Friday, April 29, 2016

Round Two: Jihad Ward


And the Raiders select...DE Jihad Ward, following yesterday's selection of safety Karl Joseph.

His profile on NFL.com: "Considering that Jihad (pronounced juh-HODD) Ward went from receiver/safety to the defensive line during his time in junior college, the sky's the limit once he really knows what to do with his size and strength. He was an honorable mention All-Big Ten selection by league coaches (51 tackles, 8.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, four fumble recoveries) in his first season with the Illini, playing inside and outside and using his huge wingspan to swallow ball carriers. Ward, who wears jersey number 17 because that was his mother’s age when he was born, didn’t have the same production as a senior (3.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks) but still earned honorable mention notice due to his strong play."

Let's hope the similarities to Reggie's first full draft (an injured player in the first round, a potential project in the second) are purely superficial, and that we've got two up-and-coming studs to help build a stout defense.

55 Comments:

Blogger nyraider said...

Just reported:

"Some teams think Raiders 2nd rounder Jihad Ward needs knee scope"

If so, that's a minimum six weeks... which probably means 2-3 months. If the Raiders wait, as it is reported they will, then the scope will probably end his first season (IR).

Let's hope this doesn't ring true:

Rd 1. Ghost of DJ Hayden
Rd 2. Ghost of M Watson

7:15 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

S&B Damien said: "And yet with still a lot of proven defensive tackle and defensive end talent on the board like Jonathan Bullard and Andrew Billings and both Alabama defensive tackles as well as some great talent at other positions, they reach for Ward."

This is really disappointing, and almost exactly the same scenario that left us with Watson.

Did Del Rio go out for dinner and leave Reggie in charge?

Wouldn't it be better to select players in the early rounds that you have some certainty will be ready to play?

7:28 PM  
Anonymous Anthony said...

well i was wrong saying we wouldn' be gambling in the 2nd round after joseph

i get the feeling this draft will make or break reggie mckenzie and define his time as gm, either genius drafter who turned round the impossible mess we were in or a guy who had 3 probowlers drop in his lap with mack carr and coop and took a lot of gambles that didn't work out dennis allen/hayden/watson/2016draft

lets all pray its the former

12:01 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Raiders 3rd round selection, DE Shilique Calhoun, looks better on paper than Jihad Ward. In fact, it would have made more sense for the Raiders to switch these picks (Calhoun in the 2nd and Ward in the 3rd). Everything I'm reading suggests Ward was a big reach in round 2. I didn't realize the Raiders had achieved a status of making those types of picks.

Here are the next six picks after Ward, any one of which looks smarter. The last number is the player grade. Ward (44th pick) was graded at 5.6. Calhoun (75th pick) graded 5.7.

14(45) Titans Henry, Derrick RB 6'3" 247 Alabama 6.1

15(46) Lions Robinson, A'Shawn DT 6'4" 307 Alabama 6.3

16(47) Saints Thomas, Michael WR 6'3" 212 Ohio St. 5.8

17(48) Packers Spriggs, Jason OT 6'6" 301 Indiana 5.8

18(49) Seahawks Reed, Jarran DT 6'3" 307 Alabama 6.1

19(50) Texans Martin, Nick OG 6'4" 299 Notre Dame 5.7

5:44 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

"On Friday, the Seahawks traded up from No. 56 to No. 49 to pounce on Reed. 'Didn’t see him making it that long,' coach Pete Carroll told reporters regarding Reed."

Reed is a top-ranked DT from Alabama, and one of many players the Raiders may regret not taking instead of Jihad Ward (who Del Rio says will play DT).

I think the Seahawks are already stout in the middle of their D-Line, so them trading up to get Reed right after the Raiders passed on him kinda' speaks to the situation.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Raider Take said...

Ummm, not sure we should be stocking up on luxuries in the fourth round right now. We were ranked 28th in rushing last year.

10:15 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

In the 4th round, the Raiders picked Connor Cook (QB, Mich St). Really? These are some bone headed draft picks

10:48 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

This has been a pretty weak draft so far. I'm not impressed at all. No Guard, no RB, no CB. The top needs Raiders had going into the draft have been ignored. Reggie has taken a step backward.

10:56 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Joe Dahl (OG, Wash St), Vadal Alexander (OG, LSU), Scooby Wright III (ILB, Az), Harlan Miller (CB, Southern Louisiana), LeShaun Sims (CB, Southern Utah), or Roy Robertson-Harris (DE, UTEP) better be some of the names called from here on out.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous Anthony said...

so conner cook lets hope he lasts longer than tyler wilson did

like the rb pick good fit with murray fingers crossed

struggling to love this draft overall but think reggie has earned a bit of latitude over the last two years

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As you know guys I have consistently and deservedly booed Reggie at various times. I felt he dissed Al the first few years as a defense for his own short comings etc.

But give credit where credit is due. To be honest given he has been completely lights out the last two drafts. Therefore, I will grant him a pass this year. I don't have a problem going d first three rounds. Especially d lne. Denver and Carolina were in the super bowl because of d line.

I am looking forward to this season

Regards
Sandy

8:16 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Sorry. I'm not feeling it. This draft doesn't look so good on paper. Our best hope is that the Raiders scouts know more than other NFL scouts and pundits.

Top pick, Joseph, is coming off a season-ending injury. He said to be a baller, and safety was a position of need... though it will be interesting to see how Joseph fits in with Nelson, a sure starter.

Ward is a DE that played some tackle, who the Raiders selected to play DT ahead of top-ranked DTs out of Alabama... one of which the Seahawks traded up to select after the Raiders passed on him. Did the Raiders know before they drafted him that he might need a scope on his knee? That seemed to splash all over the media once the pick was made.

Calhoun is a DE tweener and probably a nice pick-up. Most ranked him ahead of Ward, which really looks bad for the Raiders picking Ward in the 2nd.

QB Connor Cook? Really? Worse, the Raiders traded a 5th round pick to trade up for Cook! They carried only two QBs last two years. Does Cook really warrant carrying three? The ghost of Tyler Wilson.

RB Washington. He's small and has many knocks, including his version of Lamont Jordan's backfield dance steps. There were other RBs that made more sense, including those available in Rd 4 when the Raiders selected a QB.

6th round depth at LB

7th round might be their best pick. Vadal Alexander, G, LSU graded much higher than 7th rd, so the Raiders got a break he was available. He should be able to stick to the roster, given the lack of quality depth that currently exists on the o-line.

Any of these guys could break out, but I would guess Joseph... assuming he fully recovers from injury.

5:13 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Its not whether the draft "looks exciting" or not, to me the players selected in the 3rd-4th Rounds were subpar as to what was available. Connor Cook blows my mind, a wasted pick.

6:40 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...


I will defend Reggie on the Cook pick. If Carr were to miss 3 or 4 games, it could blow up the whole season. Look at Dallas last year. You need a quality backup more then ever. Matt McGloin ? correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't believe he's ever won an NFL game.

The rest of the draft is a head scratcher. If Ward & Calhoun were drafted to play inside, then Raiders must believe Mario Edwards will be able to start season as DE. If not, who is playing DE ?

Karl Joseph, the safety of the future. Ok, great, Woodson retired so Joseph will step in down the road.

But that's the trouble with Reggie. Always looking down the road, into the future. But what about right now. It would be nice if Raiders could make the playoffs, THIS YEAR.

Reggies plan never seems to come to a head. It's always, just a few more moves away. There is no end to Reggies endless plan.



7:07 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Calhoun is potentially a pass rush specialist. Had 10.5 sacks last year. He's undersized to play inside.

I believe Ward was selected over top-ranked DTs because of his athleticism and ability to rush the QB (though only 3.5 sacks last year after +/- 10 the year before). Other DTs tend to just eat up space and play the run. That said, Ward is another unproven player, which makes him yet another bizarre 2nd rd pick by McKenzie, ala M. Watson.

Just speculation, but the Connor Cook pick might be to replace McGloin, whose contract expires next year.

OO - Criticizing McGloin for not winning a game (which I think he did) on a Raiders team that couldn't win with Dan Mario playing QB is hardly fair. He's a scrapper, and a solid backup.

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Again, I don't mind the picks, just where they were selected. It seems that this draft was about building "depth" rather than "competition" for spots. I'd rather build depth based on players competing for spots. I think this is where Reggie hurts himself. On the contrary, he had a solid free agency and brought in some solid building blocks to stabilize the team. Still, I'm not sold on Carrie and Hayden at CB; both have a tendency to hold a WR.

I think if we lose McGloin it will be for a starter position. He has been a terrific QB for the Raiders. I agree with NY, that if McGloin had the talent that Carr has around him now, it would be a different story for McGloin. If Carr were to go down, I think McGloin steps in nicely.

The Ward pick in the 2nd round was strange. Like Mayock said, "He's a better story than a football player right now." I was hoping for Mackensie Alexander (CB, Clemson, picked by Vikings) or James Bradberry (CB, Samford) in the 2nd round, and Carolina picked him. Looking at who we picked in the 2nd and 3rd Round, I wonder if Noah Spence was the target. Also, we traded up to pick Connor Cook in the 4th when I thought Devonta Booker (RB, Utah) was a better steal.

Overall, in my opinion, the draft for the Raiders was "eh". It is not anything to be excited about. Right now the value of the picks are 50-50. I'm not sure if it is a good thing that Reggie is "comfortable" with his players, or if it is a bad thing. We will see this season. Anything less than a winning season/record, playoffs (at the least), and serious Super Bowl contenders/champs will be a disappointment for me.

12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nate,

McGloin's contract is over one million more than Cook's will be. Also McGloin is limited and at best a stop gap for a game or maybe two. Cook will be a much better pro. Two good QBs is not a luxury any more in the nfl (see Dallas) or possible good trade bait down the line.

I agree with you in one of your criticisms,
CB should have been addressed, Reggie may regret that one. Our top CBs Smth, Amerson, Hayden, Carrie could use an upgrade.

Regards
Sandy

3:50 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

I don't mind the picks, just where they were selected."

But that's the point of the draft. Take the best players first. Picking Ward at #44 was a major reach and risk. Not sure why the Raiders would be so quick to roll the dice again in the 2nd round on another inexperienced, unproven player... especially when so many high quality players were still available at the same position.

As for CB, Hayden has been terrible since he arrived. Carrie started out looking good, but got worse... probably around the time he moved inside to safety but then never got back to form at CB. Both will compete but this is a thin group.

Nothing could be as bad as last year, going into the season with no vet presence at CB.

Joseph could be a solid player at #14, but my favorite pick might be Vadal Alexander in the 7th. Everything I've read about this kid suggests he could start right away... which means Penn could (or perhaps should) get bumped from his LT spot to make room at G.

4:54 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...


Here's a nicely put together media overview of the draft. Seems I may have been a little too harsh in my assessment... but the draft is always a wait n see event.

http://tinyurl.com/hmf4xt6

"Wrapping it up, the Washington Post gave the Raiders a C+. It mentions that many scouts like Joseph but said “few safeties are worth the 14th overall choice in a draft.”

Didn't the Raiders draft Michael Huff with the #7 overall pick? ...making the statement above spot on.

9:06 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Vadal Alexander is going to compete for RG. Osemele is going to compete for RT or LT. Not sure at this point that they break the flow of Penn/Gabe Jackson on the left side. They have to stabilize the right side of the o-line.

I understand the logistics of McGloin's contract. He's a smart guy, and I hope it works out for him, I think if he starts anywhere he's going to be a good QB; he has the potential to be like Fitzpatrick. Connor Cook won't be as good as McGloin. At best he has potential to be Jake Plummer/Jay Cutler type QB.

10:44 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

This was on nfl.com this morning as they are tracking the 5th year option pick ups on players around the league:

"No. 12 pick D.J. Hayden, Oakland Raiders: Unlikely to be picked up after Oakland beefed up the secondary this offseason. It's been reported that Hayden might not even make the Raiders' final roster."

If that is true, then not picking a CB in the draft was absurd.

10:56 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nate - Cutler was a pro bowler.

Penn/Jackson never really had much of a flow. The Raiders were among the worst in the league at running, and I would argue all day long that Carr's ability to avoid pressure is the primary reason he took so few sacks.

Penn is replaceable! That writing was on the wall when Osemele was signed, and Penn knows it... ala his little tirade on Sirus Radio.

On the right side, Watson has to step up and be the guy at RT. Otherwise, we bust on Hayden and Watson (picks 1 and 2 from the same draft).

If we're lucky enough to have significant improvement (due to free agency and draft), our 2016 O-line might look something like this...from left to right: Osemele, Jackson, Hudson, Alexander, Watson.

11:50 AM  
Anonymous Raider00 said...


NYR.....Dan Marino, oh if only Al would have drafted Marino back in the day.

But I think Marino could have won with any team. Marino made Duper & Clayton better, not the other way around.

Reggie entering his 5th year, and 0-line still not stabilized. If you are correct about the right side, Alexander & Watson, that is a rookie and a bust. Not the stuff
playoff appearances are made of.

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

R00 - Agreed. Watson hasn't proven he can take the RT spot. The problem with the O-line hasn't been at LT or LG, it has been the right side of the line. This is where Osemele and Alexander come in. I still don't think that Mike Tice has given up on Austin Howard at RT, and could use Osemele at RG. Howard and Penn are not bad Tackles. Howard has 2 seasons under his belt at RT now (which is a new position for him in the NFL), and I think he will show vast improvement at the position this year. I think the O-Line will be (L to R): Penn (LT), Jackson (LG), Hudson (C), Osemele (RG), Howard (RT).

It is official, DJ Hayden's 5th year option has been declined and this will potentially be Hayden's last season with the Raiders. If he doesn't make the final roster this offseason, let's hope it is because the Raiders have signed another FA CB. I think Neiko Thorpe and Keith McGill will beat Hayden out for his position. Now if either one can stay healthy...

2:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the Raiders O-line could be the second best in the league, for sure top 5, so not sure why you guys are questioning the line. RT is the only spot that is a slight question mark. Penn is fine for another two years he is above avg in pass pro and mediocre on runs.


Nate, what in the world are you talking about re Cutler, if Cook turns out to be Cutler it was a huge steal. McGloin has had no career he has started what 4 games and lost 3. Come on man the guy is an undersized backup at best he will never be an NFL starter. He is not close to Fitzpatrick and Fitz is above avg journeyman at best. You make it sound like McGloin is the second coming of Joe Montana

Regards
Sandy


Regards
Sandy

3:45 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Remember, Watson beat out Howard at RT before injury derailed his season, again!

Alexander earned college honors playing RT, but pundits think he's too slow to play RT at the NFL level... presumably because of below-avg Combine results... which is why he dropped to the 7th round (ridiculous!).

Rumor is Osemele is being moved into LG and Jackson to RG.

Bottom line, Raiders have more talent on the O-line. Definitely stronger up the middle in the run game. But it's hard to predict any line with Penn and Howard at tackles will be a top 5 line.

That's why I think our best hope is if Watson and Alexander can step up and earn starting roles.

4:19 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Clive Walford injured his knee in an ATV accident. Out indefinitely.

10:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NY,

At this point Watson is a long shot and I am not sure he is a better option than Howard at RT, for sure we don't want Watson protecting Carr's blindside at this point.

I know Penn is not the second coming of Art Shell and you might remember I thought letting Veldheer go was a bad mistake and wish he was still here. All that being said Penn is above avg in pass pro and Watson is nowhere near him right now in terms of skill. Penn is fine for a year or two more.

Alexander is a guard not a tackle by ny stretch of the imagination, he is a 7th round pick who is not beating out Osemele or Jackson. As far as top 5 line the consensus from both writers and stat sites like pro football focus is the Raiders have the second best line in the league behind Dallas. I am inclined to agree.

Nate-Dog---Clive Watford suffered a deep gash nothing structural so he should be ready to go for training camp. As an alumni of the university of Miami I can proudly state that our graduates are not smart enough to stay off an ATV---lol

Regards
Sandy

4:06 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Sandy -

Hopefully, the Raiders will select their best players across the line (which I believe they will).

I agree Penn is serviceable, but many believe Osemele was signed to replace him. That suggestion has toned down since Penn was re-signed but it could still happen.

Alexander is said to be a tough kid. He was projected much higher in the draft and received college honors for playing RT. He is projected to play G in the NFL partly because of his Combine results which, IMO, is a joke. I wouldn't discount that he could beat out Watson and Howard for a spot on the line.

Remember, Howard was the second of two RTs brought in to play guard. Two projects that failed miserably. He's barely a decent RT, and that's more than any Jets fan would offer. Watson is injury prone and totally unreliable as a result. These guy's failures potentially leaves an opening for a decent player.

In the end, the line that played last year needs much improvement. IMO, Jackson, Hudson and Osemele are the only players with jobs, and only Hudson is set at a position.

4:44 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Lamarr Woodley on Jason Tarver.

“In Oakland, we had a dumb defensive coordinator and in Arizona, we had a dumb defensive coordinator,” Woodley said. “It was just two dumb guys. They thought we were like Madden players. They’d draw something up and on paper it looked good, but the players still have to go out there and run it. Those guys didn’t really listen to their players. They wanted to do it their way and their way only.”

4:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Any one notice the Raiders signed Greg Townsend Jr. How cool is that

http://espn.go.com/blog/oakland-raiders/post/_/id/14628/oakland-raiders-sign-greg-townsend-jr-son-of-franchise-all-time-sacks-leader

Easy for a guy who lives in Florida to say but I am down with the Raiders moving to Vegas. I think it will be a positive for the franchise to get out of the crap ass Coliseum.

Regards
Sandy

8:44 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Hate to see Raiders leave Oakland but Vegas makes financial sense. Plus, Oakland is playing the Raiders right now, increasing the rent 3x and refusing to lift a finger to keep the team.

The jr. Townsend signing is interesting, and so is the jr. McCaffery. Strong pedigree but these players are longshots. Raiders still have George Atkinson, Jr.

4:01 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

The sun is rising
Excitement is in the air
An autumn wind blows

6:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Indeed Raider Nate keep that fine poetry coming.

I read Mario Edwards is clear to practice. Raider D line has some fascinating talent consider a 7 man rotation of:
Mack, Edwards, Calhoun, Ward, Moore, Williams, Ellis.

With possible dark horses such as McGee, Orr and Moore plus Irvin sliding into de on 3rd down it seems in the trenches the Raiders are formidable on both sides of the ball.

Regards
Sandy

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

https://www.profootballfocus.com/pro-why-oakland-may-have-the-best-offensive-line-in-2016/

8:35 PM  
Blogger Homeless/Disabled Veterans Inc said...

Some of ya may not think this draft class is very good but wait till they take the field...

Meet the Raiders' new "Monster D":

Irvin-Mario-Williams-Jihad-Mack
.......Smith-Heeney
Smith-Karl-Reggie-Amerson

And we now have good quality depth in our front 7 rotation...

On "O" the new backup "QB" will surprise you and so will the 2 new "RB"s...

We now have good quality depth on that "OL" as well...

PantyRaider
"2016 The year Of The Raiders"

11:47 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

I'm sorry Mark Davis, but Vegas will not unite Raider Nation.
Panty! Good to see ya, it's been awhile. I think our draft is ok, but picking the guys where they did in the early rounds, they could have done better. Ward could've been picked in the 3rd, and Calhoun the 4th. I think we should have taken Derrick Henry at #2. How different would our running game be if the Raiders picked Derrick Henry? RB is now the weakest position on the team. Sure, Murray rushed for a 1000 yards, but barely, and did not have any explosiveness. We are not a terrific passing team, and there was no balance offensively because we struggled in the running game.

How much of that was blocking? I don't know. Our right side did nothing to help which is why I don't think Watson or Howard start. We could have used the draft to solidify our O-line, but the Raiders went more defense. I was surprised by the Connor Cook pick though.

I think our starters are going to look like this:
Offense
LT-Penn
LG-Jackson
C-Hudson
RG-Vadal Alexander
RT-Osemele
QB-Carr (Cook is going to be the backup)
RB-Murray, D Washington, Helu
WR-Cooper, Crabtree, Holmes, Roberts
TE-Rivera/Walford

Defense
LDE-Mack/Townsend
DT-Ellis
DT-Williams
RDE-Ward/Edwards
SAM-Irvin/Lotulelei
MLB-Heeney/Ball
WAM-Smith/Calhoun
LCB-S Smith
RCB-D Amerson
Nickel-Carrie
SS-Nelson
FS-Joseph

Special Teams
P-King
K-Jano
LS-Condo
KR-McCaffrey
PR-D Washington

7:01 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

My take on possible variations:

-Osemele brought in to play on the left side.. G or T.
-Jackson is already practicing at RG.
-Watson is the true incumbent at RT but, hopefully, Alexander beats him out.
-Walford is the man at TE, but Lee Smith is the primary blocking TE. Rivera still facing limited playing time.
-Helu won't make the team. If he does, then it's a bad sign for RBs.

-Townsend is a walk-on with little chance to make the team. He's not Greg!
-Ward was drafted to provide more push up the middle and will play in the DT rotation.
-Smith was the default at MLB. Not sure that changes right away.
-Switch Nelson and Joseph. Both play FS, but Joseph is the hammer, while Nelson's game is more about finesse.

-McCaffrey is another long-shot. Raiders have no standout returners. This could be a real area of concern.

Raiders will lose the extra roster spot they saved last year by carrying only two QBs.

It will be fun to see how positions actually shake out.

Enjoy the holiday weekend.

4:53 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Vadal Alexander is a RG, and played RG in college. He's too big and slow footed to be at the Tackle position. Osemele is better suited to the left side, but has played RG, RT, LG, and LT with the Ravens the past few seasons. He is pretty versatile. I could see how they use him at LG, and Gabe Jackson at RG though. It will be interesting to see how the O-line pans out.
Watson, I don't think, can stay healthy enough to be a consistent RT. This is an area of concern along with the running game.

12:00 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Nate, Alexander played RG but moved to RT. It's at RT that he earned honors. Just because he runs a slow 40 yard dash is no reason to assume he can't play RT at a pro level. Speed and quickness are two different things. I agree Watson is not reliable, but I don't think Howard is the answer. Raiders need an reliable upgrade at RT.

12:30 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Donkeys pull Von Miller's contract offer. They have until July 15th, and if they can't work a deal out, they'll lose Von Miller. This offseason keeps getting better.

1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey guys anyone noticed ESPN insider rated the Raiders roster 7th best in the nfl. The young talent is fascination, I agree with everything except I think Walford will do well, especially given Carr's ability to throw darts between the seams and I am not as high about the dbs as they are. For those of you who dont have a subscription I pasted the text below. Have a good summer Sandy

7. Oakland Raiders

Top five players: DE/OLB Khalil Mack, OL Kelechi Osemele, CB Sean Smith, OT Donald Penn, DT Dan Williams

Starters who should be upgraded: TE Clive Walford, LB Malcolm Smith, LB Ben Heeney, FB Marcel Reece

There may be no more improved team in football than the Raiders, who had been moving slowly in the right direction for a few seasons under general manager Reggie McKenzie but kicked it into overdrive this offseason. Between free agency and the draft, the Raiders added some excellent pieces, with Osemele in particular giving them arguably the best offensive line in the league -- on paper (yes, even above Dallas). Quarterback Derek Carr took a big step forward in his second season, and wide receiver Amari Cooper gives them an elite receiver to target, if he lowers his drops from his rookie season (18).

Mack has quickly become one of the best defensive players in football, but he has help surrounding him now, with Williams, Mario Edwards Jr. and Bruce Irvin all adding to the defensive front. On the back end, Sean Smith could be a huge addition at cornerback, while safety Reggie Nelson was a solid improvement. If David Amerson continues the form he showed last season, rather than the performances he had in Washington, this secondary could become one of the better units in the league in the space of one offseason.




3:29 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

The secondary unit is probably the most improved.... how could it not be? Raiders went into last season with no talent at CB and only Charles Woodson to do all the work.

Picking up Amerson off waivers was out of pure necessity, but now looks brilliant after his standout season with the Raiders. Hard to imagine the Raiders making such a huge stride in the defensive backfield, even if only on paper at this point.

12:25 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...


These words are from Mike Florio, speaking about Carr and Mack...

"...they are poised to form the nucleus on each side of the ball for a roster that is on its way to becoming one of the best in the division, the conference, and maybe the league."

Hope everyone is enjoying summer.

5:43 PM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

East Bay Times has reported that Alameda County has voted unanimously to begin negotiations with Lott's group and City of Oakland regarding the sale of the Coliseum land, and to start getting appraisals. The article says Lott and Co want to use it exclusively for the Raiders, though they are not closed to helping the A's.

This would be awesome if they sell it to this group, but I think they would require Mark Davis to sell the team or part of the ownership %. Not sure Mark would do it, I think he may have his eyes settled on Las Vegas. Here's the link to the article:

http://www.eastbaytimes.com/raiders/ci_30128997/ronnie-lotts-investment-group-wants-coliseum-site-new

3:11 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

On the surface, it doesn't appear to be anything beyond what has been offered, i.e., essentially, nothing. It's not terribly generous of the city/county to offer land at fair market value (based on appraisal, no less).

I don't see how the Raiders (or the NFL) can agree to terms that don't include any public funding when so much public funding is being made available in other cities.

Meanwhile, a study was conducted that suggests the Raiders brand is falling. Not sure the criteria surrounding that survey but we've known that to be the case for years. New generation fans have no clue how good the Raiders once were, only that they have been at the bottom of the NFL for record lows.

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

Camp is almost here! What are your opinions about the starting line ups? I think the most intriguing questions are:
1) How is the O-Line going to look? I think we brought in Osemele to play RT, and I know that is not a popular opinion here. Raiders move Watson/Howard back to RG which is not as physically demanding as RT. Neither have shown the ability to solidify RT, or shown they can stay healthy to be in that position. In the OTA's, they used Osemele at RT, RG, and LG (moving Jackson to RG). I think this is Penn's last season, but the Raiders will get a LT next offseason. I think our O-Line will look like: Osemele (RT), Watson/Howard (RG), Hudson (C), Jackson (LG), Penn (LT).

2) How is the D-Line and LB positions going to look?
The D-Line is dependent on how healthy Mario Edwards Jr is. I think it will be: Edwards Jr, Williams, Ellis, Mack. The LBs are more interesting because of the competition between Heeney and Ball for MLB or does Shilique Calhoun step up and take over MLB duties? I think Bruce Irvin and Malcolm Smith are the outside LBs. Unless Edwards Jr is not healthy, the Bruce Irvin moves to his spot as DE.

3) Who is going to be our return guy? Will we bring in Hester for a looksy?
I think it will be interesting to see DeAndre Washington, Max McCaffrey, Tawain Jones, and others compete for this spot. DeAndre, though, is looking as if he can be the #2 swing back (much like Gardner was with Wheatley). Karl Joseph may be in the mix too, but I hope not. We don't need to see him get injured. Tawain has had fumbling issues in this area, so if none of these guys are going to work, then yes, we should bring Hester in for a looksy.

4) Are we going to lose McGloin to a trade or cut him?
I'd personally hate to see McGloin go because he has solid experience and I think he is lights out if needed, but if Cook is better, then pull the trigger; give McGloin a shot to start somewhere; or put him on the practice squad.

3:18 PM  
Blogger nyraider said...

Tough to speculate on some items which the coaches will vet out during camp and preseason. I will say, Howard was an incredible failure as RG, so I don't see JDR allowing that to repeat itself.

LB will be interesting. Some depth there. Who will wear the headset? Smith did much of last year, so that might put him in the middle.

McGloin is better than Cook, and he will prove himself again... just like he's done his entire career. The Raiders decision to go with Cook (presumably next year) will likely be contract driven.

6:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL...looks like the same dweeb(S) are still clueless.

Hey, Big Reg gets an extension and the roster is loaded. I told you so....LMAO.

You dummy, the O-line is already set. Osemele has been given the LG and Jackson is at RG. Watson will start at RT.

As usual, you are way behind the 8 ball....Heeney wears the green dot.

McGloin is not the QB of the future so he doesn't really matter.

Doesn't seem too long ago that this place had Reg being fired and the roster wasn't going to be fixed until he was fired. And the mocking you gave me when I said Reg was doing a good job and the roster was going to be redone until the cap situation was fixed....I win.

Raiders win...you lose because you don't know what you are looking at...STILL = pathetic.

JONES is a Raider and you are not

11:24 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

So far it has been Osemele at LG and Jackson at RG, and Howard and Penn at Tackles for the first team. Not sure that Watson takes over starting job.
Jelly looks to be taking over Dan Williams spot now that he is healthy. Heeney seems to be lost at times, even though he's wearing the green dot, and Ball seems to be making an impact. I think we may see Ball take over MLB. Hayden is playing well at times, but still making a lot of PI's, he is at the starter for the slot CB over Carrie. Johnny Holton seems to be this year's undrafted WR with flavor. Tawain Jones looks to be the #1 KR, which is dismal. I was hoping for some competition out there. McGloin hasn't faired all that well, but neither has Cook. I think we will know more after our first preseason game in 10 days. Can't wait! JUST WIN, BABY!

8:15 AM  
Anonymous American Directory said...

Champions march forward without ceasing.

Regards,
MaryAnne
American Directory

8:24 AM  
Blogger nyraider said...

That's random. However, it doesn't have the Internet troll vibe that Jones gives us.

3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congrats to Snake. Long overdue. Wish he could have been there to see it.

Seeing all the Raider greats surrounding the bust was special.

Hope everyone is having a good summer
Sandy

9:11 AM  
Anonymous Raider Nate 75 said...

The first Depth Chart is out:
Lee Smith is the #1 TE
Watson is the #1 RT
Olawale is the #1 FB over Reece (which is due to suspension. The question is do they keep Reece, or cut him)
Tawain Jones is the #2 RB over D Washington and Jalen Richard (both whom I think will be on the team)
Jihad Ward over Stacy McGee at DT

Early roster predictions:
I think Johnnie Holton makes the team at WR. D Washington and Jalen Richard win backup RB, but will they keep T Jones may be kept because of experience even though he is fragile. Same with McGloin, they keep him over Cook (who is struggling).
Dewey McDonald beats Keith McGill, TJ Carrie beats out DJ Hayden (who may get cut in favor of Neiko Thorpe).

10:47 AM  
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