In most of the Mock Drafts that I have seen or participated in, including SBN's 2009 Mock Draft, I have had the choice of either BJ Raji or one of The Michaels, Crabtree or Oher...That just sound wierd...or Oher...Oh Well...When faced with these three players I have decided on Michael Crabtree EVERY time.
What IF Crabtree gets isn't available with the 7th pick?
I haven't really asked myself that question yet, outside of seeing that Maclin would be selected and thinking that Raji would be better and that would also mean that any one of 5 of the 6 that fell to #7 between Orakpo, Monroe, Curry and the Smiths would also help the Raiders in a key area.
Al Davis has said that he will focus on building the lines on BOTH sides of the ball, which would put nearly all of these players in the mix and Curry, a linebacker, MAY be the best player of them all.
Going with a best player available philosophy, as seen with Mcfadden, can add a special talent to your team, but can also mean that you miss out on building on an integral part of your team, such as O-Line, with a player like Ryan Clady, who everyone in the known World rated as the best zone blocking lineman in the Draft, which means that your team is still rebuilding, instead of re-loading.
You know what, all of this has me reconsidering Crabtree. Seriously. And, what about trading down with someone that wants Crabtree, if he is there, and selecting Brian Cushing, Laurinitus, Maualuga or Mathews Jr and another pick, or selecting Raji, Oher or Smith and a receiver in the second round.
The O-line has Henderson, Gallery, Satele (Or STEAL-EEEEE as I am going to call him from now on, Carlisle and Barnes/Green.
Oddly enough most offensive linemen are not drafted in the 1st Round that aren't LTs, and we have Henderson and Barnes in that position. I would call LT more of a position of strength on this team than Wide-Receiver, 2nd DT, DE, MLB, SS, FB, RT, RG and FS. It does NOT make sense to draft an LT unless you are 100% possitive that you are drafting Joe Thomas when you wil be able to fill one of your holes with a Stud like Raji, Orakpo, Curry or Crabtree who woould instantly make that position a position of strength.
There are some extremely interesting names that may be available in the 2nd Round and it depends COMPLETELY upon who is selected in the first Round.
I am a huge Brian Robiskie fan, but, what if Percy Harvin falls to the second round? Or Hakeem Nicks? Those are only questions IF Crabtree is NOT the pick.
Now, I am thinking that we should go:
1) Trade the pick for more picks, with a focus on improving the D-Line or drafting your Middle Linebacker.
#1 is ONLY possible IF Crabtree is available or someone is hot to get a player that they think a team up to 5 picks down from Oakland will beat them too.
2) Draft BJ Raji in the first, and either Duke Robinson or the best receiver available (In order for the Raiders: Robiskie, Harvin, Nicks, Barden) or Conor Barwin in the second.
3) Take Crabtree in the first and Conor Barwin, Ron Brace, Clint Sintim or Michael Johnson in the second round.
Now the question is which top two are the best? And then, what does the third round look like?
Here are some interesting names that could be available in the 3rd-4th Rounds:
Sidbury, a two-time CAA first-team selection whose 11.5 sacks in 2008 helped the Spiders win a national championship. Sidbury lacks the bulk and strength to compete as more than a rotational pass rusher at the next level, but his upfield burst and strong performance in the national championship game against Montana (four sacks) and during the week of practice at the East-West Shrine Game secured his status as a second-day draft pick.
Mike Thomas - Top of 3rd
Thomas closed out his career setting the school and Pac-10 Conference all-time record with 259 receptions. His 3,231 receiving yards placed eighth in league annals and third on the Arizona record charts
And he ran a 4.30 40 at the Combine!!!
Kraig Urbik - Top 3rd
According to coaches stats, in his final two seasons Urbik had 26 blocks that resulted in touchdowns and allowed only three sacks and two pressures on 680 pass plays. - Frank Cooney, The Sports Xchange, NFLDraftScout.com
Football Sense: Urbik is very effective adjusting to line stunts and shows very good vision to pick up the twists. He works well with others on double teams and keeps his head on a swivel moving into the second level. He easily takes plays from the chalkboard to the playing field. He plays with good concentration (just three penalties during his career) and is very alert to the defender's movements. GRADE: 7.4
Chip Vaughn - 3rd
While trying to find out when two Wake Forest players were going to pay a pre-draft visit to Oakland, I found out they weren't scheduled to visit the Raiders at all. Rather, it's the Raiders who are doing the visiting. Strong safety Chip Vaughn and cornerback Alphonso Smith were penciled in for workouts at their own facility, not a trip to 1220 Harbor Bay Parkway, according to two team sources. So who will be visiting the Raiders in the weeks leading up to the April 25-26 draft?
You know what, after doing this exercise, I have realized (AGAIN), or rerealized, that Crabtree is the pick IF he is there in the first and Robiskie is the pick, if he is there in the 2nd and Crabtree is not already selected.
So, first two rounds would be either:
Crabtree - Johnson/Barwin/Sintim
Raji - Robiskie
Raji - Johnson/Barwin/Sintim
I would be happy with any one of these. Then in the third it would be icing on the cake to land Thomas, Vaughn or Urbik.