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Wrapping the draft

The NFL draft is a two-day vortex. There is little chance to absorb the reams of information you are acquiring and make clear observations as it unfolds. But with dust beginning to settle on the 2007 version, I’m ready to congratulate the Raiders on their work. I’ve bashed this team as much as anyone over the last few years, but I will give credit where it’s due. And Lane Kiffin, Al Davis and the rest of the eye-patch wearers emerged… Read More »

More pick profiles

Sorry it took so long, but here are brief descriptions of the Raiders’ final two draft choices. Arkansas State FB Oren O’Neal: He’s a guy who wasn’t on a lot of scouting lists. But how can you not like a guy who’s full name is Orenthal? (I haven’t discovered his middle name, so don’t call him O.J. yet.) He wound up being in college for six years, getting an extra year of eligibility after missing an entire season because of… Read More »

Raiders’ second-day picks

The only second-day draft choice we spoke to via conference call thus far is Michael Bush, the Louisville running back. Through some minimal digging, here is what I can tell you about the fourth- and fifth-round picks. Bush: ESPN analyst Mark May said today: “If this works out, which I think it will, I think he will be the steal of the draft.” The Raiders might have scored big here. Despite his significant leg injury last year, most people thought… Read More »

Elation by subtraction

Randy Moss is a Patriot – and the Raiders have made their best move of the weekend. As anticipated, Oakland was able to move its unhappy wide receiver, finally settling on a fourth-round draft choice from New England. The Raiders have already used the pick, on speedy Cincinnati cornerback John Bowie. But it’s the relocation of Moss that makes this team better. Ever since Al Davis hired Lane Kiffin as his coach in January, there have been subtle signs of… Read More »

Williams worth a gamble

Besides JaMarcus Russell, who may turn out to be either an epic bust or a Hall of Famer, the most intriguing athlete to join the Raiders on Saturday might not be a draft pick at all. Consider wide receiver Mike Williams, handed to Oakland for one-half of a fourth-round draft choice. Two years ago, Williams was the 10th overall selection in the NFL draft. Three years ago he was the victim of the professional/collegiate sports industry. Four years ago he… Read More »

Andrew’s bad day

You can almost imagine Andrew Walter skipping the draft day coverage and returning to ask his family what he missed. “Well, the good news is that the Raiders drafted Zach Miller-” And the bad news? There was plenty for Walter on Saturday. The Raiders took JaMarcus Russell with the No. 1 pick, as most expected, a move that they hope will settle the quarterback position from 2008 through about 2020. Walter is no longer this team’s QB of the future.… Read More »

Raiders trade for McCown and Williams

It has been generally assumed that the Raiders would trade for Detroit quarterback Josh McCown, who has openly lobbied for the deal in recent weeks. There also has been talk about getting Lions wide receiver Mike Williams. At about 5:15 on Saturday, the Raiders got both players in one swoop, landing McCown and Williams for a single fourth-round pick (the No. 105 overall, obtained in an earlier trade with Arizona). My reaction? Great move. Not that either of the players,… Read More »

In the second round, it’s Zach Miller

Finally, after more than 6 1/2 hours, the Raiders have made their second pick. It’s Arizona State tight end Zach Miller. (More on him later.) They swapped second-round selections with the Cardinals, giving up No. 33 overall and gaining Arizona’s No. 38 and a fourth-rounder, No. 105 overall. NFL Network first announced the Raiders got the Cardinals’ sixth-round pick as compensation, which seemed like a weak trade for the Silver and Black. The fourth rounder made a lot more sense.… Read More »

League seconds Raiders’ decision

We’ll probably never know how highly other teams rated JaMarcus Russell. The Raiders got indirect affirmation of their decision on the No. 1 pick, however. It came in the form of the snubbing of Brady Quinn. Even last week, there was rampant talk of the Raiders drafting Notre Dame’s Quinn instead of LSU’s Russell. Scouts said he had a better work ethic, and his experience in a pro-style offense made him readier to play as a rookie. The Raiders spent… Read More »

Is there a draft in here?

And with the first pick in the 2007 NFL draft, the Oakland Raiders take- Well, yeah, of course they take JaMarcus Russell. I’m sure they honestly considered both Brady Quinn and Calvin Johnson. But by dawn Saturday, ESPN was reporting that Russell was Oakland-bound, and the chatter in the mess hall at Raiders headquarters – no coaches or scouts were visible, predictably, but several team officials wandered among the press corps – was all about the LSU quarterback. Coach Lane… Read More »