If not Crabtree, then Raji by default


As noted in Tuesday’s on-line chat, I’m involved in a mock draft which started this way:

Detroit_QB Matt Stafford, Georgia

St. Louis_LT Jason Smith, Baylor

Kansas City_LT Eugene Monroe, Virginia

Seattle_LB Aaron Curry, Wake Forest

Cleveland_WR Michael Crabtree, Texas Tech

Cincinnati_LT Andre Smith, Alabama

Sounds plausible, since it’s difficult to know at this point exactly what teams are thinking. There are reports the Cleveland Browns have soured on Crabtree because of his attitude, although I can remember hearing similar things about Charles Woodson only to discover he was actually a pretty straight-forward guy and was far from a “diva.”

Let’s assume for a moment Crabtree is gone when the Raiders pick, as are three of the four premeire tackles.

The consensus at that point, if you went through all the mock drafts, would probably be Missouri wide receiver Jeremy Maclin.

My inclination?

First, try and trade down. Easier said than done, if indeed seven of the teams in the top 10 are having similar thoughts, as Scot McCloughan is suggesting.

If the Buffalo Bills saw something they really wanted at No. 7 and were hesitant to give up Nos. 11 and 28 in the first round, then you throw in a player and a second- or third-round pick from next season’s draft to get it done, with the idea of getting those picks back through future deals.

If trading back simply isn’t an option, then I’m reluctantly going with Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji.

If the Raiders truly believe he is best front-seven run-stopper in the draft, then you address a six-year weakness and make the pick.

Over the last six years, the Raiders have finished no better than 25th in rushing defense. They’ve been 32nd once and 31st in each of the last two years.

In those 96 games, the Raiders have given up 122 rushing touchdowns. At the other end of the spectrum, the Pittsburgh Steelers have given up 54 rushing touchdowns.

I realize the problems in that area are in part because the Raiders score so few touchdowns. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t be advocating the pick of Crabtree.

But more touchdowns isn’t going to suddenly make the Raiders a good team against the run _ it would only the opponent less persistent.

And if those touchdowns aren’t on the board, you move to stop a six-year land rush against your defense.


Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • Shaun Andrews is on the trade block, lets offer our 3rd for him…. =)

  • New Thread!!

  • edward teach

    Bo34… lol. I think they’re just used to it.

  • RaiderRockstar

    I am curious of your definition of ”impressive”. You used the word to describe Bush and McFadden.


    McFadden only got more than 15 carries in one game last year …

    in that game he ran for 164 yards and a TD


    Bush only got more than 15 carries in two games last year …

    1st game: 90 yards, TD
    2nd game: 177 yards, 2 TD’s

  • OAKlifer

    Double R Whats up Brother?

    I think Al Davis should sneak in and offer our 2nd rounder as well as their choice between Fargas & Walker.

    That would be nice then we address our lines in the first two rounds like you said raji or oher looks good at 7 with Edwards on our roster!!

  • This is how I see the Draft

    1- the chance to get a PB player and the top talent available.
    2-4- is to find solid starters that can help your team.
    5-7- players that you see talent in that you want to develop. Project players.

  • DKnight007

    24 Says:
    April 22nd, 2009 at 8:24 pm
    SnB – Yes…and that Defense is obviously an Al Davis Defense. The damn thing hasn’t changed in philosophy and we still have the same weaknesses we’ve always had so I don’t expect that to change. We will pick defensive players and for the most part, they will always be average. So…lets get some offensive firepower yeah? Marshall’s teaching will be what Al Davis wants him to teach. The positive side about Marshall is that he excels in his man to man playcalling unlike Rob Ryan and his 3-4 Zone Defense.

    I’m all about the Defense too but Al Davis never gets big and solid DE’s. He doesn’t pay much for his linebackers and doesn’t usually draft high for them and he consistently drafts Defensive Backs and has great success with the corners but usually lacks when drafting safeties but I think that has alot to do with the schemes he wants to enforce which puts way too much pressure on the safeties to cover way too much ground.

    I think the Defense will improve because I think Marshall will call a better game plan but improvement may only be #18 Overall Defense. Lets at least have a Top 5 Offense to counter than if anything.

    The Raiders need bigger and stronger DE’s who are athletic and have long arms and can play well against the run.

  • 208Raider

    Think we can get a 3rd or 4th round pick for Fargas? I’m not sure how his contract is structured or even if any teams are looking for a 30 year old rb. It would be nice to try to pick up some extra picks, though.

  • Henry Lawrence

    Norco Bob Says:
    April 23rd, 2009 at 8:34 am
    Want to hear something funny?…I didnt know there was a city called “Norco”,..guess down by Riverside,…a friend of mine down there says theres a sports blog he hangs in, and theres a Norco Bob thats a regular,…any of you world travelers ever been to a city called Norco?


    No, but I have been to the Spirt World…..Sometimes on a daily basses.


  • raiderstud

    i believe that the raiders will pull the old okie dok….when they dont want to spend money on their first they choose someone with their pick that no one imagined would be picked as a first round pick or a top 10 pick…………….thats probably what they will do this year…… thats what Asomaugh, washington were and their have been others…….thats why its likely to be Maclin or heyward-bey or someone on defense ….like best available tackle, best available, LB, or yes i will say it a safety…….we need multiple picks in the first three rounds …..do some trading do some manuevering…………………….

  • DKnight007

    The other disturbing talk I keep hearing about lately is that the Raiders may pick DHB at #7??

    That would be a silly move especially since they may be able trade down opportunity to where they can then get DHB later in the 1st round and pay less money.

    A potential trade partner could be Buffalo again.

    They may want Oher and the Niners may get him at 10. If the Raiders can get the Bills two first rounders, then the Raiders can pick Ayers or Maualuga at 11 and then at at 28 look at DHB or Phil Loadholt and with their 2nd Rounder they can snatch Jarron Gilbert or Ramses Barden.

  • 208Raider

    I think our only shot at trading down is if Sanchez is still there and the Jets really want him. Other than that scenario, the pick is ours.

  • OAKlifer

    Hey 208,
    were over here brother….new post up

  • DMAC

    1st round-Raji…………..2nd-Barden

    1st round-Crabtree…………2nd-Gilbert (sleeper of the draft)

  • Mad Road Dog

    I just read that Crabtree does not want to play for the Raiders. That is if you interpret his comment of “no Comment” when ask how he felt about playing for the Raiders.

    I will continue to sing the same old sad tune that the war is first won in the trenches and that is where the draft picks should be directed.

    My guess is Al drafts WR Maclin but if ya just got to have a WR, then get a lineman at #7 and WR Robiskie in the 2nd.

  • Tomycar

    Oakglenn Says:
    April 22nd, 2009 at 10:06 pm
    The only way Jamarcus is going to have a big year is if we can get the Offensive tackle position solidified. And as much as I hate to say it, it has not happened yet.

    What do you call Henderson and Barnes? both are immediate upgrades.. and have proven a hell of alot more in this league then any Olineman in the draft.. remember Gallery was the closest thing to a sure thing in years.. where is he playing? LG.. id rather stick with the guys who have shown something over hyped up guys in the draft.. like ive said before.. the draft is a gamble.. so we should at least gamble on the biggest position of need.. thats DT.. not OT.. but ESPN says Raiders need a OT.. so everyone thinks we need a OT.. if ESPN says it.. it must be true