Orakpo and the Texas dilemma


Texas defensive end Brian Orakpo might be the most imposing physical specimen in the NFL draft.

He could be another DeMarcus Ware.

Or another Vernon Gholston.

Orakpo could be available when the Raiders choose at No. 7, and Al Davis is always on the lookout for a potentially explosive pass rusher.

Each player is scouted on his own merits, but you wonder whether scouts will take into account the track record of first-round draft picks out of the University of Texas when making the call on Orapko.

With only a few exceptions, the players out of Texas out of the last 10 years deemed the best pro prospects by virtue of their selection in the first round of the draft have underachieved.

The Raiders know this all too well, having used the No. 7 overall pick in the 2006 draft on safety Michael Huff, who went from disappointing to millimeters from bust status after washing out at free safety and losing his job to Hiram Eugene.

Huff was a slender strong safety who did some good things in coverage even if he seldom made plays. The switch to free safety was one of the big stories of training camp, with teammates talking about how natural Huff looked and what a difference he would make.

Instead, he was invisible.

The good news regarding the Longhorns is that the two players taken in the first round of the 2007 draft may have turned the tide on the unappealing Texas trend.

Huff isn’t alone in the Texas dishnor roll. A look at the good, bad and ugly of Texas draft picks over the past 10 years.

1-19 Michael Griffin, S, Tennessee Titans: Named to Pro Bowl as an injury replacement this season. Looks like a winner.

1-20 Aaron Ross, CB, New York Giants: Six picks and 24 starts in his first two seasons _ a good beginning.

1-3 Vince Young, QB, Tennessee Titans: Hasn’t showed the passing skill or the mental toughness to succeed at the NFL’s most demanding position.

1-7 Michael Huff, S, Oakland Raiders: Dangled as trade bait last year, hard to imagine getting anything substantial for him at this point.

1-4-Cedric Benson, RB, Chicago Bears: A flop in Chicago, Benson has been of some value for the Bengals but nothing approaching his status as the fourth overall pick.

1-15 Derrick Johnson, LB, Kansas City Chiefs: Among the Chiefs leading tacklers since his arrival, but hasn’t been a game-altering presence. Will test skills in a 3-4 defense this year.


1-7 Roy Williams, WR, Detroit Lions: Word is Davis may have pounced on Williams if he didn’t take Robert Gallery. Has had some big statistical years and was a Pro Bowl injury replacement with Detroit, now will be the main man in Dallas with Terrell Owens gone.

1-23, Marcus Tubbs, DT, Seattle Seahawks: Had four injury-riddled years before Seahawks gave up on him and released him following the 2008 season.

1-4 Mike Williams, T, Buffalo Bills: Struggled with weight which broke 360 pounds, considered one of G.M. Tom Donahoe’s biggest mistakes. Last played with Jaguars in 2006.

1-5 Quintin Jammer, CB, San Diego Chargers: Chris Johnson may have made more plays since taking over for DeAngelo Hall than Jammer has made since he joined the Chargers. Average at best.

1-2 Leonard Davis, G, Arizona Cardinals: Never became the player he was supposed to be with Cardinals but has flourished in Dallas, making the 2007 Pro Bowl.

1-19 Casey Hampton, NT, Pittsburgh: Despite weight and conditioning struggles, the man the call “Big Snack” made a 2003 Pro Bowl appearance and was an excellent addition to the center of a the NFL’s toughest 3-4 defense.

1-5-Ricky Williams, RB, New Orleans Saints: Undeniable talent sidetracked by marijuana use.

Hold it on Maclin

For what it’s worth, a source familiar with Missouri wide receiver Jeremy Maclin says there are no plans in place to visit Oakland, contrary to a report on Raiderbeat.com and picked up by Profootballtalk.com.

The report cited confirmation from a “team official,” which ordinarily means something which has been cleared to be made public by either John Herrera or Mike Taylor. Not so in this case, because the Raiders haven’t publicly confirmed a single visitor to the complex with regard to prospective draft picks.

It doesn’t mean a Maclin visit isn’t happening, only that Raiders officials won’t confirm it as a matter of record and that a source familiar with Maclin said Wednesday a trip wasn’t scheduled.

Most important, whether Maclin sets foot on 1120 Harbor Bay Parkway isn’t of much help in determining the Raiders’ level of interest.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • LMN,

    I know English is not your first language, so I’ll just point it out what you seemed to have misread….

    “…transfer to another ship for the ride home BEFORE entering the port.”

  • Raider Dell


    This draft is going to make the vacation so much better.

    I have read your comments, I know you want a OL, I think you want Andre Smith. Under normal years I think Andre Smith is a 10-15 selection. As I noted this years draft has less talent and more hype of players due to the lack of great talent available.


    Raider O, I know that I’m talking about baseball.

  • La Milicia Negra Says:
    April 9th, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Alabama was loaded with WHEAT… so again the container generalization just dont cut it.. funny you suddenly are a selfappointed expert…


    You are getting obnoxious now. Headlines:

    US flagged Maersk container ship ousts Somali pirates!

    Pirates Commandeer US Container Ship

    Pirates hijack a Norfolk-based container ship with an American crew

    Fla. man among crew of hijacked container ship

    Manatee County man among crew of hijacked container ship

  • # Bo Schembechler Jackson Says:
    April 9th, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    LMN, “container” misses the point anyway.

    > Who is responsible for protecting the crew/ship? Maersk

    absolutely, thats why the crew is insured..

    > Why send them through Suez/Aden, if larger ships go around?

    are you stupid?? no east africna port can take a type E, go look at a map, the ships destination were Mombasa, it cant be hard to figure out, most idiotic thing said on this blog..

    > Why did Maersk not ask for US flagged ship to get a USN escort? (it has been widely known the pirates are attacking further southeast, so region is no explanation)

    We did and we were told as long we were long enough from shore their tiny zodiacs and what not wouldnt reach, the crew, wanted to save some time and take a shorter route, they were not allowed to do so..

    > Why doesn’t Maersk Alabama employ noise devices that have shown to be effective on other ships?

    as far as i know they had those.. maybe they didnt use them..

    > When known to be too close to shore (your assertion), did Maersk direct a change in course?

    again we dont follow where they are, its not like with planes, we set their route, and they then have to follow accordingly, they didnt…

  • SnB

    “Its funny how Al Davis is the only person who scouts, pundits etc have reaching 15, 20,30, even 40 spots to grab a Heyward-Bay or Michael Johnson.

    How come no one else in the top 10 are associated with these guys.”

    – When was the last time these “scouts, pundits, etc” have succesfully predicted anything?.

    Take the 2008 Draft:

    “A good success rate for first-round mock draft predictions seems to be about 25%.

    Rick Gosselin of the Dallas Morning News had the best success rate, correctly predicting 8 of 31 first-round picks, or 25.8%.

    Mel Kiper, Todd McShay, Jay Glazer, and Pete Prisco all came in under 25%.”

    It’s fun to read their evaluations and stuff, they certainly know more than we do about what to look for, but when it comes to actually predicting who’s gonna end up where, our guess is almost as good as theirs.

  • Jaysohn

    Check out the Sac Bee blog..


    good interview with Gracia

  • # Bo Schembechler Jackson Says:
    April 9th, 2009 at 12:21 pm

    La Milicia Negra Says:
    April 9th, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Alabama was loaded with WHEAT… so again the container generalization just dont cut it.. funny you suddenly are a selfappointed expert…


    You are getting obnoxious now. Headlines:

    US flagged Maersk container ship ousts Somali pirates!

    Pirates Commandeer US Container Ship

    Pirates hijack a Norfolk-based container ship with an American crew

    Fla. man among crew of hijacked container ship

    Manatee County man among crew of hijacked container ship

    I dont even know what you are trying to say. Im obnoxious?? LOL because im right? and you keep trying to prove me wrong? well that would be tiresome…

    I would never tell you how an engine works, because I dont know anything about it… but please keep making a fool out of yourself.. you obviously dont know anything about merchant ships, their laws or even geography..

  • SnB Defense

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    April 9th, 2009 at 12:05 pm
    PPG from offense: 17 to 20 ppg

    Run Defense: With Raji/Gilbert I think the Raiders go from 31st to somewhere in the high teens / low 20s.
    S&B: couldn’t agree more. However, I don’t think we’ll win many games scoring 17-20 PPG with a run defense ranked someplace between 16th and 24th. do you?
    The difference between 31st and 16th to 24th is 40 to 50 yards per game. That’s pretty big for this team, especially given the Raider pass defense.

    I look at the Raider schedule and I see a 7-9 to 10-6 team:

    Winnable Games:
    Denver (2)
    K.C (2)
    San Diego (1)

    I am not saying they will win all these games. But if they can play good football, play manageable run defense, and not have stupid Kwame Harris false starts in the red zone, they are capable.

  • England,

    I thought you meant Football, I’m not a basebal fan. It’s too slow for me, and there is a lot of cheating.

  • # La Milicia Negra Says:
    April 9th, 2009 at 12:15 pm


    again, where was the cargo going?

  • # Raider O Says:
    April 9th, 2009 at 12:25 pm


    I thought you meant Football, I’m not a basebal fan. It’s too slow for me, and there is a lot of cheating.

    yeah, I find it very silly too =)


    Football is the greatest game ever invented.

    Life is sweet though, sitting there, drinking a beer, doing you best to po the other teams pitcher.
    The perfect summer sport.

  • okay..

    i will let the fools be know and see the rest of the UEFA cup game…

    LOL, I assume they will post another ignorant post in 10 min times…

  • La Milicia Negra Says:
    April 9th, 2009 at 12:07 pm

    and you still try to make this an america vs europe thing, thats pathetic…

    The crew didnt do as told, 1½-2 years ago another danish vessel, form another company was too close to shore as well, they were held hostage for a long time, they all got medic care and food, and all was treated nice….

    …because they DIDNT fight back when the ship was seized… but them being close to shore to safe time was their blunder, as wer it with the Alabama crew..

    problem is the crew did not do what they were told..


    Were the crew American?

    Do Somali warlords or Puntland Islamists typically treat Americans well?

    Time will tell if the crew was negligent. But your company is insane to expect an American crew to travel unescorted around Aden and then submit peacefully to a Somali attack.

    Oh, your previous claim that pirates are not terrorists is only partly accurate. The pirates and Islamists in Puntland are symbiotic. Pirates ge protection, Islamists get money. So any American hostages would likely become victim to Al-Shabab.


    And yet you cana talk for hours about a cargo ship.

  • SnB Defense

    I am cool with this lineup.

    QB Russell
    RB Bush
    FB O’Neal
    WR Walker
    WR Schilens
    TE Miller
    LT Henderson
    LG Gallery
    C Satele
    RG Carlisle
    RT Barnes


    Bring back Bilyball and I don’t mean Billy Beane.

  • M Lonetree

    I don’t necessarily want Andre as the pick, just an O-lineman. Best available OT or even Alex Mack. I hoped for Ryan Clady last year, but Dakota interfered and now the donkeys have a ten year starter. Even in a doomed world longterm solutions might be looked at.

  • La Milicia Negra Says:
    April 9th, 2009 at 12:25 pm
    # La Milicia Negra Says:
    April 9th, 2009 at 12:15 pm


    again, where was the cargo going?


    Wow, you are pretty new to shipping huh? The ship’s cargo goes where the ship goes, unless its oil on the Exxon Valdez. In this case, the cargo was going to port with the ship. Kenya is what I read. And then multiple African nations shuold get the food, hopefully. In Africa, the end destination can be vague as was the case with the ship full of tanks going to Kenya (but then to Ugandan or Congolese rebels?).

  • My friend is a huge Baseball fan, and he is been trying to take me to a Padres game at the new petco. I love hotdogs and beer, so maybe I’ll go.

  • M Lonetree


    where’s “Mop Handle” in your line-up.

  • SnB

    Do you think with all the money paid to Dmac, that he won’t start?

    I like that lineup too, but…..Dmac a 50 million dollar spot player?

  • Dell

    Yeah, we’re not in a very good position in this draft and it’s not every year that a Julius Peppers becomes available and we have a shot to get him. I know it happened with Jared Allen last year, but he obviusly was not an option for us.

    So yeah, I would trade for an All-Pro DE who just turned 29 to pair with my 28 year old All-Pro CB to anchor my defense for the next 5 seasons.


    Padres hu? Rader O

    I went to see the A’s play the Pasdres once and found myself in the bad position of booing Ricky Henderson. Now there’s a guy who could play baseball even if he did have conversations with himself.

  • SnB Defense

    M Lonetree Says:
    April 9th, 2009 at 12:37 pm

    where’s “Mop Handle” in your line-up.
    The “Mop Handle” will be on the bench. Called upon due to injury. The Mop Handle can run block so he still deserves a roster spot.

  • Raider Dell


    I stand corrected. The best OL in this years draft is Monroe and Jason Smith.

    The next level is the part that is interesting, under normal years the following lineman, Oher, Smith would normally be selected in rounds 10-20. My reasoning is the drafts since 2000 have had in the first 10 selections the following, minimum 3 QB’s,2RB’s, 2 LT’s and 2 WR’s, 2 DT’s.

    This years draft has elevated players who would normally be in the lower 15 rounds to possibly a top 10 selection.

    I know we need OL, but at what cost, $18-20 million.



  • Adios all. Work let out early and golf course is calling…

    LMN, I’ll check back later to see if you have ackowledged the blatant negligence by Maersk, as well as your own scapegoating of the crew.

  • SnB Defense

    KoolKell Says:
    April 9th, 2009 at 12:38 pm

    Do you think with all the money paid to Dmac, that he won’t start?

    I like that lineup too, but…..Dmac a 50 million dollar spot player?
    DMAC SHOULD get his 10 to 15 carries and 3 to 5 catches per game out of the backfield. Maybe another 1 or 2 lining up as a WR. But Bush should be the guy to set the tempo.

    I could have put Bush/DMAC just as well.

    Bush should set the tone of the game and soften up the defenses. Then DMAC can outrun and outcatch for big yards.

    Of course if Cable maintains his preference for Fargas….the offense will be one-dimensional and slow and Cable will be fired at years end

  • RaiderRockstar

    I look at the Raider schedule and I see a 7-9 to 10-6 team


    S&B: we won 5 games during a wild & crazy season last year. I’m pretty sure we could win 7 games just with stability in the organization and experienced coaches that are good teachers. vet mentor QB that can play if called upon and getting all our players back healthy helps too. I think the current roster is talented enough for 7 victories (yes, even with or in spite of the o & d lines)

    A dynamic player like Crabtree or a dominant tackle might make us an 8 or 9 win team challenging for the AFC West crown.

    Barnes had Kwame Harris syndrome last year and Javon Walker is as oft injured and unproductive as Justin Fargas if we’re being nice.

    Whether it’s building the defense or building the offense I just want to win. I hope Cable/Davis draft football players who were productive in college, not just guys that have “potential” to be good.

    It’s very rare that college potential shows up as NFL production. Usually it’s the other way around. NFL potential and NFL production are two different animals.


    I’m thinking that it is a real possibility that we will trade down, not pick anyone with the 7th.

    This year we are really organized and I think Cable is getting great input into our plans in the draft and Cable wants the most players he can get. Cable likes the present receivers. He’s been working on the OL. He can still get good OL and DL help by trading down. There are also some good receivers coming up in the 2nd round.

    One of the reasons for Cable doing this, and Al going along, would be to target Mack. The fact that Cable and Michalczil went to Cal, checked Mack out but didn’t invite him to Oakland means nothing.
    As his former coach Michalczil knows Mack like a book, in fact he wrote part of it.

    Since Walter seems to have disappeared we may be getting more picks than we thought too.
    When Garcia talked about being in quarterback school, he said he was with Russell and Gradowski and no mention of Walter. Let’s hope Russell doesn’t cut classes.

    Walter always worries me with that arm. He leaves and comes back to beat us sort of thing. The truth is though that Walter just doesn’t seem to have the necessary motivation. Yes, I know he got beaten down in 2006 but the man ought to be back off the grass and off of his ass by now.

  • jhill

    No way Bush should get more touches than . If anything, we need to use our RBs just like Tenn. Dmac is more of a scoring threat than Bush.

    Start McFadden, use Bush in short yardage and goaline, and as a change up to McFadden. Bush’s extra looks should come from him complimenting McFadden, not the other way around.

  • RaiderRockstar

    The only players on offense we have who have been productive in the NFL are as follows:

    Fargas: 1 in 6 seasons
    Walker: 2 in 7 seasons (not w/ Raiders)
    Satele: not w/ Raiders (no exp. in the zbs)
    Miller: both years
    Gallery: after moving to guard in the zbs

    The only players on defense we have who have been productive in the NFL are as follows:

    Burgess: ever since joining the Raiders, when he hasn’t been injured
    Morrison: all 4 years
    Howard: all 3 years
    Asomugha: last 4 years
    Johnson: last year

    The rest of the guys on the roster we’re counting on have college production and NFL potential. We may have seen glimpses of what they can do in the NFL, but they have yet to turn the corner and be counted on as a solid NFL player that is a building block to the foundation of this football team.



    I agree with you. Sapp only flaps his mouth, among other things, becaus knows he has to say something sensational-even if it is stupid-to stay on tv.

    Contrast that with another ex-Raider: Woodson.


    I just saw post #649. I’m glad you’re having a bette day. I had a lousy day the day before. This too shall pass.

    You went in on your day off to help out with this mess?! You’re definetely old school. That’s the class thing to do. brother-in-law is a United Fan. Laset time I saw him he see’s Unitged taking the quadruple including the Champions League.



    How did that My get down there?

  • RaiderRockstar

    new post!