"With BOTH Vernon Gholston and Chris Long off the board this is the easiest pick that I can possibly make. Matt Ryan! ...Just kidding.
I am taking the back that will make Mike Mayock eat his jockstrap by Week 5, Darren McFadden. Not ONLY does Mayock have Rashard Mendenhall ranked ahead of McFadden, which is possible (but I wouldn't bet $20 million guaranteed on it), he has McFadden as the #15 player in the draft!!! NUMBER 15!!!
While most see Mendenhall as an every-down back and McFadden as a situational back, the last time I looked, scoring touchdowns is the number one goal of any offense, and Darren McFadden is a threat to score from any offensive position (well, any eligible position) AND special teams. He can line up at tailback or in the slot and can also throw for touchdowns and return kicks.
The Raider offense needs playmakers and there is no greater playmaker in this draft than Darren McFadden. Even though Justin Fargas ran for over 1,000 yards last year, he doesn't have the break-away speed to go for 6 and I can't recall the last time the Raiders scored a special teams touchdown. McFadden will be the cure to those two ills.
IF Michael Bush comes back strong, he and D-Mac will be, potentially, the best running back tandem in football. Some on Silver and Black Pride are calling them "Thunder and Lightning" because of D-Mac's quicks and Bush's bulk. They will be a one two punch that can put any defense on its heels and tire them out. That will only make it easier for JaMarcus Russell to get the ball downfield to Javon Walker and Zach Miller.
So, with the fourth pick in the draft, the RAIDUZZZZ select Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas - a.k.a. "Razorback Lightning".
Matt Miller, host of this site as well as owner of New Era Scouting, provides his analysis below:
Another surprising pick, if only because of the glaring needs on the defensive line for Oakland. McFadden is an extremely talented player and by far the best available, but Oakland has Justin Fargas, LaMont Jordan, Michael Bush and Dominic Rhodes on the roster already. Overlooking Glenn Dorsey and Sedrick Ellis with this pick is classic Oakland, all flash and no foundation. The team is strapped with no pass rushing threat oppopsite Derrick Burgess and hoping that the surgically repaired Tommy Kelly can take his $50 million knee inside. This is a pick that can define a franchise. Oakland will need to recover later in the draft, but must do so without a 2nd round pick due to the DeAngelo Hall trade.
Grade: C :: Darren McFadden Scouting Report - New Era Scouting :: Matt Miller's Top 5 Prospects Remaining -- 1. DT Glenn Dorsey, 2. QB Matt Ryan, 3. DT Sedrick Ellis, 4. CB Leonis McKelvin, 5. RB Jonathan Stewart"
Both Longs and Gholston were gone.
It's funny how everybody thinks we need a DT...We have Kelly, Warren, Sands and Joseph, but we definitely don't need a RB.