Based on Raider moves, statements, and inferences, we may finally have a draft without shock.
First, here are the key facts:
We released DT Gerard Warren and signed a DT - Chris Cooper.
We released DE Greg Ellis and signed DE Quentin Groves.
We released OLB Jon Aston and signed OLB Kamerion Wimbley
Bruce Gradkowski tore his left pectoral muscle and we signed QB Kyle Boller.
So far perfect balance. Next:
We released OT Cornell Green and signed NO OT.
We released RB Justin Fargas and signed NO RB.
We moved CB Jonathan Holland to WR and signed NO CB.
Based on the foregoing pattern, we can infer that an OT, RB and CB may well be drafted.
Now consider Cable's 4/15 Press Conference when the HC was asked to "Classify needs", Cable responded: "Line of scrimmage issues on both sides of the ball."
From that statement we may well conclude that an OT, Guard and Center are highly likely selections during the draft, as well as a DT and DE. However, a DE was acquired on 4-21, after this press conference, i.e. Quentin Groves. Eliminating DE from those "line of scrimmage" positions we have 4 of our 7 picks determined: OT, G, C, DT.
Next, Cable while answering the same question said, "we need to address the backfield a little." This is not something we have considered - the likelihood that we will draft a RB. We knew that Bush and McFadden would no longer be splitting duties with Fargas and were led to believe that one of them would become the premier back and the other would supplement. But Cable's statements and the balancing factor - which hadn't been addressed when Fargas was released - now contradicts our beliefs. We should prepare therefore for a RB to be taken with one of our 7 picks.
Finally Cable finished the 'needs list' by stating, "Making sure we have the right people at linebacker, making sure we have the right people in the secondary." This is somewhat vague and cannot necessarily be interpreted as 'someone will be brought in'; it could mean a rearrangement of players already on the roster. For Cable's last (and more typical) statement) we need to think; we should ask ourselves a couple of questions: Do we have a real MLB on the roster? Do we have anyone who can proficiently play LCB? Consider these questions rhetorical.
In conclusion, we should not be surprised at all - but expect the following 7 positions addressed in the draft:
Guard, Tackle, Center, Defensive Tackle, Cornerback, Middle Linebacker, Running Back.
We have discussed ad nausea players who should fill the OT, DT, G, C, MLB and CB positions. What we have not discussed, really at all, is who we should draft at RB - indeed, we never considered the possibility of drafting a RB at all. So let's do it now and if it does not come to pass at least we will have prepared ourselves for the possibility.