So with draft week here finally, I just want to remind everyone of a few historical facts when it comes to the Raiders.
1. The Raiders have not drafted an Offensive Lineman in the first round since Robert Gallery in 2004 (Norv Turner). Before that it was Matt Stinchcomb in 1999 and Mo Collins in 1998 (Jon Gruden). Before that is was Steve Wisniewski in 1989 (Shannahan with Art Shell as an Assistant).
2. Notice the direct correlation between team sucess and drafting these lineman?
2000, 2001, 2002 – Won AFC West
1990 – Won AFC West
The exception? Robert Gallery, who never played well at the position we drafted him to play. We also had Norv as Head Coach.
3. All the talk about the Raiders unorthodox offseason has got people thinking we might trade down. I find this laughable, especially now that Philly has traded away a first round pick for Jason Peters. The Raiders never trade down in the first. I don’t see it starting this year.
4. Along the lines of trades, don’t be surprised if the Raiders try to move up to get the player they want. Davis isn’t shy about doing it and it might come at a discount this season. Teams willing to move up and pay top 5 money to rookies are going to get discounts for doing it, because a rookie wage scale is only a matter of time. Team’s might want to save some cash and take a lesser player to set themselves up for the future. Especially teams with a lot of needs.
5. Don’t be surprised if the trade to move up involves a fan favorite or young player. Think along the lines of Michael Bush or Kirk Morrison. I don’t think we want to part with these guys, but Michael Bush would probably get us a nice haul.
6. Don’t be surprised if we are surprised. The Raiders like shocking people. We could move way up, move way down, etc. Al Davis loves to shock the world.
7. Al Davis likes the defensive side of the ball. I think all the talk about OTs and WRs is overblown, Davis loves defense. I think a surprise could be a DE or Jenkins, etc. Those would be Al Davis like moves.
8. We all think Tom Cable knows offensive lineman, but he liked Kwame Harris. Our scouting department MUST have a good draft. Let’s hope those old guys have something left. After all, they have loved some stinkers in the past (Such as Vince Young and Michael Huff), but also some Hall of Famer’s.
9. Nothing changes drastically in the week before the draft. That is all media hype. Don’t fall into it.
10. Throw combine numbers out the window, unless they performed better than expected in areas that were questions. If a guy runs a 4.4 and people thought of him as a 4.8 guy, that is something to note. Two tenths is easy to shave off a 40 if you have been trained, so look for big jumps from smaller school guys. I really like Johnny Knox (We are alum from the same college so perhaps I am bias).