Why McFadden isn’t the pick


Al Davis has a reputation of wanting the best available athlete. Give him the biggest, the fastest, the most explosive talent and he is happy, regardless of whether the position is settled.

It is said he won’t be able to bypass Darren McFadden for that reason. He simply won’t be able to resist putting an instant touchdown into an already crowded backfield, joining Justin Fargas, Michael Bush and Dominic Rhodes.

While there is some truth to Davis’ criteria in terms of talent, he is not all that mysterious.

Take place kicker Sebastian Janikowski, for instance.

True, Janikowski was a long-distance marvel and a spectacular talent, but the bottom line is the Raiders desperately needed a kicker. Michael Husted’s troubles had cost the Raiders a chance at a 10-win season the previous year, and Jano was thought to be the final piece of the puzzle.

How about Michael Huff in 2006?

A smallish playmaker for a strong safety, but a safety is exactly what the Raiders needed. Despite the presence of USC quarterback Matt Leinart still on the board, Davis went with Huff. He already had Andrew Walter on the roster, a quarterback who was thought to be the future of the franchise.

When it turned out Walter perhaps wasn’t the franchise after all, JaMarcus Russell was the choice at No. 1 the following season despite the presence of Calvin Johnson. Johnson was only the most remarkable size-speed combination in the history of the draft at his position.

Robert Gallery’s selection in 2004 came at the expense of Roy Williams, a receiver Davis absolutely loved and thought was superior to Larry Fitzgerald, who went higher to Arizona. Gallery was a practical solution to a Raiders line which needed someone to install at left tackle for a decade.

Needs weren’t as clearly defined when the Raiders were winning three straight division titles, and with the Raiders drafting late, it was more of a “best athlete” scenario.

Considering the roster the Raiders already have, and the decisions to re-sign Fargas and coax Dominic Rhodes to take less money to remain on the roster, I don’t see Oakland taking McFadden on Saturday.

There is also the presence of Michael Bush, who hasn’t played in two years but who is seen as a potential difference maker. Or at least that’s the company line. If McFadden is the pick, it means the real thoughts on Bush are that he is too slow and not the long-term answer.

The Raiders were sixth in the NFL in rushing and gave up 100-yard games to 10 different backs. The practical thing to do is work on the defense, not add another back.

I’ll admit I’ve talked to some people who really know Davis who think McFadden will be irresistable. But the bottom line is I think Davis is more practical than you think.

Holding the key to McFadden could have as much value as McFadden himself. The Raiders will use the No. 4 pick to get additional picks or take a defensive player who can make a difference.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • RaiderNation951

    Casserly thinks that the Raiders are taking the Ghost from “The oh crap we choked again” University.

  • vegas raider

    Who would have thought Otis or Meyer would have been available??

  • Thec

    Count down 66hrs, 12min before the draft.

    Jeryy you working on those other articles?

  • RaiderNation951

    Myer is a lot like Walter…..under appreciated. He will make the team unless they draft yet another QB with one of the 7th rounders.

  • R8R4FER

    No not the ghost ,Rickey Dudley all over again…loks like tarzan plays like jane

  • ohioraider

    nation951 your post 532 is unreal and wouldnt happen in a million years

  • RaiderNation951

    Baltimore needs to contact big al to set up that walter, rhodes, washington, rout trade for # 8.

  • RaiderNation951

    We’ll through in “the Butcher” for free.

  • Thec

    Thec Says:
    April 23rd, 2008 at 3:21 pm
    Jerry Your next 4 articles should be:

    1. Why J. Long isnt the pick.
    2. Why G. Dorsey Isnt the pick.
    3. Why V. Gholston isnt the pick.
    4. Why M. Ryan isnt the pick.

    Since your schedule for new stories is once a day you will need to duoble up on thurs, and friday.

  • KoolKell

    If Long & Dorsey are gone, You might as well take McFadden, Old man.

  • KoolKell

    With Byron Leftwich and Joey Harrington on the roster, can the Falcons pass on Matt Ryan, is he anygood? If they don’t, we get Dorsey or Long.

  • No More Infield…

    I really don’t hate the “A”s all that much. But it was fun to watch them fold after Gibson hit that miracle homer. An actually the steroid , I mean the bash brothers were kind of fun to watch. I just hate the dirt… Jano can’t kick off of it. Affects him mentally…

  • Sir Rdrs

    I’ve sat back & listen to U all chime in on ur Raiders theories and most of the time i get a big laugh out of them,but not today.D Mac is our pick period . D MAC IS OUR PICK. the funny part of it all is 6 months from now u all r going to b happy Jerry was way wrong. 4 u alls info the only reason we restructured Rhodes is just incase some 1 jump up and took D Mac our backfield debt chart will b D-Mac Far M Bush. some of u I love others quit being stupid:-( We havent had real might in the back field since Bo we havent had breakaway speed since Napoleon. we R talking about a pure Blue chipper an instant touch down machine from anywhere. Hell he can b on mt Davis and find the endzone y would we pick a D end when we were like what 1st in 06 against the pass and in the top 6 in o7 against the past we’ve been near the bottum in the league in scoring the last 5 years. If u call ur self Raiders then get a Clue (some of u) D-Mac will b a Raider.RAIDERS 4 LIFE

  • darkknight01

    Sir Rdrs,

    i agree…..the hate in here by some over DMac is ridiculous and stupid.

  • TdizzlefoShizzle

    You guys havent got a clue…..I remember cast off charlie garner getting 1500+rushing /and1500+receiving yards when lincoln kennedy was the left tackle and a cast off named rich gannon was at quarterback.The players dont count as much as the system in most cases.There are exceptions to that of course but Dmac isnt so great that the system is irrelevant.By the way Charlie Garner split time with another castoff tyrone wheatley.Players dont make winners,systems make teams that are winners.

  • Raider Gordo, #52:

    Hey, if you’re fat, so what. Just means you like the good food. Have you ever been to King Taco in East Los Angeles? The greatest @ 3rd and Ford off the 710.

    Anyway, I totally agree with your Seabass (Jano) comments. He can’t kick under pressure and we have seen this year after year. At first, I would say, OK, he’ll work on his problems and have a good year, next year, and next year turned out to be the same, year after year. He kept losing us games (2 a year at least).

    Early in his career, he came out of a bar, late at night, pissed off at something and he went from car to car in the parking lot, kicking off the rear-view mirrors on numerous cars. That’s when he was into the heavy volka drinking. He still might be? Who knows.

    Evidently, Seabass kicks good during training camp and pre-season, and he does have distance. Therefore, it’s hard to beat him out of the position. I would rather have a kicker with less range, but someone who can consistently make kicks at 20 to 40 yards that WIN games. Kicking wide on a 65 yarder which would set a record is meaningless. The WIN with a 38 yarder is more important.

    The Raiders need to trade the dude.

  • Bob Marley, #56:

    Just because Sylvester Morris suffered a serious knee injury at Kansas City doesn’t mean he would have sufferred the same injury if he had gone to us (Raiders) or else where. Different enviroment, different circumstances, lead to different results. He may have been great with us or someone else, and he may have never gotten injured. Who knows?

    Ya, Seabass has survived with us and that’s too bad because in my opinion, he has lost us too many games.
    His longivity has only been a negative. Trade him.

  • All the talk about run stopping and defensive ends not being a substantial part of stopping the run doesn’t make sense to me. Of course, a good defensive end helps stop the run. If nothing else, a good defensive end limits the other teams options. They’ll tend to run away from you, thus giving your line backs better insight to where they (shade, lean, step up, etc.)toward stopping the inside running. Hope that makes sense???

    Anyway, some of you old timer may remember the vetran
    lover and rookie hater, the great Head-Coach, George Allen, Washington Redskins, originally with the Rams and the great Roman Gabriel, who would (SOMETIMES) use a 5 man line with two or three line backers when playing against running teams, and he did it to some success. Of course, he had good corners who could man to man, so that helped. Is the 5-2 or a 5-3 too outdated now? It must be as no one uses it that I know of?

  • Derek

    Please don’t draft Howies boy. He’s not athletic enough to be top notch in the NFL. Long will be the second coming of Tyler Brayton.

    Drafting whites guys at athletic positions is very risky, probably a 30/70 success rate.

  • Richard Bentley

    This post is still going; ok, (1) the offense is essentially complete. (2) You can plug any running back into the scheme if they know how to run in it (see: Broncos). (3) You really need a second pass rusher to protect the cornerbacks. (4) The defensive tackle position might shore up enough.
    The first priority is a DE. That, or a DT will be picked. There is no way McFadden is picked unless a trade is in the works.

  • Cole Ford Says: #262:

    If Seabass kicks 50 field goals that means we can’t score in the RED ZONE and we’re not going anywhere. We’ll be lucky to go 6-10. We don’t need field goals from Seabass, as he’ll miss the critical game winner anyway. Always has and always will. We need scores, touchdowns when we’re in the red-zone, that’s what wins games and that’s what will propell us to 10 and 6 or 11 and 5, playoff bound.

    It’s time for Seabass to move on…trade the dude.

  • NorthPhillyRaider

    C. Long competed in practice against d’brickashaw ferguson every day at virginia. brick is a quality tackle at any level so chris has some good experience against an nfl quality tackle. not saying he should be the pick but i think he’ll be a hell of a lot better than brayton.

  • RaiderKC

    Recent rumor has it that ATL is going to trade up with STL to get C. Long and STL is going to take Gholston. So everyone can stop worrying who Al is going to take, McFadden….

  • Copenhagen_Fan

    Derek…who are you? Jimmy The Greek? ha ha

  • dan

    what happens if the jets trade up to 2# and take mcfadden and the falcons take chris long at 3#…. we all jump over the bridge..lol

  • Defense Line and Offensive Line may be Another wide.
    I dont think Jonnie Lee Is the answer!!!

  • VK Bell

    I hope you are right. I like the DT from Hampton at 3 or 4, and a top passs-rushing/run-stopping DE with the #1 pick.

  • Bay Raider

    Y dont we just cut Jordan and Rhodes and get DMAC, When was the last time we took a position player Beside J Russ… hmmmmmmmm Ricky Dudley#@$*#(*$ It is time to get a player that will make a difference in the game.. Defense will have to account for DMac that would open up the passing game.. look what LT did for the Chargers…

  • Jim Kennard

    McFadden had 29 carries for 173 yards with a 1 TD run of 56 yards and 208 all purpose yards against Kentucky. Whoever said he had a terrible game doesnt know what she’s talking about.

  • CJ Legend34

    Look Raider Nation, for the last time lets analyze our backs.
    Rhodes – Average, finds the whole and takes it, not known for going the distance.
    Lamont Jordan – Broke mans Bo Jackson. All side to side action. I weeble Woble that will get hurt in games.
    Fargas – Above average, when not hurt on the sideline. Will not make the whole season, which makes him a change up back.
    Bush – Has the most upside but we never seen this guy play one snap in the NFL and he has been out the game for two years.

    Lastly, if Bush is the real deal I would love to see he and McFadden in the backfield. Nothing helps a QB like a spectacular running back combo. Look where drafting for need has got us.

  • Bay Raider

    look where “Need” got us.. we drafted Huff, Gallery, instead of Rothlesburger/Roy Williams…. so forget need and talk the best player available.. Who should be DMAC at the 4 spot… Who know what is going to happen after this year… might as well get the that flashy running back for the future!!!

  • NCRaider

    I would take McFadden. I would have resigned Rhodes and let Fargas leave as a free agent (suspecting that he would get an offer). So practically at this point it doesnt make sense for us to draft McFadden at all. However take him anyway. Although I get the point of your article, from the writing of it we could have had ROY WILLIAMS, CALVIN JOHNSON and LIENART (lienart is lame). So im not usre your arguement that AL is more PRactical than we think is valid. And ive been a raider fan since I was 5. He is decidedly (and I hate to say this) off his game.

  • CJ Legend34

    Good point McRaider on trading Fargas but if someone traded up and took McFadden on draft day we would be @ss out on a starting running back. Because as far as I am concerned the others are average at best. Cable’s zone bloccking definately helped them out last year. Since Fargas is so injury is so injury prone they have to keep the other backs around. Lastly, Bush we don’t know what he can do, why? Because Al Davis did not activate the guy. Who the heck would be scared of Lamont Jordan (a broke man’s Bo Jackson)playing for KC. That was the only reason we did not cut Lamont Jordan and find out what we had in Bush.

  • mandingo

    im so tired of this d-mac debate ,that ill rather see the raiders pick ANYONE but him.

  • Oaktown Raiders

    I agreed! Raiders need to pass on the drug head DMC! The kid is trouble. Raiders select Chris Long!

  • Oaktown Raiders

    Chris Long is a solid citizen. Raiders will selct Chris Long with the 4th pick. We’d don’t need DMC excess bagages!

  • Oaktown Raiders

    I say we’d trade the pick and get more picks down the line. It’s a viable option. Chris Long reminds me of Tylor Brayton… a tweener. LOL… I say trade the pick!

  • Oaktown Raiders

    Someone say trade Burgess. The guy got no trade value with his injured prone knee and ankles. No team would give up anything less than a 6th or 7th round for the guy.