Thursday, February 14, 2008

Odds N Sods

Justin Fargas, who didn't test the free agent waters, was signed by the Raiders yesterday to a fair market contract of 3 years, $12M with $6M guranteed. Fargas is an ideal fit for the Raiders running attack which is based on the Zone Blocking Scheme. It is the type of system that requires the back to make 1 decisive cut up field and accelerate to the 2nd level. With Fargas in the fold, there is no reason to use our 1st round pick on Darren McFadden.

It is my hope that Michael Bush will become an intergal and complimentary part to the Raiders rushing attack. Fargas & Bush could be similar to the "Thunder & Lightning" attack of White & Bush at USC or Jacobs & Bradshaw of the GMen. One of the skill areas that I would like to see Fargas develop in the off season/training camp is his pass catching abilities which are below par. Durability is also a concern over the rugged 16 game season. Depth is crucial at this position. Fargas, Rhodes, Bush, and Eche would be a versatile and solid group moving forward into 2008. Jordan can pack his bags come June 1st and tryout for the next edition of "Dancing with the Stars".

With the free agency period upon on us in 2 weeks and the Draft in April, here are some of my quick thoughts on this matter:

* I would LOVE to see the Raiders dilligently negotiate a long term contract with Nnamdi Asomugha once the franchise tag is placed upon him. The numbers that popped into my head are 6 years, $50M with $25 guaranteed. This would be a slightly below market value (approx. $8.3M per year average) contract for one of the top 5 CBs in the entire NFL. In my estimation, this would be a shrewd business move for the Raiders organization and a way to reward Nnamdi farily for his value to the team. Nnamdi is clearly a cornerstone, franchise type player.

* The WR position needs to be addressed aggressively in both the free agent market and draft. The Raiders desperately need playmakers AND depth in order for JaMarcus Russell to realize his potential. Assuming Jerry Porter signs elsewhere (Miami, SF), the Raiders WR corps is paper thin. Ronald Curry is a solid, chain moving possession WR who is effective in the slot. Jonny Lee Higgins is a speed merchant who is in development. I'm not sure if the Raiders will bring back Tim Dwight. I would like to see the Raiders sign 2 free agents and at least 1 draftee. These are a few FAs that intrigue me:

Bernard Berrian (Chicago) > Big play threat ideal for Russell. The downside to Berrian who hails from Fresno is that he isn't a true #1 WR and in a diluted WR class, he will command more money than what he is probably worth.

Bryant Johnson (Arizona) > A very physical, polished WR who has been stuck behind Fitzgerald & Boldin which has effected his numbers. Would be a solid #2 WR.

Dervey Henderson (New Orleans) > Untapped athleticism, excellent deep threat and only 26 years old.

Greg Camarillo (Miami) > Some of you might be saying "Camarillo?". He is the potential hidden gem in the FA class. Some pundits make the case that Camarillo is in the same mold as Welker ... a gritty, hard working WR who just needs an opportunity.

Draft Prospects. These are potential WRs who would be prospective picks for the 2nd and 4th rounds (The Raiders don't have a 3rd round pick).

2nd Round:

Early Doucet (LSU) > An elite college WR who already has a rapport and relationship with Russell. Projected to be a late 1st round/early 2nd round pick.

Limas Sweed (Texas) > At 6'4", 215, Sweed is very phyical and atletic target. His draft slot has been dropping due to a wrist injury which prevented him from playing in the Senior Bowl.

James Hardy (Indiana) > The 6'6" WR was a productive force for the Hoosiers.

4th Round:

Jordy Nelson (Kansas State) > A former walk on who has quickly developed into a versatile and explosive WR.

LaVelle Hawkins (Cal) > Hawkins is a big play threat everytime he touches the ball and could have a dual purpose of excelling as a KR/PR.

Although I will post a more detailed anaysis of the draft in the coming months, let me share my views on our 1st round pick. I'm 100% sold on taking "Son of Howie" (Chris Long, DE, Virginia) as our 1st round selection. Both Glenn Dorsey (DT, LSU) and Sedrick Ellis (DT, USC) would be excellent choices to fill the need for a run stuffer. However, I believe drafting Long would kill 2 birds with 1 stone. He helps address 2 of our most critical defensive deficiecies (stopping the run: 31st ranked; pass rush: only 27 total team sacks). Long, 6'5", 285, is strong at the point of attack and has a knack for getting to the QB just like his pops. He would be a great bookend DE pass rusher on the opposite side of the field of Derrick Burgess.


Anonymous The Raider said...

Dorsey, Ellis or Long will be a Raider.
Yes indeed Sir!
As much as it pains me to say this...I think I'd rather have Dorsey or Ellis. Dorsey is a monster and Ellis can do it all. We really need that big time impact DT next to Kelly or G.Warren. With a healthy Burgess and guys like Richardson, Clemons and company, The team can compete on a high level of deadlyness.

I think Long is a great pick as well. Maybe the kid will be able to fill those huge shoes Howie left behind and not be affected by all the comparisons. After all, it's not like he is a good college player...He is a Great player with mad skills. It would be F'n awesome to have Burgess and Long go nuts and shell out league leading numbers.

What to do?!

Dorsey-Huge beast (Hainesworth-titans) size of a player. Big Time Playmaker. Exactly what the team needs.

Ellis-From an equally great univ. Instint starter. Freakish size, muscle and speed like Kelly.

Long- outside rusher college stud. Number one DE in the draft. Could be lethal with Burgess on the other side.

If we go DT round one, next year could be a year were we get the currently disgruntled DE out of KC.

I can't wait to see the combine and pro day coverage in the weeks to come.

As far as the second round, I like Sweed to be a number two receiver of the future.

Curry is number 1, unless Chad jumps in, but There is no way Chad Johnson will be let go. Washington will welcome home Porter and maybe dump some lineman our way in May.
Bernard Berrian will be hard to cut a deal with, but if a guy like Sweed isn't drafted second, I'd prefer a guy like Henderson to sign. Young, speedy and more durable than little Johhnie Lee. What ever happened to Johhnie Morant. Is he still out there?

Maybe if there isn't a stellar FS free agent to sign, the second round pick should not be WR, yet a FS.
I want Stu to be on the roster, but we need more help there. X (Raidertopia) was right, Sean Taylor was built to be a Raider. There just aren't any players in the draft that stand out like Taylor did.

No matter what we draft second, It's time for Porter to go. See ya later drama queen!
I swear, we'll have a winning record as soon as he is gone.

I wonder if the Raiders can get one or two of the pro bowl FA O-line guys. They probably want Hutchenson (vikes) type of money.

Hey, Anything to help J-Roc do his thing.

2:21 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


I think WR is going to be our biggest problem this year. I expect (just a feeling) that Kiffin will go with Doucet, to find some familiarity for Russell.

But as a 2nd round rookie, he's not going to be a #1 in 2008. None of the FA class looks like #1 caliber. I have a feeling that Curry is going to wind up our #1 and Higgins our #2. We have to pray that Lofton is one hell of a coach.

11:01 AM  
Blogger BlandaRocked said...


That Lester Hayes pic you have posted looks like it was taken post stickem rule.

4:50 PM  
Blogger Calico Jack said...

Raider: Thanks for visiting the site. I was beginning to wonder if I should change my blog to "Silver and Black Invisible".

You make many good points. I would be very pleased with Dorsey or Ellis but estatic with Long. Haynesworth will get tagged by the Titans and is too expensive if he isn't tagged.

I like Sweeed too. He would be a good #2 WR. I hope we are aggressive in persuing some of the FA WRs. We need to add 3 WRs to the roster.

As far as the safety position ...
It looks like Huff will be switched to FS which is his more natural position. There aren't many good SS in FA but a couple worth looking at in the draft. 3 SS worth consideration are Jamar Adams (Mich), Tom Zbikowski (ND), and Josh Barrett (ASU).

BlandaRocked: Doucet would be a nice 2nd rounder. I also like your boy Jordy as a potential 4th rounder. The WR position is one of our most glaring weakness which won't be top echelon even with a few key acquisitions. The important thing is to at least have a legitimate deep threat, a good YAC WR, a good possession WR, and some depth.

Nice observation on the Hayes photo. I love this photo because it seems to capture the essence of #37 sans stickum!

6:25 PM  
Anonymous Tooz 72 said...

Good Who reference, CJ. A mish mash album with some good and some bad tunes. Reminds me of the team right now. I'm looking forward to an Eminence Front in 2008. Great analysis, I'm hoping the team will take advantage of some great draft opportunities.

Now you've got me going. Kiffin and Davis: The Punk Meets the Godfather.

9:57 PM  
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1:21 PM  

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