against Alabama. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWxIUeZKPmc http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=DJfkFuJDPd4&feature=endscreen
6.Damontre Moore, DE/OLB, Texas A&M This guy probably has the highest ceiling but the biggest risk on my list. He could be the next Demarcus Ware or the next bust. He doesn't look like he's finished developing even for a college kid. He has the athletic ability to be great but I did see a lot of sloppy and lucky football on tape. I don't think the Raiders should take him in the top 5 but if they do what I hope they do with trading out of it then he is a solid pick. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pxj59C-Xzag
7.Sheldon Richardson,DT, Missouri. At 6-3,300lbs Richardson is a beast. A nonstop motor and most hyped player to play for Missouri aren't words you hear often. Had 75 tackles this season, a crazy number for a defensive tackle. He also has 9.5 tackles for a loss, four sacks and three forced fumbles. I think he's a perfect fit for a 3-4 DE but still good for a 4-3 UT. The only problem is the Raiders have about 5 of those. Not a top 5 pick but he'd be a good pick if we traded out.
8. Chance Warmack,OG, Alabama I'm still hoping the Raiders save McFadden's career with them and switch back to the power blocking. Cut Briesel and draft Warmack and watch the yards pile up. He was used as a lead blocker for Alabama's very good running game. Is above average in pass protection and is a smart football player. At 6-2,320 he is a stout tough blocker. He instantly makes the Raiders a better team.
9.Jake Matthews,RT, Texas A&M Matthews doesn't have the light feet and exceptional pass blocking Joeckel but is a better run blocker. He shut down LSU's Mingo. Was good a chop blocking at A&M which the Raiders could really use from the RT spot. He's a big athletic kid at 6-5 305 pounds. Protected Manziel all year and had great games against LSU and Bama.
10.Geno Smith,QB, WVU6-3, 220lbs. Geno Smith is the top QB of this years class. Oakland will forever be scared of drafting a QB because of Jamarcus Russell. This guy isn't even comparable by means of he studies film and is a great student. Fits best in the west coast offense. I do not want Smith but if we do have that pick and we can't find a trade partner it's hard to pass up a could be franchise QB. Though we do have Carson Palmer who has played pretty well to what we're as fans are used to. I think if Dennis Allen was hired two weeks earlier he would have done a better job at selecting his staff and not just getting the bottom of the barrel. Maybe Reggie wants his QB and not Hue Jackson's. Who knows?
Like a die hard fan I'll be watching us host Denver. As much as I want that 1st pick I wouldn't be against watching the Silver and Black upset the Broncos and making them lose home field advantage in the playoffs. I'd love to watch us terrorize Brady Quinn and kill the Chiefs. Mostly I'd love to beat the Chargers in SD and get to watch the Norv Turner era end while Reggie snickers and lights up a cigar in triumph. Yeah, that'd be nice.