Combine Report: Sunday

1. The biggest talk is going to be McFadden. He ran 4.27 and officially they gave him a 4.33. Lets call it 4.3 speed. We are all aware speed is just a gauge. This certainly will help his stock regardless. Mayock and Faulk (A HOF RB) both said McFadden best fits in a one cut and go system (Sounds like the Raiders). Look I am not saying we should for sure take McFadden, but he certainly fits the mold. Heck he is a lot like Fargas coming out but younger and faster. If he falls to #4, we have to consider it. So fans better get used to the fact that we may take him if he is there at #4. He also had a 10′ 10″ Broad jump and 33″ vertical. The fast time doesn’t surprise me, he has been training at the Michael Johnson Performance Center. Just for the record: I guessed McFadden’s 40-time EXACTLY

2. Devin Thomas looked very quick and natural in drills and ran very well.

3. Mendenhall ran well and has good size. 4.4

4. Stewart ran very well considering he is a big 235. 4.4

5. Eddie Royal looked good and natural with good burst and speed in drills.

6. Adrius Bowman ran very slow and his stock will continue to drop. He ran a 4.7

7. Chris Johnson 4.24 is blistering, but he lacks size.

8. Manningham ran much slower than expected. 4.6. That should hurt his stock because he was expected to run in the 4.4 range.

9. Joe Flacco and Chad Henne look like the top two QBs to me. For some reason people like Matt Ryan. I guess they like interceptions.

10. Rumor is Michael Huff is “available for trade” I am not sure if that means we put him on the block or if other people have inquired and we listened. I think that would be a large mistake. He is only in his 3rd year and he hasn’t even had a chance to play FS yet. Few thought he was a SS coming in. Most people thought CB or FS. I agree and we need to give him a shot to do that. What are we going to go with Stu and Eugene as the safeties? That said, rumors are just that, rumors.

11. Sedrick Ellis benched 225 pounds 34 times. Nice, but I think a few less than he or many expected.

12. Vernon Gholston benched it 37 times. That is STRONG for a DE.

13. Dorsey Damaged? Sources indicate the injury he sustained in 2006 is more serious than people thought. Dorsey’s injury history makes me want to say…nah.

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Combine Report: Saturday

My observations from today’s combine workouts. I claim to be no expert, just observations and some analysis from a fanatical fan. I add what I can offer to the mix. If you missed the workouts and don’t trust the media to be honest or accurate, here are the guys I observed that stood out.

1. Jake Long, OT is pretty solid, but I don’t think he is a Joe Thomas. Probably a little better than Levi Brown. He is strong, decent 10 yard split and good footwork. I have to agree with Mayock. Pro Bowl RT, decent LT.

2. Dustin Keller, TE really impressed. He had the second most bench reps, the fastest 40 time, highest vertical and was catching a lot of passes. He might be a solid pass catching TE for someone in round 3 or 4. Carlson the top rated TE looks like a poor man’s Zach Miller.

3. Jeff Otah, OT has nice speed but didn’t run as fast as expected. He isn’t very fluid and bends at the waist and in drills he was very high. I’d say a small stock drop for him.

4. Jeremy Zuttah, OG looked fluid, ran with good burst, and had pretty nice footwork in drills. The footwork part was most impressive since it was supposed to be his biggest weakness. He lacks ideal size, but might make a good zone blocking lineman. He also benched very well, second only to Jake Long. I’d bump his stock quite a bit for zone blocking teams. I’d like us to grab him late. I liked him a lot.

5. Chris Williams, OT is athletic and has the size. Good burst off the line, but he put up just 21 reps on the bench. NFL strength coaches will help him, but in my mind he is a project more than a guy who can step right in.

6. Chilo Rachal, OG looked fluid, with good burst and athleticism. The footwork in drills was okay. He didn’t bench among the leaders and needs to get stronger. I don’t think he is as good as he is rated, but I do like his athletic build and good size.

7. Kolomona Kapanui, TE. I’ve seen play live. He lacks deep speed, but the man plays faster than he ran. He also has good hands and is tough. He benched well and looked good in drills. Project from a small school, but transfered there from USC where he had academic problems on a scholarship. Has the talent. If he learns to block better can be a solid TE for someone. Probably will go undrafted or go in the last round.

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Combine Report: Friday

1. Lost the coin flip. So there is no need for the NFL to try to make us do it again. The only way I see drafting four as a large negative is if Dorsey falls to #3 and Atlanta picks him. Otherwise I don’t think it does anything but save us money. It may also reduce what we could get should we trade down, but it will also make it easier to move down should we try.

2. DeSean Jackson measured in at just 5’9″ and 169 pounds. Huge knock to his draft stock for 3 inches and 3 pounds? How can they list him at 6’0″ and he actually be 5’9″…that is funny stuff. I can usually shrug off 1 inch as rounding…but come on Cal. He has also been training for the combine, which means he may have weighed less during his playing years.

3. Rob Ryan insists the rumors about him being fired are fiction. You have to wonder if we have someone in the organization with a vendetta that is spreading these rumors. Rumor also is Al Davis is NOT impressed with Rich Snead, maybe it is mutual?

4. McFadden weighs in at 211, Mendenhall 225, Stewart 235. I am a little disappointed that McFadden didn’t make it up to 215 or 220. IMO at 211 he lacks every-down size. On the flip side, if Stewart can run a sub 4.5 forty at 235, he might jump up my rankings more than he already has. Mendenhall’s 225 is ideal, but he will have to run sub 4.5 as well, and why not take Stewart who has ten more pounds of beef at the same speed?

5. Rob Ryan is a tough guy to read. He said in training camp Moses was good, but Richardson was better, and guess who made the team? Well, he is at it again. This time he said Gerard Warren was playing at a Pro Bowl level before his hamstring injury. If that is the case and Dorsey is gone by 4 (which is a near certainty), we could opt to take a long hard look at other positions. Clemons and Kelly are also likely to be re-signed leaving only the Sapp gap. Not as thin as we might think if all this is true. It would be a disappointing move considering how poorly the line played last year, but maybe if Burgess gains some weight like Ryan suggests that would help. Having a healthy Kelly and Warren also couldn’t hurt. We never really had those two playing on the line at the same time.

6. Shaun Rogers will be dealt within a week. Kelly, Warren, Rogers, Burgess and Richardson, Clemons, Sands backing up.Rogers can be easily had for our second round pick. You have to be at least a little interested don’t you?

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Combine Report: Thursday

1. First Item I found came from Jerry McDonald. Here is the quote:
One personnel expert’s assessment of LSU defensive tackle Glenn Dorsey as opposed to USC defensive tackle Sedrick Ellis: “Dorsey. Hands down. He’s a top four pick no question while Ellis is a nice player but belongs in the top 15.”

I got pretty heavily criticized for saying we could get Ellis at 8. I think the Senior Bowl really hyped Ellis up among the fans. Apparently there is at least one personnel expert that thinks Ellis is more of a top 15 guy. If we start hearing more of this, then I might have to say I told you so, but I’ll wait on that until after the combine results.

2. Also from Jerry: – According to one personnel man, Raiders wide receiver Jerry Porter, scheduled for free agency after voiding the final year of his contract, may not get the big payday he desires.

“Can’t run,” he said.

3. Jake Long is apparently left-handed. I wonder just how much advantage that would give him being at LT? I would think it is significant. If only Barry Sims would stop being a douche and play RT. Video Press Conference Here.

4. Instead of compiling a list of measurable myself, which is a chore, I have found a good place to get them, for everyone interested. This has all the numbers not just 40-times.

5. This is quality. Is anyone surprised? I’m not, everyone should know we have the best tailgaters in the NFL. Our Joe Schmoes would blow to socks off of the best in other NFL cities…they should have just given them the award and saved them the trip.

5. Apparently Ryan Clady played in a zone blocking system at Boise State and also worked out with Jackie Slater our former line coach.What is more interesting? The fact a top OT ran zone blocking or that he worked out with Slater? I’d say both are red flags for a top OT prospect. Unless of course you run the zone blocking system and want one of the best that has done that. Going to a man scheme could hurt Clady, so it is possible he could fall on draft day. The fact he worked with Slater a HOFer who doesn’t have a great track record as a line coach is concerning. Then again, was it Slater or Shell our Irv calling the shots for the line in 2006? Tough to say, interesting though.

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Combine Report Coming to Raider Nation

Hello all,

Well, I want to announce that I will be doing a daily combine report everyday of the combine starting Thursday with coverage any news about measurements of offensive lineman. I plan to keep a log in the exclusive section at “The Forum.” The analysis will be here, but any hard data and a complete log will be a part of the exclusive section (Which is free if you become a member of the board, which is also free). Hopefully I can provide some insight on some later round picks that might be able to contribute. Things will likely be a bit slow until Saturday when the workouts start, but I will report on anything noteworthy. I am also going to try and keep an up-to-date list of the measurables.

Check back for analysis from a true Raiders fan and the one and only internet hack of the Silver and Black. Corny? Probably. I doubt I am the only hack, but I hope to be one that the Raider Nation can turn to for honest and quality information. I need your help to get there, so please comment, join the board and abuse me all you want, but I should warn you I can bite too. Seriously, I will hunt you down by IP and bite your ass. Okay, maybe that is a bit extreme not to mention very disgusting, attacks are welcome, nothing personal though, because you don’t know me and I don’t know you, so why get personal? If you are a hot girl, my fiance would kick your ass if you got personal and if you are guy, she will kick your ass that much harder and you will be embarrassed because a girl beat you up. She isn’t so good with internet arguments so she would just come to your house to do it, right in front of that hot girl you’ve been too shy to ask out because you live in your basement reading my blog.

That is a lot of words to say very little…I hate you keyboard! I’ll work on keeping them brief.

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Asomugha Gets Tagged

Adam S. reports it is the exclusive version. What this means if his salary will be based on the 2008 Top 5 CB instead of the 2007 numbers. If Dante Hall gets a new deal or Asante Samuel signs a huge contract Asomugha’s guranteed salary could be $10 mllion.

I have a feeling Asomugha will get a long-term deal before the season. He is about as low-risk as you can get and has proven his worth to our team. Unlike the Jared Allen and Carl Peterson fiasco going on in KC, where Allen is a high risk due to his drinking problem and the relationship between the two is strained, Asomugha is the model citizen and hometown hero. To our knowledge he hasn’t had any problems with management.

We all knew it was coming. The exclusive part is no suprise either, because this shows Asomugha our commitment to keep him and should help with our contract negotiations. Unlike Woodson, Asomugha will get his deal done, because he has proven in all areas he is deserving, and also because I believe he wants to stay.

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Fabian Washington Arrested

WWSB out of Florida reports he was arrested for domestic battery.

So much for trading the guy. Well, maybe he will be able to play a bit more aggressive with a criminal record.

This isn’t likely to get him back into the starter role, especially with Kiffin’s emphasis on character guys. Turd Watch points on PFT are likely.

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Sedrick Ellis vs. Glenn Dorsey

I am thinking more and more about Sedrick Ellis. I am thinking he might be the perfect fit for our team. He is the perfect 3-technique DT. Sapp was our 3-technique. Dorsey may be an even better fit because he plays the 3-technique and is better at beating a double team. He also has size on Ellis and should be stouter against the run.

In our defense, a 3- technique is important because we rush with just four lineman a lot.

So we really need to a get a good 3-technique.

Dorsey is stouter against the run and can eat up more blocker in the run game than can Ellis, which is why I still have Dorsey as my #1.

I also think it is possible Kelly could play the 3-technique. When he played DT before he wasn’t playing the 3-technique Sapp was. So maybe he could be a cheaper solution to our problem.

Still if you have a chance to get a good DT like Dorsey or Ellis, it is hard to pass on them.

Ellis didn’t play the 3-technique at USC, so he may need adjustment time in the NFL. Dorsey did play the 3 gap and also against tougher competition (SEC) than Ellis (PAC-10).

I really like both guys, but Dorsey is the better fit for our team. A team looking for a pass rush that is stout against the run could really use Ellis to the best of his abilities.

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Update: Fargas Contract Structure

Breaking Down Fargas contract to find the hidden Raiders agenda and what it means for our cap situation going forward.

2008: According to Jason Jones, Fargas is due $6 million in 2008. According to Jerry McDonald and the NFLPA, his base is $605,000

This means he is going to be paid $5.395 million in bonus money in 2008. Talk about a nice payoff.

2009: This is where it gets interesting. His base in 2009 will be just $2.5 million.

2010: $1.5 in base.

I’ve confirmed Fargas base salaries with the NFLPA. Rotoworld reports all $6 million of the guarantees will be in the first year. I can’t confirm this anywhere else.

This is a clear cut sign that Fargas contract is a three year deal that could be reduced to one or two if need be.

$6 million guaranteed in the first year ($605K of it being base) +$2.5 + 1.5 = $10.605. Where are we getting $12 from? How can he make all his guarantees in the first year and have those base salaries? Likely to be earned incentives could bridge the gap to $12 and unlikely could get the total to $14 I suppose. We don’t know what years the incentives kick in, but you can only make them if you are on the field.

In conclusion, Fargas deal can be cut down to one year or two easily. This ought to be a victory for the Raider fans still hoping for McFadden. The deal also works if we were to want to make Fargas the backup because he wouldn’t likely earn the incentives and wouldn’t likely cost more than his base salaries.

Also could be a large indicator they think Michael Bush is special.

Should be fun to watch either way.

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Cut, Sign, Change

Based on the salary cap and performance, the following are players that will or might be gone or need to restructure, may be traded, should be re-signed or will be moved to a new position.

1. Jordan – His cap number and performance make this a certainty. No sense on spending any time on him
2. Rhodes – His cap number makes this near certain. He would have to restructure and may find himself as the 3rd stringer. Expect him to opt for being cut over a restructure, he complained last year about playing time, I don’t think he would take well to being a 3rd stringer.
3. Warren – At times last year he was a very good lineman, but was rather inconsistent. Better than Sands, but also a cap monstrosity (Like Sands). It will be tough to swallow if we cut him loose because we gave up a 5th rounder. I’d bet we try and restructure his deal and make him more cap friendly, however there is the chance he could be gone. He might challenge Sands for the RDT starting spot.
4. Sands – What a mistake and his contract is darn near impossible to do anything with. We are going to be stuck with him unless we consider him a complete bust, but my guess is they will just try to make him more consistent.

1. Asomugha – He will be franchised…Nothing else to speak of here.
2. Kelly – His versatility and the fact that he was the best lineman until his injury will make him a top priority. Richardson is almost ready and he should be pushing Burgess out the door in 2009. Kelly is just 28 and should be entering his prime veteran years. I think we need to lock him up for three years.
3. Chris Clemons – We would certainly like to have him back, but only if we can get him at a discount. Situational pass rushers are easy to find, heck we found Clemons who didn’t even play in 2006.
4. McCown – He wants to be back as the backup and Kiffin wants him back. I think he is at worst a good character influence on Russell. He is also a very smart guy just doesn’t have the tools that Russell has. I think we will bring him back for a decent price.
5. Newberry – He held up and we might just be willing to see if we will again. Grove’s injury history and lack of great play make him s sketchy starter. However, Grove has played his best next to his buddy Gallery. Will be interesting to see what we do. I put my bet on him being back for one more go.
6. The other FA – Would be deep backups. My guess is we will look for talent elsewhere. Some of them could be back, but they would have to battle for a roster spot.

1. Walter – We have no use for him. He doesn’t fit the system and will most likely be the 3rd QB. A pocket passing team could make a move for him. I think he has a future with the right team. He has starting experience and is a good character guy. We will likely hold out for a late round pick. I’m guessing we would like to sneak back into round 5.
2. Washington – He lost his job to Routt last year. He still has excellent physical tools and maybe just needs a change in scenery. I don’t see Davis letting him go for less than a 3rd. The draft is thin at CB so teams that miss out on Samuel or Talib may look to find a CB with starting experience elsewhere. Jay Glazer reported we shopped him last season, so the feelers are out and he might be on team’s radars as a good player to be had. He still has 1st round talent and to get that for a 3rd is a great deal IMO. He is also just 25.

1. Huff – Kiffin already made a clear statement that Huff would be moving. We all know that means to FS. He should thrive with the freedom and will be a better tackler from that side. It leaves a huge hole at SS, something we should be concerned about because that is Routt’s side and not Asomugha’s.
2. Schweigert – He is likely to stick around because he is cheap, but if he is disgruntled because he will be a backup we may let him walk. He isn’t likely to move to SS, then his tackling skill would be a more glaring weakness. He probably has to fight for the backup spot with guys like Eugene.
3. Alston – Rumor is he may move to SS. I think it may create somewhat of a liability for us on the left side. Routt is clearly weaker than Aso and not having a good SS behind him make expose that side. Unless we can find another option it is at least an experiment worth trying.

I don’t see anyone else having a status change at the moment. Comment if I missed someone.

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