Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Help Wanted

Please help me out, Raiders fans. Raider Take has been enlisted to participate in an NFL mock draft, in competition with other bloggers from around the nation. This ambitious and rather twisted endeavor was conceived by Perry of Chicago Sports Blogs, who exerted blood, sweat and tears to make it happen. Click here to see the magnificence of his labors (along the right side of his home page).

It looks like the Lions are the only team without representation. Are there no Lions bloggers? Or are they just afraid they’ll pick another wide receiver?

Anyhow, if I screw this up, my shame will be epic and the mockery will be mighty. I need to sail into this draft on a proverbial pirate ship, firing cannons of insider knowledge and plunging daggers into the hopes of lesser teams.

That’s where you come in. I am no expert. I will rely on you and your comments to help me navigate these treacherous waters. I thank you in advance.

Helpful hints: (1) Click
here to stay tuned to mock draft headquarters; (2) This draft is for the first round only – we have only one pick; (3) Apparently, trading will be an option, but we have to take it seriously – we don’t want to be known as the team that traded away six years of first round picks and dinner with Amy Trask to swap places with the Saints; (4) I'm not sure of the timing of everything, but it sounds like things will get rolling pretty soon.

26 Comments:

Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I'm sticking with #7 spot, drafting either Justice, Huff, or AJ Hawk (if available).

7:36 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Cool. In that order?

7:37 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

if hawk is available, i think we grab him first. i'm torn between justice and huff though. we need a good guard like justice, but i think huff is more priority. so if i had to choose, i don't think hawk will be available, and we will more likely pick huff.

7:44 AM  
Anonymous raider00 said...

With the 7th pick, the Raiders select...Qb, Jay Cutler. This is the smart pick here. Vernon Davis, Mike Huff, or even AJ Hawk, won't make that big a difference for this team. Roll the dice with Cutler, and if he turns out great, no worries at Qb for the next ten years. Should even be able to trade down a few spots for extra picks, and still get him.

11:57 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Cutler! I didn't see that one coming. Thanks, Raider00. That spices things up.

I'm looking for a Raider Nation consensus here...Please keep it coming.

12:59 PM  
Anonymous Stick'Em said...

RT: It's not clear to me what the purpose of this mock is...

Are you expected to project who the Raiders actually will pick?

Are are you expected to decide who the Raiders should pick - basically predicting who will turn out eventually to be the best player when graded years down the road?

If it is "should", then rank the players objectively and pick whichever player left has the highest ranking when #7 comes up.

For example, here's a reputable draft source(which shall remain nameless, let's just say it ain't free)'s ranking of the top ten best players available in this year's draft with their corresponding grades:

1. Reggie Bush 8.5
2. Vince Young 8.0
(tie) Mario Williams 8.0
4. D'Brickashaw Ferguson 7.5
5. AJ Hawk 6.8
(tie) Michael Huff 6.8
7. Matt Leinart 6.75
8. Vernon Davis 6.7
9. Jay Cutler 6.65
10. Haloti Ngata 6.6
(tie) Broderick Bunkley 6.6

In general is much more difficult to project how college players on the offensive side of the ball (especially QBs and WR/TEs) will do in the NFL than it is defensive players.

For example, look at how many WR/TEs the Lions alone have drafted in the 1st who so far haven't lived up to the hype: Mike Williams, Roy Williams, and Charles Rogers. All were projected to be stars...still waiting.

Therefore, I usually say go with defense with high picks (Al Davis does too actually - won't list all the names, but you can check it yourself if you don't believe it).

Which leads us to who "will" the Raiders pick...

Simple, just look at the same players above and give bonus points for athletic potential (e.g., running a Ferrari 40 time, bench pressing a Volkswagon, leaping over Al's Cadillac, etc.)

For example, Vince Young gets points added and Matt Leinart points taken away looking solely at athleticism, which is what the Raiders tend to do (look up their picks' 40 times).

The Raiders also like to draft DBs very much, based on recent history (again, look it up).

The Raiders also like to draft 'tweeners. For example, a 'tweener is someone too big to be a LB but too small to be a DE (again, look it up).

So, my guess is an athletic, defensive 'tweener will be Al Davis' pick, based on the history:

Michael Huff to run the Doug Plank spot in Ryan's version of the 46.

3:14 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Great analysis and reasoning, Stick'em.

Who I think we should take: Brodrick Bunkley (DT, FSU)

The more I read about Brodrick Bunkley, the more convinced I am that he will be the best football player available at #7 AND the best overall fit for our current needs.

Who I think we will take:
Michael Huff (S, Texas)

Speed Kills! Al takes Michael Huff and his 4.34 40 time.

It will take considerable restraint and will power for Al to pass on a DB with blazing speed who played for the recent national championship.

3:41 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Thanks, Stick'Em! Great information and points. What do you think about trading up (or down)?

WE get to decide the purpose of this particular mock draft. At Raider Take, as you know, I like to seek a balance between "will" and "should" when analyzing upcoming team decisions.

The "should do" can veer into pontificating with no basis in reality. The "will do" can underestimate the power of the Raiders to adapt and evolve.

So at the end of the day, it would be nice to make a pick that has a basis in the past reality of the Raiders, but not so firmly rooted in past reality that we risk the second coming of Buchanon, Gibson or Janikowski, or yet another DB.

Ultimately, this is about tuning out the Mel Kipers of the world and tuning into all of the great Raider Nation minds who are kind enough to comment in these parts.

3:50 PM  
Blogger frkyraider said...

lets just list the top ten.
1. bush
2. lienart
3. williams
4. HAWK HAWK HAWK HAWK HAWK
5. d'brick
6. young
7. huff
8. davis
9. ngata
10. cutler
in that order. whoever goes cross em off. take from the top of the list. if you feel you can deal and still get your guy plus some other picks, do it, but you BETTER get him, the worst thing that can happen to you is to trade down a few spots and not get your guy. if you ask me i'd try and nab one of the defenders, safer pick and we need em.

guess which one i want.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

There's a lot of insight in here pointing toward Huff at #7...Another DB just scares me, on principle.

We've selected DBs in the first round in four of the past five drafts. Then, in 2005, we set an NFL record for fewest interceptions. Coincidence?

So one could make the argument that the Raiders are desperate for a DB solution such as Huff OR that the Raiders have NO business flirting with another first-round DB.

6:00 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

The "should" part of my equation is building through the guys in the trenches; the D-Line and O-Line. Why? In my humble opinion, we need to be more stout at stopping the run and more efficient in running the ball & pass protection. The guys in the trenches are the foundation of a good football team.

I would be opposed to moving up in the draft since we have so many needs to fill that we are not in a position to give up valuable picks. I am also oppposed to drafting a QB or TE since I don't feel these are areas of immediate need.

Based on this strategy, I think it would be beneficial to trade down a few places to as high as Baltimore's #13.

These are potential players we could nab with a pick as low as #7 to as high as #13;

Brodrick Bunkley (DT, FSU)
Haoli Ngata (DT, Oregon)
Winston Justice (RT, USC)

If we take Winston Justice it would have a domino effect on strengthening our O-Line.

This is how I would see our newly contructed O-Line;
LT - Robert Gallery
LG - Barry Sims
C - Jake Grove
RG - Brad Badger/Langson Walker
RT - Winston Justice

If we take Justice, there is an excellent chance we could take either Gabe Watson (DT, Mich) or Claude Wroten (DT, LSU) with our 2nd round pick.

Having said all the above, my gut instinct tells me that Al will take Michael Huff.

7:26 PM  
Blogger Raider Raza said...

Good Post Stick em. I like Huff cause we need a playmeker at DB but what Take said leaves a bad taste "we drafted db in 4 of the last 5 years and led the league in least interceptions.
I will reserve my judgement because i have been off all offseason.
I thought we would take Hill then i was sure we would take Weisenhunt. I thought we would have made a significant off season move-we haven't; beside cutting KFC
I just hope we have a good draft like we had the last year, cause the best thing we've done this offseason is take control of our tickets and thats scary!!!

8:09 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

The questions I have for all your readers RT is whether or not Michael Huff (if drafted) could play SS in the NFL? Is he too small to put in the box against the run? Is he more suited to play FS or CB and if so, why draft him? Who would make a bigger, more immediate impact at #7, a DT, LB, or SS? Normally a SS isn't taken so high in the draft. Would we be better off drafting a SS in the 2nd, 3rd, or 4th round to replace Radio Gibson?

From what I have read and seen of Huff, he is an extremely versatile playmaker with outstanding cover skills and a sound tackler. He is not an explosive, big hitter like in the Roy Williams mold but there is no question he would improve our overall pass defense.

8:57 PM  
Blogger Raider Raza said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:23 AM  
Blogger Raider Raza said...

is true calico
Huff isn't like physically gifted like sean taylor, but we still need a playmaker at safety. I like Hawk but i think the niners will take him especially since they lost Peterson.

With Al who knows maybe V.Young, but i still like Walter. Walter looked impressive with his throws and progressions in limited action.

This offseseason has been too quiet so i think something big will happen draft day maybe a trade or something crazy

1:26 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Calico Jack said, "Based on this strategy, I think it would be beneficial to trade down a few places to as high as Baltimore's #13."
I don't think the Raiders have ever been involved in trading down in a draft. It has always been a trade up, or stay at the spot to insure the pick they wanted. If they want Justice, they will pick him at the #7 spot.
With Art back as coach, I am willing to bet they go after the "trench workers". My only question about Justice is he is a Tackle, we need a Guard (to replace Sims, who is just terrible). If he can play Guard, then no problem. If he can't play Guard, then we draft Huff (especially since we are losing C-Woody).
The same can be said with a DT. There is a better chance to pick up Rodrique Wright from U-Texas. I live in Austin, moved here from Cali in 2000, and I saw this guy play, and he is really overlooked by the scouts. He is a tremendous player. He is really comparable to a young Sapp.
As I mentioned before too, there may be a possibility that we could have a shot at Lendale White in the 2nd round, and that is when it becomes interesting.
All that to say, we won't trade down. I think we pick Huff. The only way we don't, is if AJ Hawk is still on the board. Though Justice would be a good option. We don't trade up for a QB either. I think we see how Walters works out this year, with Brooks and Tui. If it doesn't work, we draft Brady Quinn next year.
I think we pick up an OG in the third round, by picking Fred Matua or Deuce Lutui both from USC. Then we pick up LB's to help with blitzing.

6:05 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Okay, I'm seeing a consensus here. If we stay at #7, it sounds like Hawk and Huff would be favorable selections.

Say Haw and Huff are both gone, however, by the #7 pick, and Leinart or Young are still available. Should I stick to the trenches, per Calico Jack, with maybe a Ngata or Bunkley, or does the Raider Nation want to groom a QB?

7:23 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I say Al would go with a DT. Stick with the trenches. The only time Al drafted a QB in the first round was Todd Marijuanavich, and he went against his better judgement by doing so. I mean, look at recent history too. In 2000, Al passed on Chad Pennington, and picked Janikowski; a move the media still mocks.
Even more recently, in 2004, Al passed up Phillip Rivers and Ben Rothlesberger for Robert Gallery.
I don't think he's in the "Let's draft a QB and groom him" business.
Now, what would I do? I would love to draft Leinart. I've always said if Leinart was available, I'd take him, then again, I'm not Al Davis either. But seriously, I think he's going to be reunited with Norm Chow in Tennessee. I think the Titans and Saints are going to swap places.

8:00 AM  
Blogger Rum Runner said...

Under no circumstances will the Raiders trade up, unless they can do it for minimal picks such as a trade that only gives up 1 high pick next year and a mid rounder this year. If Leinart is available, we take him. Why? Two reasons, 1) He's from USC, and Al LOVES USC, 2) Mel Kiper's not the only one who thinks Leinart is the second coming of Ken Stabler and we all know how Al keeps trying to recapture the past.

If Leinart is not available, which he won't be, Hawk would be the next hope for the Raiders. The guy is explosive and will make all of the difference in the world for our D. Alot of guys will tell you a DT, but Al has proven time and again that he can draft DT's after round 3, i.e. Grady Jackson, Laroi Glover, Rod Coleman.

If the TE Davis from Maryland is available, which I highly doubt, he's the pick, even if Leinart or Hawk are there. This guys gonna' be special.

What will in all likelyhood happen is that the Raiders will have the choice between Ngota, Bunkley, Justice and Huff. This is a NO-BRAINER...JUSTICE. Hey, you don't hire the greatest LT of all time as your head coach, a top 5 all time RT and topflight assistant as OL coaches and not build the line!

Justice allows us to have Gallery move back to LT where he is more comfortable and move Barry Simms back to LG where he was converted from to begin with. An improved running game and pass coverage will change alot of things in the Black Hole.

We'll take a RB/LB in the second and third rounds. We'll look to safety and DT somewhere after that if the value is there. I wouldn't doubt that we take a Gaurd around round 5.

Hope this helps. Give 'em HELL!

9:00 AM  
Blogger LA Raider Rules said...

It is very simple -
If Young is available at 2,you take him -
Trade up and turn over 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, round picks

If not available, stay at 7 and take Mike Huff - we have a need for him as a safety, I have a funny feeling Derrick Gibson is going to Linebacker....

10:58 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

There are a lot of great Raider Nation minds in here pointing toward Huff...Makes me a bit nervous, yet ANOTHER first-round DB pick for the Raiders. Kind of reminds me of the serial killer who writes on the wall: Stop me before I kill again!

We do need to toughen up the secondary. But how come it's not tough already after picking DBs first in four of the past five drafts? Just asking (again).

Pro Football Weekly (PFW) has Huff under Cornerbacks, with the designation: CB-FS.

Justice is getting some love. He's very tempting, especially with Shell as a mentor. One of the knocks on him, according to PFW, is: "Needs to show more discipline and commitment." I don't like the sound of that, because it sounds all to familiar. However, maybe he can grow up in a hurry under the tutelage of Shell.

12:30 PM  
Anonymous raider nate 75 said...

you have a valid complaint about the db's we've drafted the past 4 years. p-buchanon ('02 1st round bust); sideeq shabaz ('03 7th round who?); stuart schweigert ('04 3rd round gem so far); fabian washington ('05 1st round, verdict still pending); stanford routt ('05 2nd round, who?). huff is "bush-like" compared to these guys.
the other thing being mentioned are dt's. go back the past 4 years as well, and see how many dt's we've drafted. almost as many as db's. another "serial killer" instinct.
the crack on justice being "needs to show discipline and commitment" yeah, so does everyone else on the raiders at this point. especially barry sims, robert gallery, and the damn defense. if art shell can't do it, then bring in howie from the booth to decapitate his foot up their @$$e$! my point, if the talent is there, and the mentor of the coach is solid, look the hell out!
that is why i say if hawk is unavailable, the order is huff and then justice.

1:10 PM  
Anonymous Stick'Em said...

Yeah, the Immaculate Deception still causes me throw furniture at anything in Squealer gold...

Still, watching Troy Polamalu cover, blitz, and making the big plays with heart brings a smile to my face - that's how you're supposed to play the game!

How big is Troy Polamalu?
5'10" 212#s

How big is Ed Reed?
5'11" 200#s

How big is Michael Huff?
6'0" and 203#s

If the two best safeties in the NFL are this size, what'sa matta with Huff?

Feed'em a biscuit or two and get 'em up to 210 or so. The kid is strong for his size - just ask LenDale White.

Trouble is, in Raiderland we're used to seeing Safeties the size of Gibson and CBs the size of Asomugha at 6'2 215#s. They don't have to be this size to be very successful, just as Troy & Ed...or Jack Tatum (5'11 205#s).

Tatum says F=ma baby!

Huff ran a 4.34 forty and put up 21 reps in the bench at the Combine. By contrast, "the size guy" at SS, 6'2" 227# Darnell Bing, put up a 4.52 and 17 reps...and reportedly has no brain.

Bottom line - Huff passes the size:speed:strength ratio test.

The point is, Rob Ryan tried to run a "D" with one player manning a hybrid CB/S/rover position as the keystone of the scheme. First it was Woodson, then Hill when WTF Chuck went down.

Huff can be the versatile, Doug Plank, cornerstone Safety of the Ryan system. The player who is equally likely to blitz or cover on any given play, and great at both.

This unpredictable versatility is what makes Polamalu so important to the Squealers, and is what Ryan was looking for in Woodson/Hill (both of whom are now gone).

Huff is very intelligent and has great character and competitiveness. His only draw back is he is a CB/S 'tweener, and that scares some folks.

Not Al. He knows 'tweeners. Remember Lester Hayes himself was a LB-->S in college -->CB in the NFL.

Like many of you, I too scratch my head wondering why this team is being built from the outside in, instead of from the inside out. Football is won in the trenches.

With the 5-yard chuck rule diminishing the value of CBs, why do we continue to draft one in the first round every year? Don’t ask me. I don’t know.

But there won't be any O-linemen worthy of drafting at #7. Ferguson will be gone

Justice is a reach. The guy got kicked off the team for a season at USC for being arrested for waving a pistol (fake) and also for picking up hookers - NO THANKS!

I say grab 'em as a FA at a lower investment price a few years from now when the team who drafts tires of his antics.

We've had enough bozos the last few years - anyone remember Darrell Russell? Justice has "Dimebag Darrell" written all over 'em.

At DT, Bunkley is a terror on the field. He's had his character problems as well - shoplifting at FSU. Maybe worth the gamble...but Hawk and Huff are the safest bets.

That said, I would love to have Mario Williams and he is the only player I would trade up for. IMO, you only trade up in the first for a can't-miss QB, a pass-pro LT, a pash-rush DE, or a shutdown CB.

1:57 PM  
Anonymous Stick'Em said...

All right. I'll stop the Huff stuff and get off the soapbox after this last post:

"Huff, a likely top 10 selection from Texas who can play cornerback or safety, told reporters during a visit with Dallas he would be in Oakland today (wed 4/19)."

Huff has the desire and character. Get a feel for him here .

An NFL analyst who's opinion I respect very much, Pat Kirwan, says on Huff:

"Probably the best interview I did all year was with the senior defensive back from Texas.

If there was ever a "blue chip" guy in a draft, it's Mike Huff. He has it all -- the intangibles, the production and the athleticism to be a great pro.

Heck, I felt like I was talking to a 10-year veteran. There are not many John Lynch-type guys who come into the NFL with the whole package, but Huff is such a man.

Talk about guys I would love to have on my team, Huff would be the captain!"

2:38 PM  
Anonymous raider nate 75 said...

stickem said, "By contrast, "the size guy" at SS, 6'2" 227# Darnell Bing, put up a 4.52 and 17 reps...and reportedly has no brain." so if we draft bing, then we are essentially picking up another anthony dorsett, a guy who had the package to be great, but no brain (for those who don't get it).
i still don't think davis goes after a qb. it is not in his character to go after a qb. he passed up on brees in '01, pennington and tom brady in '00, rivers and rothlesberger in '04. al is not really a qb groomer, he wants someone "proven" at that spot, which is why he hasn't really given tui a shot at it, or walters for that matter. i'm not sold that he would take a qb, even if it's the like of vince young or jay cutler.

6:21 AM  
Anonymous AllyOop said...

I am of the opinion that Al will grace Art with the first round pick in the draft this year as a 'Welcome Home' gift.

That being the case, then I believe Art will favor the offensive side of the ball. However, I do not think we will draft a quarterback while we have both Brooks and Walter ready to compete for the starting role.

Assuming we stay at the #7 spot, then that leaves me with either Vernon Davis or Winston Justice, in that order.

Of course, if Huff Daddy is still there when we go on the clock, can Al resist
grabbing the speedster?

Or why is A.J. Hawk not even scheduled into Oakland for a visit? Geez, you know how Al loves to keep us all in the dark - is Hawk the target this year?....

And then there's the fact that Matt Leinart's family are all die hard Raider fans......

Shoot, now my head is spinning. LOL

Okay, steady as she goes. In order to wrap this up, I'll say that my best guess at this point is Vernon Davis, followed by Justice, then Huff.

7:39 AM  

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