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Al keeps ‘em guessing

Keeping score of today’s draft rumors:

– Profootballtalk.com reported the Raiders made a lowball offer to Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn and were prepared to make him the first pick of the NFL draft if the price was right.

– NFL Network reported the Raiders had “reached out” to the agents of Quinn, JaMarcus Russell and Calvin Johnson, but that Russell is all but a lock to be the No. 1 pick.

– ESPN.com reported the Raiders had no serious offers to any of the prospective candidates and were unlikely to strike a deal before Saturday’s first pick.

In other words, the Raiders are doing what they do best _ keeping their intentions a secret.

NFL Network also reported something I’ve been hearing lately regarding the Raiders front office. Mark Jackson, the man brought in by Lane Kiffin as the director of football development, has essentially become the new Bruce Allen _ the man charged with working on contract issues and carrying out the business of Davis and Kiffin.

The day’s biggest draft story _ a CNN-Sports Illustrated report that Oklahoma running back Adrian Peterson could miss all of training camp following surgery on his collarbone _ has no effect on Oakland.

Once the Raiders got LaMont Jordan to take a reduced signing bonus and signed free agent Dominic Rhodes, they weren’t in the market for a running back as the top pick.

The best educated guess remains that Russell will be announced as a Raider Saturday morning, mostly due to his freakish size and physical skill which Davis won’t be able to pass up.

With any luck, the Raiders won’t reach a deal with Russell or anyone else and keep the drama alive until Roger Goodell takes the podium Saturday morning.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer