It's times like these that Raiders fans breathe a slight sigh of relief that Al Davis is no longer running the Raiders draft room. Times when Central Florida receiver Breshad Perriman is clocked at a 4.22 40-yard-dash at his Pro Day.
I spent the 2009 draft at Ricky's Sports Bar in San Leandro, interviewing fans and taking in the festivities. It was a good time right up until the Raiders pick came in and the commissioner took the stage. All got quiet as the pick was being announced...
"With the seventh overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft, the Oakland Raiders select... Darrius Heyward-Bey, wide receiver, University of Maryland."
To be honest, after "Darrius Hey..." you couldn't hardly hear the commissioner over the anger and disappointment of the fans.
Following the pick, the media roasted the Raiders. Cris Carter had his memorable rant in which he said over and over at an Allen Iverson level of repetition that Heyward-Bey was "ACC Honorable Mention... Honorable Mention!!"
All of those fans and media who were harshly criticizing the pick were justified in the years that followed as DHB never developed into the NFL wide receiver the team had hoped.
Most draft projections place Perriman in the early second round area, which is right about where DHB was projected. That was until he lit up the scouting combine, running a 4.30 40 and jumped squarely on Al Davis' radar.
I'm not predicting Perriman will be an NFL bust the way DHB was, but there are similarities. Both were considered raw prospects with questionable ball skills and elite speed. There seems a decent chance Perriman rises up draft boards after this showing of speed; perhaps even into the top half of the first round, ahead of other more productive college wideouts.
The Raiders pick at fourth overall and I don't think anyone these days is worried they will choose Perriman ahead of the likes of Amari Cooper or Kevin White, should they go wide receiver at that pick.
After that, it could get interesting to see if there is an NFL team who will get that 'can't be taught' speed quotient Perriman brings to the table and hope he doesn't have that 'can't be taught.... how to catch an NFL football' quotient DHB brought to the field.