Saturday, April 28, 2007

Raiders 2007 Draft Picks

Oakland Raiders 2007 Draft Scorecard


Player/Position College
1 / 1JaMarcus Russell (QB)LSU
2 / 38Zach Miller (TE)Arizona St
3 / 65Quentin Moses (DE)Georgia
3 / 91Mario Henderson (OT)FSU
3 / 99Johnnie Lee Higgins (WR)UTEP
4 / 100Michael Bush (RB)Louisville
4 / 110John Bowie (CB)Cincinnati
5 / 138Jay Richardson (DE)Ohio St.
5 / 165Eric Frampton (SS)Wash St.
6 / 175Orenthal O'Neal (FB)Arkansas St.
7 / 254Jonathan Holland (WR)Louisiana Tech

Scouting Reports: (click on each name)
JaMarcus Russell
Zach Miller
Quentin Moses
Mario Henderson
Johnnie Lee Higgins
Michael Bush
John Bowie
Jay Richardson
Eric Frampton
Jonathan Holland

J-Russ Rockin' The NFL Catwalk

It is official. J-Russ is the Raiders #1 pick! It looks like J-Russ has taken some fashion tips & sense of style from the Godfather himself, Mr. Al Davis. Load the cannons, raise the black flag, and get ready for a wonderful new voyage filled with hopes and dreams. Cheers!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Calico Jack's Mock Draft - Raiders Only!

It is now only a matter of hours before Commissioner Goodell comes to the podium tomorrow morning and says the following "And with the 1st pick in the 2007 NFL draft, the Oakland Raiders select ...."

Just for fun, I have compiled my mock Raiders draft. Out of the 11 draft day selections this weekend, if we hit on just 1 of my mock picks (wink, wink ... I'm sure you can guess which one!) I will be absolutely thrilled.

#1/Rd 1 - JaMarcus Russell, QB, LSU

#33/Rd 2 - Tony Ugoh, OT, Arkansas

#65/Rd 3 - Ikaika Alma Francis, DE, Hawaii

#78/Rd 3 - Lorenzo Booker, RB, FSU (pick from GBay for Moss)

#99/Rd 3 - Ryan Harris, OT, Notre Dame

#100/Rd 4 - Mike Walker, WR, Central Florida

#138/Rd 5 - Leroy Harris, C/G, NC State

#165/Rd 5 - Eric Frampton, S, Washington St.

#175/Rd 6 - Jonny Hairline, TE, BYU

#211/Rd 7 - Justin Hickman, LB, UCLA

#254/Rd 7 - Joe Anoai, DT, GTech

Offense: QB, OT(2), RB, WR, C/G, TE

Defense: DE, S, LB, DT

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Thoughts From The Dark Side

For all you die-hard Raider fans thirsting for additional Silver & Black 411, I highly recommend that you check out Patrick Patterson's blog "Thoughts From the Dark Side" which is on the Most Valuable Network. Patrick has some excellent insight on the upcoming draft, interesting analysis, and thought provoking opinions.

Friday, April 13, 2007

The Chosen One

The big debate amongst the Raider Nation and pro football enthusiasts is who the Raiders should take with the #1 pick in the 2007 draft. There are 3 primary camps on this topic which seem to fall into 1 of 3 categories; “JRuss Baby!” or “Calvin Johnson is the BEST prospect” or “Trade down for extra picks”. I am firmly in the “JRuss Baby!” camp.
Here are my Top 10 Reasons to draft JaMarcus Russell #1:
1. Need - Clearly the Raiders need to place a premium on improving the current QB depth chart. Last year’s QBs (Walter & Brooks) combined for a total of 6 TD passes & 21 interceptions. Brooks was shown the door and the jury is still out on Walter as a viable #1 signal caller. Booty and Otis are practice fodder at best.

2. Impact Position – One could reasonably argue that the most important position on any successful football team is the QB. The QB by nature is the heart, mind, and soul of the offensive unit. It is also the Alpha Dog leader of this unit. It is the one position, when appropriate, has the word “franchise” attached to it. It is the one position that requires the awareness and knowledge of what the other 21 players on the field are doing. Not to be Mr. Cliché’ but the QB is truly the Captain of the offensive ship. It isn't a coincidence that GMs and personnel evaluators use high draft choices on QBs, pass rushing DEs, LTs, and RBs. It is also no accident that these ultra-value positions are the most highly compensated positions.

3. Physical Tools & Skill Set - JRuss without question has outstanding, elite physical tools geared to the professional game. At 6’6, 258 lbs he has the size to stand tall in the pocket, see over the line of scrimmage and the strength to withstand the physical punishment of this violent sport. In addition, JRuss has the mobility, agility, and awareness to effectively avoid the pass rush pressure in order to buy extra time when the pocket breaks down. Although he uses his legs and escape-ability mainly to look for his secondary receivers, he also can use his mobility to motor down field when necessary to move the chains. The cherry on top of this extraordinary skill set is that he has the strongest arm in all of football (college or pros). Here is JRuss' scouting report.
4. Coachable – Noted QB guru Tom Martinez who has worked with John Elway and Tom Brady spent 2 weeks this off-season coaching JRuss. Martinez worked with JRuss on his footwork, hand placement, drops, and mechanics. After these training sessions Martinez gave JRuss a glowing report in terms of his ability to process information and apply the coaching techniques. Another barometer of JRuss being coachable is the continuous strides he made throughout his college career. View his improvement from 2004 to 2005 to 2006 here.
5. Passing Prowess – Touch, accuracy, quick release, and arm strength … his passing abilities are remarkable. After reviewing game film and JRuss’ pro-day performance, Todd McShay (ESPN analyst) said JRuss has the best passing abilities he has ever seen in the 10+ years that he has been covering the draft. Enjoy this video clip.
6. Unique Prospect Under Unique Circumstances – When was the last time that the Raiders had a glaring weakness at QB, had the #1 pick, and a unique QB prospect staring us in the face? If you guessed Roman Gabriel in 1962 go ahead and give yourself a cold beer. The point I'm trying to convey with the trivia question is that in my humble opinion, the Raiders need to to capatilize on this rare opportunity for a potential franchise type QB instead of taking the "safer" route. Some might argue that drafting Calvin Johnson is the safe & prudent move. Nonsense. Name 1 WR drafted in the 1st 5 picks over the last 36 years of modern professional football history who made a noticeable impact on his team's fortunes. There have only been 15 WRs taken in the 1st 5 picks in modern history. The fact that so few WRs have been drafted in the top 5 picks should give you a strong indicator that this position is NOT a high impact position.
7. Record of Achievement – Playing in the SEC, arguably the toughest conference in all of college football, JRuss compiled a 25-4 record as a starter. His 28-8 TD to INT ratio & 67.8% completion accuracy in 2006 were outstanding marks.
8. Leadership Abilities – JRuss has demonstrated in his college career a cool, calm and poised sense of confidence. Call it the swagger factor but this intangible quality was very evident in the 8 4th quarter comebacks that JRuss led LSU to in his short college career.
9. A Grounded Superstar – Russell is a soft-spoken, humble person by nature. "He's very quiet, very respectful," Martinez said, "He doesn't say much, but he's always taking things in. You can see him sizing things up and figuring people out. He has a very grounded family," Martinez said. "They're all squared away. They're not buying into the fanfare around this."
10. A Minty Fresh, New Chapter – With the energizer bunny, Kid Kiffin, on board as our new head coach and a dismal 15-49 record over the past 4 years in the rear view mirror, JRuss would give us a new beginning filled with hope. The approach of filling our QB needs with reclamation projects and free agent retreads has grown stale. Over the past 29 years the Raiders have been successful with this approach only 2 times; Jim Plunkett in 1978 and Rich Gannon in 1999.
JRuss Baby! 14 days until my dreams about "The Chosen One" hopefully becomes a reality.
(P.S. I promise not to pout if Big Al goes in another direction. Cheers!)