Thursday, April 20, 2006

And The Raider Nation Selects...

With active guidance from some of the brightest minds in the Raider Nation, Raider Take has selected DB Michael Huff of Texas in the Blogger Mock Draft.

It took some convincing. The Raiders have chosen a DB in the first round in four of the past five drafts. The team then proceeded to set an NFL record for fewest interceptions last year. So selecting yet another DB was initially a disturbing thought. It reminded me of the serial killer who, before leaving the victim’s house, writes on the wall: Stop me before I kill again!

However, many of you made a strong case for Huff, who emerged as the consensus choice. The fact is that we do need help in the backfield, and Huff’s lethal combination of speed and size will make a huge difference for a backfield that lacked killer instinct last year. This dude can blitz hard and close fast.

We had an option to pick Young or Cutler at QB, Ngata or Bunkley in the D trenches, and Justice in the O trenches. But enthusiasm for a QB was lacking. Justice’s baggage makes us nervous. And Huff just stood out and above Ngata and Bunkley at the end of the day.

So there you have it. Thanks to all for your input. The Raider Nation has spoken. I’m sure that cheers are erupting in Alameda and that Mr. Huff has enlisted a real estate agent to find him a nice crib in Blackhawk.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

RT: The check is in the mail.

Look at it this way: WTF Chuck has been renting space in Al Davis' head for years.

In all my years of watching Davis' moves, I have NEVER seen someone get over on 'em like Woodson did with his franchise tags.

It appears the serial-CB draft approach may have been a reaction to Chuck more than anything.

With Huff on board, Al will sleep at nite now and enter the post-Woodson era with confidence.

Al will feel safe to address the other needs on the team we all know are there (e.g., DT, LB, and OG) and the serial drafting will end - won't it?!?

2:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You're right RT, unfortunately, there is a real lack of enthusiasm for drafting a Qb in the Raider Nation. My pick was Jay Cutler because I look around the league and I see the Giants go from hapless to the playoffs in one yr with Eli Manning. I see the Steelers win the SB in one yr with Rothlisberger, and I see Aaron Brooks under center for the Raiders. The Raiders need a spark, someone to jolt this team back. Only one position player can do this, and that is a Qb. Two yrs ago we were all happy to get Rob Gallery with the 2nd pick. He was going to be a great left tackle for yrs to come, except so far he's been only an ok right tackle. Go ask the Steelers if they would trade us Rothlisberger for Gallery today. They would laugh as they hung up the phone. Could we trade him for E. Manning, no way. We couldn't even trade him for Jamie Rivers, and he hasn't even played a down yet in the NFL. My point is that Cutler has as much a chance of being the next Rothlisberger, as Mike Huff has of being the next Ronnie Lott, but there's a greater chance that 3 yrs from now, no one will trade us Cutler for Huff. No one really knows what is going to happen with any of these players down the road, so better to roll the dice on a Qb because if it works, we may only have to wait one yr for it to pay off.

3:31 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Raider00, you make great points. The grizzled veteran QB act is, indeed getting a bit old (no pun intended) in Oakland.

I'd like to find the next Ken Stabler, not the next Jeff George. (Of course, I'd also like to find the next Rich Gannon, not the next Todd Marinovich).

For this mock draft, I felt a responsibility to represent the consensus. And as much as I'd like to see the Raiders groom the next Big Ben, I'm too chicken to go out on the limb and say it's Cutler over Young, or vice versa. I just don't know. I don't want to groom the next Kyle Boller.

Maybe Walter is the man after all?

If it cheers you up, I'm hearing many rumors about Mr. Davis being enamored with Leinart, and possibly trading up to make it happen. Of course, the rumor-mongers were saying the same thing about Mr. Davis and Vince Young last month.

One thing's for sure: I'd take Leinart, Young or Cutler over Alex ($49 million) Smith, and that thought just makes me happy.

3:44 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Stick'Em, great take on the Woodson-Davis extended waltz...Maybe Huff, indeed, kicks the skeletons out of the closet so that we can sleep more peacefully alon with Mr. Davis.

3:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you RT. Just to be clear, maybe Cutler is the next Boller, or perhaps the next Rothlisberger. No one knows. Can anyone guarantee me that Mike Huff is not the next Patrick Bates ? Of course not. If Al likes Lienart, or Young over Cutler, that's fine with me, just as long as he drafts a Qb. Oh, by the way, wasn't Gallery suppose to be the next Ogden, or Pace ??? It's a total crapshoot.

4:14 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

The next Patrick Bates!!! I knew I should have traded the farm for Reggie Bush.

4:16 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

RT - You represented us well. Was Stick'em your acting GM?

It was a nice practical exercise in weighing out all the options. For a day you experienced what it is like for Mr. Davis. With the many variables and unknowns that the draft poses, it truly is an inexact science.

I personally think that Stick'ems compelling points about Michael Huff tipped the balance. What I like (especially after reading Stick'ems post) about Michael Huff is that he seems to be a high quality/character guy who is a dedicated football player. He is a versatile playmaker. He seems to be mature beyond his years. His football abilities are much more similar to Ed Reed than the infamous Patrick Bates. Michael Huff would be a solid choice in my book.

4:58 PM  
Blogger frkyraider said...

well, i'm not easily swayed in my line of thinking but i too have to admit that stick'em's comments affected me as well as they did you calico jack. i didn't know any of the details about him, not as much as i do about some of the others, nice to know that stuff. he sounds like a total stud. i would NOW be thrilled if thats who we end up with. but....must i say it?....i still want HAWK!!!

5:18 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Calico Jack, all you guys and gals are the brains of this operation.
I see Raider Take as the local tavern where all the smartest and funniest people in the neighborhood hang out. I'm just happy to work the beer tap, oil the dialogue and keep my ears open.

5:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Look at it this way, Ed Reed is a great football player, and what exactly has he meant to the Ravens ? I mean, how much success have the Ravens had with Reed, in contrast to what Big Ben/E. Manning/Brady, have meant to their teams ? What are the odds that Huff will be even close to Reed as a player ? At best, he'll be another C-Wood. What good will that do us next yr ? Remember also that the Raiders are trying to sell some tickets for a change this season. Drafting Huff will=blackouts. Drafting a Qb will=sellouts. This will count for something I hope.

5:54 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Raider00 wields some serious recrimination! He has a point. Let the second guessing begin!

6:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the kind words, my friends.

Mainly I'm just happy to have a forum where folks like to think before and after they write, instead of scream & shout till someone gets tired.

Anyway, Hawk and Williams also seem like legit Pro Bowlers and would be good fits in silver'n'black. But as the mock played out, it seems unlikely those two will be options on April 29th.

Huff seems like the most reliable pick available -barring the unexpected- and hopefully will make us forget the names Gibson, Dorsett, naseum.

00: No question QB is the single most important position on the field. The problem is, it is rather difficult to project college QBs at the pro level.

Verily, for every Ben Rothlisberger who does well behind a great defense and strong running game, the field is littered with the carcasses of the Jay Cutlers of the world.

If you read their draft descriptions, you can easily replace the name "J.P. Losman" with "Jay Cutler" and their pre-draft write ups are basically the same stories.

This is why Al rarely drafts a QB in the first round.

Just food for thought:

In 2004, Ed Reed was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year. He set NFL Records for longest INT (106) and most INT return yardage (358) on 9 INTS as a safety.

It's also not hard to make the case Troy Polumalu was as much responsible for the Squeelers SB as Big Ben.

In any case, if Jay Cutler or Vince Young is drafted by the Raiders, it ain't gonna sell tickets next year to watch them holding a clipboard.

Keep in mind, the Snake himself was in his third season of playing behind Lamonica and Blanda before he saw the field at any meaningful time.

As a general rule, rookie QBs don't play. When they do, Big Ben time is a serious anomaly in the universe.

Even Elway (perhaps the highest rated QB out of college ever) didn't win a lot of games and threw twice as many INTs (14) as TDs (7) in his rookie season.

I'm not excited about Aaron Brooks or anything (other than at least he's not KFC); however, seeing ANY rookie QB under center on opening day would just scare the bejeepers out of me!

7:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I will compromise. If at pick #7, all the Qb's are gone, the Raiders should start trading down. If they play their cards right, they can end up with RB, Deangelo Williams, AND, Qb Brodie Croyle. This has got to be better then just taking Huff. They would also gain more picks in other rounds with which they can use on Lb's, OG's, Db's, and everything else they need. I can live with this.

7:53 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

If Huff is off the board (S.F. could very well take him) I would agree with Raider00's point about the value of trading down for an extra pick.

This draft is loaded with players at DT, OG, LB, and CB throughout the 1st 3 rounds. Excluding CB, the other positions are need areas for the Raiders.

If in the 1st 3 rounds we were able to get a DT (Bunkley, Ngata, Watson, Wroten, Wright, Harris, McCargo)

an OG (Joseph, Jean-Gilles, Lutui, Spencer, Matua)

and a LB (Sims, Greenway, Ryans, Carpenter, Howard, McIntosh, Alston)

That would be a very productive draft.

RT ("Hey Barkeep. Pour me another Black & Tan!" Cheers)

8:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

raider00, i strongly disagree about drafting a qb, until we are truly able to see the options that we have now. i would much rather put my hopes in tui (who sat under gannon for 2 1/2 years), than someone like vince young, or brodie croyle (can you say "kyle boller, and joey harrington?"). vince young, i think would do better with a team like the raiders, than say, the falcons. because the raiders have receivers, but much like vick (whom he is compared to) the question is, "would he be able to get the ball to moss, porter, or gabriel?" again, being in austin, and watching ut games this year (rooting for usc), vince doesn't have a strong arm like leinart, or andrew walter.
if you want a "new" qb, give tui and walter a legitimate shot before giving them the axe.
if we do that, and it fails miserably, then we go after brady quinn next year, who will be a better qb than cutler, and young. the only way we will get leinart, is if we trade for the #1 or 2 spot, and they are asking too much for that spot. leinart will end up in tennessee, reunited with chow, and he will be a great qb.
now here's some food for thought. mcnair will be cut by the titans, do we go after him? favre is trying to be cut by the packers, because he doesn't want to lose anymore. do we trade our #7 spot, and tui for him and a 2nd rounder? don't laugh, because that is a possibility, and a better possibility than drafting leinart, young, cutler, or croyle; and wil be able to groom walter better than brooks.
then, we can draft rodrique wright (a strong dt out of utexas), and a ss. now tell me, trading for favre or signing mcnair will not sell tickets?

5:58 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wanted Davis, but he wasn't there
So picking Huff was more than fair.

And I can assure you I'll dance with joy
If Huff can play like that guy named Troy.

But if in the real draft he slips away
My hope in Round 4 is that we take Slay.

Now while Stick'em shouts 'Hallelujah'
Barkeep, please pour me a coffee and kahlua!

6:01 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Classic! I should have said: smartest, funniest AND most poetic folks in the neighborhood...

7:12 AM  
Blogger StickUm25 said...

I have to agree with Raider Nate – I really don’t want to see us draft a QB. While I agree that a quality QB is more valuable than a quality DB, LB, etc, I don’t think whether or not we’d be willing to trade one for the other in a couple of years is a valid point. So many things have to happen for a team to win that you can’t just point to the QB. Pittsburgh and New England had strong defenses and solid offensive lines when they won with their young QBs. The young guys weren’t even expected to start – they both took over when the vets got injured. Plus, these guys weren’t top 10 picks. Eli was, but his team wasn’t as strong so he hasn’t had the same success. One other point – when was the last time a QB drafted with a top 10 pick won a Super Bowl?

As for selling tickets, I think a winning team will sell more than any individual player. Heck, we got Moss last year, and what impact did that have on ticket sales? Al is all about winning – selling tickets is secondary.

I do agree that trading down is valid, if they can get better value. Looking at the trade value chart, it looks like the 7th pick would be worth a 1st rounder somewhere around picks 15 to 17, and a second rounder at around pick 41. These teams have choices in those areas

Baltimore – 13 & 44
Philly – 14 & 45
Denver – 15 & 37
Minnesota – 17 & 48
Dallas – 18 & 49

Minnesota & Dallas would have to include their 3rd round pick to even out the point value. I can’t see them giving up their first 3 picks to move up to #7, but who knows? I doubt Denver will deal with us, so that leaves Baltimore & Philly. Either way, is that enough to trade out of a spot where you can get the best DB or DT on the board? Quite possibly so, especially if they can squeeze a little more out of a trade.

If they keep the pick I’m hoping for Huff, but moving down may give us two starters instead of one.

8:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sadly, I think all you guys are going to be correct. For the last 20 yrs., every time the Raiders have a top ten pick, they pass by the Qb's, and draft the likes of Darrell Russell, C-Wood, Gallery,& Dudley. Thank God they traded last yrs #7 for Moss. Outside of Rich Gannon, the Raiders have had a parade of bums at Qb since Jim Plunkett retired. The Raiders need a lot of help at many positions, but it just seems to me that when a team gets a good young Qb, everything else just falls into place. Since there is no guarantee on any of these players, why not take a Qb ? That's my opinion.

4:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

look everyone, it's been tiring thinking about who the raiders will draft. some of these so-called draft guru's are way off the charts with who they think we'll pick. i think by now you all know how much i despise al davis. i don't wanna jinx the guy right now. LOOK, i'll take just about ANYBODY except vince young. ANY of the top 10 players except young would make me happy. if it's a defensive guy, even better. i just want the 29th to come so all this stinkin' waiting will end!

8:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

00: I feel your frustration. The Raiders haven't been anything more than mediocre in the draft the last ten years, by any one's account.

I respect your idea that since the draft is, at best, like holding a poker hand and betting the next card will be the Ace of why not go all in?

The thing is, right now the Raiders need to play it safe, IMO. Gallery was a safe pick and guys like Huff and Hawk are as well.

Well, at least as safe as you can get, considering we're playing Texas Hold'em NFL style...

Both Huff and Hawk have character. Dimebag Darrell did not. He was a character, which is different...

Both show a commitment to excellence. I know that phrase sounds tired, but it really means Hawk and Huff have "the will to win." Ricky 'Hands of Stone' Dudley did not.

Both Matt Leinart and Vince Young have shown the will to win at the college level too; they have "it". I would not be disappointed to see either in silver'n'black.

But imagine our frustration level if this pick is p!$$ed away on another Todd Marinovich or Marc Wilson...

Now I'm not an NFL GM nor do I play one on TV - LOL!

But if we're going to gamble, I'm just the type to have the odds in my favor instead hoping I'll break the Scratch'n'Win Lotto bank one day. History shows QBs are just not a reliable draft day investment because it is verrry difficult to project their future performance.

It took longer than one season for this team to get in the mess we find it in right now. The best way to right the ship is to add players with a positive attitude and leadership abilities, IMO. Huff and Hawk are the best leaders available.

8:13 AM  

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