In the 2013 draft, the Raiders selected ten players, each of whom has their own particular set of strengths and weaknesses. It's Reggie McKenzie's first draft with a full complement of selections, and I think he got some good ones. I'll take a look at each of them in turn list their best and worst case scenario. Which of these guys does the Nation think will be considered the cream of the 2013 crop, years down the road?
D.J. Hayden: Here's a guy who exhibits a lot of mental and physical toughness and solid cover skills to go along with blazing speed and solid corner instincts. The Raiders traded down to get him, even though McKenzie indicated he may have selected him at third overall (something I have a dificult time believing). However, at Houston he didn't play against top-flight competition on a weekly basis and it's hard to gauge how safe a pick he is compared to, say, Dee Milliner who went up against the cream of the crop in the SEC.
Best case: Darrelle Revis. The Jets traded up to get Revis in the 2007 Draft, picking him fourteenth overall. There is no way on God's green earth Revis was the fourteenth best player in that draft. He was the fourth best, behind Calvin Johnson, Adrian Peterson, and Patrick Willis. Revis anywhere in the top five would have been a steal and at fourteen he was highway robbery. Will Hayden be considered a steal at twelfth?
Worst case scenario: Ahmad Carroll. He was taken in the first round by Green Bay in 2004 and did absolutely nothing.
Menelik Watson: He doesn't have a lot of experience, but earned immediate playing time at a top college program. He has excellent size and footwork, having played soccer in his youth in England. He plays very physical, but this can result in holding penalties due to poor hand placement. Hopefully Coach Sparano can get that under control.
Best case: Phil Loadholt. He was a second round pick out of Oklahoma by Minnesota in 2010. He had some growing pains early but has turned into an absolute road grader, helping Adrian Peterson to become the finest running back in all of football.
Worst case: Willie Smith. I'll pause while you clean the vomit off your screen.
Sio Moore: Is he the best linebacker in the draft? He certainly thinks so. If he is anywhere close to how good he is in his own mind, the Raiders got the steal of the draft. Camp results were positive, training camp proper will tell us even more.
Best case: Demarcus Ware. He has terrorized NFC East passers for years and was the pass rusher Dallas was looking for in the 2005 Draft. He was taken 11th, but is the second best player taken in that miserable draft behind Aaron Rodgers.
Worst case: He can't fit into either DE or LB well enough to stick, the Raiders don't play enough 3-4 to make him valuable as a tweener due to poor DT play, or he gets hurt like poor David Pollack.
Tyler Wilson: He was very good in college under Bobby Petrino, and not so good under John L. Smith. If Petrino hadn't been so concerned with getting interns under him, Wilson would have been a top-20 pick. Is Wilson the Raiders QB of the future?
Best case: Matt Ryan. Accuracy, toughness, a great arm and high football IQ. Ryan is everything you look for in a young QB.
Worst case: Ken Dorsey. Great in college but can't make all the throws in the NFL.
Nick Kasa: I didn't watch this guy much in college because Colorado games were never on TV. He is an excellent blocking tight end and has good speed, but he made the transition from defensive end to tight end in college and doesn't have a lot of experience at TE.
Best case: Kasa develops strongly as a tight end and becomes a much faster Brandon Myers.
Worst case: He can't compete at TE and moves back to DE, either getting cut or becoming Dave Tollefson.
Latavius Murray: The size and speed combo is staggering. He is a beast of a man and fast as lightning. I can't wait to see him to full-bore at training camp.
Best case: Frank Gore. He is much faster than Gore, but Gore is one of the toughest backs in football. If he can combine Gore's determination with the speed Murray already possesses, watch out.
Worst case: Kevin Smith. Okay, but never really good enough.
Mychal Rivera: As an SEC honk I watch a lot of Tennessee games, even though I'm not really a fan. Rivera was always a guy who stood out as being very athletic, able to make the tough catch in traffic to make that tough first down to deflate the opposing team's morale. He's an annoying safety valve tight end, unless he's on your team, in which case you put a Fathead of him on your bedroom wall and call it a day. If this guy were a Bronco, he would be my least favorite football player.
Best case: Jay Novacek. If you want to know why the early 90's Cowboys were so good, it was because of him. Note: That's a joke. But it's true.
Worst case: Delanie Walker. He turns out to only be able to make ridiculously difficult catches, and drops the easy ones.
Stacy McGee: There's so little tape on this guy, I just don't know. He's big, and he's a DT, so that's cool and stuff.
Best case: Geno Atkins. McGee turns his life totally onto the straight and narrow and becomes a QB-eating monster who subsists on the tears of small children and Chefs fans.
Worst case: Ryan Sims. This guy was drafted very highly by the Chefs when I was a wee lad, and he did nothing that I can recall. I always liked him because he made the Chefs waste a first round pick.
Brice Butler: Well, he was recruited by USC, so we know he has a ton of innate talent. He did not end his career at USC, not that any sane person would want to play for Lane Kiffin on purpose.
Best case: Miles Austin. Becomes a true number one receiving threat, and slides comfortably down to number two when the Raiders draft Marqise Lee.
Worst case: Mike Williams (USC). Drafted by the Lions, sucked. Signed by Pete Carroll, mostly sucked. Now is probably old and wrinkly.
Best case: Osi Umenyiora. Ferocious rusher off the edge, good in run defense as well.
Worst case: Courtney Brown. Remember when the Browns drafted this guy first overall? That's why they're the Browns.
So, Raider Nation, which of these guys will end up as the best of the lot?