Tuesday, April 26, 2005
Welcome New Raiders !
The 2005 Oakland Raider Draft Class
2005 brought Raider fans an old school draft. Blinding speed, a long-ball arm, a home-town boy, a troubled too-much-for-anyone-else-to-handle-DL, and a mountain OT... sounds good to me!!! Well, interesting how the media has looked at this Raider Draft Class, assigning a C+ effort with a yawn, all the while forgetting that the pinnacle of Silver and Black draft was the acquisition of the NFL's most dangerous weapon, Randy Moss. Any draft that includes a trade for the top playmaker in the game must be graded an A+... it almost seems like the rest of the NFL and media would like to forget that Al Davis pulled off the deal of the decade in trading for Moss... OK, OK, enough posturing... here are a few thoughts on each of our new draftees:
Round 1/26 - Fabian Washington, CB, 5'11", 188, Nebraska
We have heard about Fabian's, blinding speed, the fastest 40 ever timed at the combine... we heard some mediots talk about this being a reach - "what was Al thinking, trading up 3 spots giving up a 4th rounder for nothing?" Well turns out the Packers were poised to snap up Fabian, but as usual Al stepped up and stole him, got his man... a very solid pick to eventually take over for PBuc.
Round 2/38 - Stanford Routt, CB, 6'1", 193, Houston
Another "Typical-Al Davis-Reach... trying to turn a track star into a football player...the old man is senile", the mediots proclaim! Well turns out the Broncos and others were lined up to take Routt... guess if Shanahan made the pick, it would have been the perfect compliment and protege for Champ Bailey... Yes maybe this pick was a little high for Routt but again, Al got his man... BTW this is not a track star trying to play football... Stanford made the point very clear in his Bay Area Mediot interview - he is a FOOTBALL PLAYER FIRST!!! The Raider coaches will have to work closely with him as he missed valuable Spring practices during his college career but this young man grew leaps and bounds last year and Coach Turner is excited to see what the kid can do...
Round 3/69 - Andrew Walter, QB, 6'6", 240, Arizona State
A young Drew Bledsoe/Kerry Collins mixer! (OK, not so funny!) The arm will be ready for camp. Walter broke Elway's PAC 10 TD passing record, nuff said... Again the mediots have it all wrong though. This pick does not spell the end for Tui... Tui is firmly #2 with Walter as the #3 to watch and learn for a couple of years... actually a very strong group of QBs in Collins, Tui and Walter... Nice Pick!
Round 3/78 - Kirk Morrison, ILB, 6'1", 240, San Diego State
Filling a huge need with a strong prospect home-town kid... A very strong Round 3 Pick... Kirk is a football player through and through who makes up for what he might be lacking talent-wise with heart and animal desire... Special Teams Ace immediately, will break the line-up before mid-season...
Round 6/175 - Anttaj Hawthorne, DT, 6'3" 325 Wisconsin
Barry Alvarez says Hawthorne is the best DL he ever coached - including first round pick Erasmus James... it can be argued btw that Hawthorne made James by constantly occupying two blockers, freeing up James for the Glory... We all know by now that Hawthorne has had some personal problems including testing positive for pot... Coach Turner though got a good feel for the kid during the Senior Bowl week and was more than happy to draft the stud... lets remember that this kid was projected to be a Top 10 Overall Draft Pick before his battle with personal issues... Coach Ryan must have been elated with this Pick... BTW when you watch them kid play, tell me if he doesn't remind you of a young Alzado ala Orange Crush era...
Round 6/212 - Ryan Riddle OLB, 6'3" 252, California
Broke Andre Carter's Cal sack record... only really devoted himself to the Grid Iron over the last couple of years... what a 6 round pick should be plus more... Mickey Marvin really likes finding the late round gems!
Round 6/214 - Pete McMahon, OT, 6'8", 329, Iowa
Robert Gallery's former OL Team-mate... this kid is actually bigger than Gallery!!! A power blocker suited for RT or either Guard spot... Gallery spoke very highly of him... lets get him in and coach him up... could be a quality starter in 2 years... BTW, nice picture, giant Opie!
Final Thoughts: I did not attend the draft in person again this year, but was lucky enough to listen to the NFL Sirius Satellite Radio broadcast... what a superb product and coverage... out-gunned ESPN coverage in a big way. And finally, Charles Woodson is still a Raider and looks to remain a Raider... thankfully, in my opinion...more on that later...