Friday, April 24, 2009

Taking the Bait

No, I'm not terribly worked up about the Raiders' woes drafting safeties, though Derrick Gibson's longevity-to-productivity ratio must be an NFL record. But all this Darrius Heyward-Bey talk has me irritated. Come on Lombardi, "Locked in?" To me it's bizarre that Lombardi, a guy who has sat in the Raider war room, would be so bold if he's basing his prediction on a stereotype. He risks losing a lot of credibility regarding his unique Raider insight if he's wrong.

But I just don't see it happening at pick #7. There's a big difference between reaching for Carlos Francis in the fourth round - even for Fabian Washington in the mid-to-late first - than there is for late first round talent at pick #7. I don't see evidence of this behavior in the past. Despite Peter King's sad list, neither Gallery nor Huff was considered a reach at the time. Not even remotely so.

Now David White is in on the act, devoting an actual article to the subject. It reads more like a mock draft roundup than any real insight, though. And it's worth noting that in his own mock draft, White has the Raiders picking Crabtree.

With Stafford off the board, and talents Jason Smith, Eugene Monroe, and Aaron Curry likely to be picked ahead of #7, there are two picks standing between the Raiders and either Crabtree or Andre Smith. I may be changing my guess after all...the winds seem to be blowing Smith up the charts, while Crabtree and his entourage may be slipping, making him seem the more possible choice.

If both are gone? I think it will be Maclin. Sure, I've heard the argument that there is too much skill overlap with Johnnie Lee, but despite learning to appreciate JLH in 2008, I'm not sold that he's destined for a starring role.

If they buck tradition, trade down, and get Heyward-Bey and another pick, fine by me. Lombardi is adamant that they won't trade down, but then again this offseason has seen a new approach in a lot of ways from the Raiders. If the new approach includes taking a big reach at #7, Al won't have Art Shell to blame if turns out to be another bad miss.

Quick update: Noticed Kawakami blogged on the subject today. He adds the not terribly surprising rumor that Burgess is being shopped - he hasn't been around, is in a contract year, and the Raiders need more picks. What if we mash all this together? Maybe the Raiders package Burgess and their second rounder to get into the late first for Heyward-Bey, after taking one of Cable's OT "Cadillacs" at #7.


Michael Hauenstein said...

Jets trade up to #7 if Crabtree is still available, Raiders take Bey at #17. Then I won't have to worry about the Jets screwing up any other picks because they won't have any left.

Michael Hauenstein said...

Also, I live in a world where the Jets and Raiders are the only two teams.

Dan Hauenstein said...

I prefer that world to the real one. Cable: 1-0.