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I will be at the Raider Headquarters today getting the media action as well as maybe getting a chance to say a few words to Lane Kiffin. Who knows who I might bump into, so come back Sat Night and Sunday for a podcast and blog of the days events.
Below is my breakdown of the possible picks for our 1st rounder.
#1: Chris Long DE
This guy has everything you look for. He is polished, athletic, good size, smart and a clubhouse leader. Heck he is Howie Long Jr. The ONLY con, is that he lacks elite acceleration and speed. He is the safe pick, but he might not have elite in him, but rather just Very Good for many years. One thing is for sure, he is ahead of all the other prospects when it comes to being ready to play in the NFL.
#2 Darren McFadden RB
Speed, strength, agility, etc. He lacks great size and runs upright. He also didn’t play in a normal offense, has fumble concerns, etc, but his physical tools are so great that it almost covers those things up. My guess is we will take him if no other good options are there, but I think we would prefer to trade the pick to someone who wants him badly. If someone wants McFadden, then maybe that is our chance to snag extra picks and move down.
#3 Vernon Gholston DE
This guy has the tools, the skills, he has it all. some question his motor, but players do love to play for Rob Ryan, like him or not. He is also a character guy and VERY eloquent speaker. Clubhouse plus. He is also a good fit in a 3-4, so if we could potentially do some 3-4 on occasion with Kelly and Richardson at DE, Sands in the middle and Gholston moving to OLB along with Howard and Morrison and Thomas hanging in the middle. He wouldn’t be as much of a ticket sale boon for the Raiders, which is why I think he is the third option. Trading down could still get us this guy, and it could be worth it to do that, if we think he is our guy.
#4 Glenn Dorsey DT
I love this guy. Probably Warren Sapp type of player, but he is a high character guy form the start, Sapp had to grow into that. Here is my issue. Dorsey doesn’t really fit on our team. We have Kelly at the 3-tech DT spot where Dorsey would thrive. Potentially we could move Kelly back to DE, but the Raiders have stated on several occasions how much they have wanted Kelly to play that position. Sapp, Belicheat, etc know Kellyi s going to be damn good there. It would also be a lot of money tied up in DT. Warren and Sands aren’t cheap either. I just think we are targeting a DE to solidify the run and rush the pass at DE.
#5 Sedrick Ellis DT
Same thing as Dorsey, just a little bit less stout against the run. He is a pure 3 tech guy. Also same reasoning I don’t think the Raiders will take him.
My best and last guess:
2. STL – Dorsey – They wanted Carriker to play DE, but due to their thin DT position he had to play the 3 technique. Now they can have Carriker move to DE and Dorsey can dominate the middle. OR They now like Carriker at the 3 technique DT spot, then the pick is Chris Long.
3. ATL – Ryan – They need a new face of the organization, Matt Ryan can be that. Dorsey is who they really want, but unless STL takes Long, ATL goes with the QB.
4. OAK – No matter how I slice it it is Long, Gholston, or McFadden, I just get the idea that we want to trade the McFadden pick for a boatload if possible. We probably prefer Long because of his history and ability to help sell tickets. Gholston is an Al Davis type player, and if STL takes Long and someone trades up to ATL’s pick for McFadden, it isn’t so bad to have to take Gholston even if he is th third option.
NYJ, ATL, and OAK could be potential trading partners in two separate deals if ATL wants Ryan and NYJ wants McFadden. Then the Raiders would know they would get a player they covet no matter who the Chiefs pick. I’d say a 3 way deal of two different deals makes more sense to me this year.
Enjoy the Presents!