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2009 draft wrap

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Some post draft observations before shutting it down for the night:

— Throwing speedsters Darrius Heyward Bey and Louis Murphy into the mix at wide receiver makes Javon Walker’s situation precarious.

Walker’s name has been conspicuously avoided by Tom Cable when he launches into rhetoric regarding his veteran players, and Heyward-Bey and Murphy join Chaz Schilens, Johnnie Lee Higgins, Arman Shields, Jonathan Holland and Todd Watkins, with the latter two hanging by their fingernails.

Here’s the rub _ Walker is guaranteed $4.6 million over the next two seasons, and Al Davis hates paying money to players not on the roster. Plus the Raiders have been loyal in the past to players who have restructured their contracts.

But if Walker shows up either overweight or disinterested, given the circumstances, the Raiders may have no other choice. The $4.6 million will be a buyout for a mistake, to be tacked on to the $8 million for eight games spent on DeAngelo Hall and the $8.4 million given to safety Gibril Wilson.

Interesting to note that during the owner’s meetings and during Cable’s pre-draft press conference with the media, he said Walker was healthy. On Sunday, made reference to “seeing if we can get Javon Walker healthy.”

Walker ending up on injured reserve would be a way to pay him without the indignity of having to cut him when he’s due all that money.

— Defensive end/linebacker Stryker Sulak, the sixth-round pick and No. 199 overall, finished second in Missouri history with 22 1/2 sacks, but the stat that might intrigue the Raiders even more are his 14 forced fumbles, including six as a senior.

“It was hammered into us — get the ball, get the ball,” Sulak said at the NFL scouting combine.“Every time I got around the edge that was my first thought. The quarterback is sitting back there — where’s the ball? Does he have it up? Down? Where is it and can I get it?

“You try for the sack with one hand and you try to bring the other hand down as hard as you can. He’s not in the best position and not holding the ball as tight as he can. So you try to can-opener it out, get the ball out and try to get your offense on the field. If you get the ball out, it’s a sack and forced fumble. That looks really good on paper.”

— Cable wasn’t kidding when he said he was fine with his offensive line, as the Raiders didn’t pick a lineman for the second consecutive season. When he talked about how nice it would be to have one of the four “Cadillacs” (Jason Smith, Andre Smith, Eugene Monroe, Michael Oher), Cable was either blowing smoke to the media or giving smoke signals to Al Davis.

Monroe was there for the taking. Only time will tell if the Raiders passed on a great one in favor of Heyward-Bey.

For now, Cable is bravely going forward with the utmost confidence in Khalif Barnes, Mario Henderson, Erik Pears and Cornell Green as the chief protectors of the future of the franchise, JaMarcus Russell.

Marcus Johnson, the former Minnesota second-round pick signed as a free agent, will play guard for the Raiders. Cable never mentioned him when going over his line, saying Robert Gallery, Cooper Carlisle and Paul McQuistan were the top three guards, plus “some other guys that we’ve put in there. I’m trying to think of their names right now.”

Either Cable’s mind was numb from a day of listening to endless names, schools and 40-yard dash times (I know mine was), or Johnson hasn’t made much of an impression.

— The Raiders are also fine with the triumverate of Gerard Warren, Tommy Kelly and Terdell Sands in the middle, adding no tackles in the draft and Ryan Boschetti in free agency.

Defensive end will be more hotly contested, with Matt Shaughnessy and Sulak to compete with Jay Richardson, Trevor Scott, Greyson Gunheim, Derrick Gray, and presumably Derrick Burgess.

— Two years, no cornerbacks. The last cornerback selected was John Bowie, selected in the fourth round with the Randy Moss pick and inactive in 2007 and on injured reserve in 2008.

Nnamdi Asomugha and Chris Johnson (assuming the Raiders ever officially acknowledge he’s been signed) are solid as the starters. Stanford Routt found himself bypassed by Johnson and didn’t appear to be all that into the Cable program. Maybe Lionel Washington can get him on board. Bowie will be the “Randy Moss” punch line until proven otherwise.

— Zach Miller may be getting hitched.

Cable has said on on a few occasions the key to seeing Miller’s already decent receiving numbers improve would be “marrying him up” with another tight end who complements his skills.

Enter Brandon Myers out of Iowa. Myers had a predraft visit to Oakland and is a two-time All-Big Ten tight end.

“We had to have the tight end that really had some physicalness to him so we could take some of that away from Zach Miller and use him in the passing game a little bit more,” Cable said.

— Not noted on NFL Network (or at least not that I heard) _ the Raiders are the first team in NFL history to draft players named “Slade” and Stryker” on on consecutive picks.

— The Raiders got their “apology” from Mike Mayock, and Mike Mitchell got himself a biography as a prospect.

Mitchell was also debated on ESPN, and asked to respond to Mel Kiper Jr.’s criticism of his selection in the second round.

“Mel Kiper has his opinion and I respect it. But what does it mean?,” Mitchell said. “My 9-year-old nephew can watch film and make an opinion. I think I value the opinion fo scouts who get paid to make their opinions. It will carry me through my career. It will serve as motivation for me.”

While I have no idea how Mitchell can handle a play-fake or LaDainian Tomlison coming at him on the goal line, he’s got the media game figured out already.

Kiper’s response?

“He’s entitled to say that. He’s a player. You want him to defend his position. He’s a second-round pick. I’m happy for him. I had him between 40 and 73 at safety, with a seventh-round grade,” Kiper said. “So this is a kid that had a chance to into camp and make a team as a late-round pick. He went in the second round.

“I thought there were a lot of safeties in the fourth that were better. Todd McShay had him at 123. So teams I’ve talked to in the NFL _ who get paid to scout _ thought he was a free agent. It wasn’t only Oakland. One team told me this morning they were going to take him in the third round. They think he has future Pro Bowl ability. That’s the wide range of opinion on Michael Mitchell.”

— Not surprisingly, ESPN analysts Cris Carter and Trent Dilfer were critical of Oakland’s draft. Dilfer didn’t buy into the “winners and losers” line of questioning but said, “The one that does not make sense to me, doesn’t make them a loser, but it does not make a lot of sense to me, I can’t wrap my brain around the Oakland Raiders.”

Carter didn’t hesitate in declaring a loser.

“Oakland,” he said.

— The things you learn walking hallways at the facility _ Shane Lechler is the Raiders 2008 Eric Turner award as the defensive Most Valuable Player. His name was etched on the trophy. It’s an award the Raiders, to my knowledge, have never publicized for reasons unknown.

I guess it’s not horribly out of line to make Lechler the defensive MVP based on field position, but he is in fact a special teams player and they did agree to pay Nnamdi Asomugha _ who actually plays defense _ $28.5 million in guaranteed money and a potential $45.3 million over three years.

Meanwhile, Lechler stands to make $16 million over the next four years.

I’m guessing Asomugha, given the choice, will take the monetary validation over his name on a trophy.

— The Heyward-Bey vs. Crabtree competition isn’t the only one worth watching for the Raiders and 49ers. Cable said the Raiders traded with Carolina to acquire a sixth-round pick to acquire one of two tight ends _ Bear Pascoe of Fresno State or Myers, intimating he would have been happy with either one.

The 49ers got to Pascoe at No. 184, and the Raiders took Myers at No. 202.

The bottom line

The Raiders got bad draft grades primarily because they’ve been a bad team for six years and have made a lot of questionable personnel decisions (duh) during that span.

If Bill Belichick or the Ozzie Newsome had made the same picks, they’d be viewed in an entirely different light because of their recent track records.

Cable sold the Raiders choices with confidence and resolve. He doesn’t care what the media thinks, and it always amazes me more experienced coaches don’t adopt the same philosophy.

If the Raiders go 10-6, next year’s draft stories will recount how they proved everyone wrong and give them some credibility for 2010. Cable will be declared a genius, the man who “changed” Al Davis.

If the Raiders go 6-10, Heyward-Bey is a non-factor and Michael Crabtree catches 70 passes for 1,000 yards in San Francisco, while Mike Mitchell is a special teams gunner and nothing more, Cable will probably be labeled as Al’s puppet even if it was a joint effort.

It’s not that complicated.

Either way, it will serve Cable well to keep his public approach as steady as he has since Davis went to the overhead projector.

I’m scheduled to write a column for Tuesday grading each team, but don’t put too much stock in it, because I don’t.

You do what you’re assigned to do, even if you know judging a draft immediately _ as opposed to four or years down the road _ is one of the most ridiculous exercises in your profession.

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Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer

  • RaiderRockstar

    Brien the General 510 :

    I would have traded Fargas, Walker, Burgess & Walker to the Lions in exchange for an autographed Barry Sanders football card …

  • Brien the General 510

    So opening night D projections?

    More likely this

    LDE: Burgess
    UT: Kelly
    NT: Warren
    RDE: Richardson

    WLB: Howard
    MLB: Morrison
    SLB: Brown

    RCB: CJ
    SS: Branch
    FS: Eugene
    LCB: Aso

    LOL yeah those SD bolts better watch out for that stout defense

  • vegas raider

    DKnight007 Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 1:07 pm
    The thing that gets me is why didn’t they trade up for Maualuga?

    ***************************

    Trade up for him?? There is a reason he fell off the map and all 32 teams passed on him, including some teams twice. I doubt Cincy is a good place for him either. They took 3 talented guys with questionable work ethics and/or between the ears issues, and Cincy is the worst place (except for maybe us) for those types of guys.

  • Brien the General 510

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 1:13 pm
    Brien the General 510 :

    I would have traded Fargas, Walker, Burgess & Walker to the Lions in exchange for an autographed Barry Sanders football card …

    ********************
    That actually is a fair trade. I feel we would have got great value

  • Hey Alisgod, or is this the high character guy that you are talking about that we got in the draft? Yep, that new high character policy Al is allowing Cable to instill is really on the right track…are you sure you want to keep playing this game with me dipsheet?

    ____________________________

    -=Louis Murphy=- says his friends call him “the comeback kid.” Murphy has earned the depiction.

    His St. Petersburg, Fla., high school team was 0-10 his junior year and 2-8 his final prep season — but Murphy won two national championships at the University of Florida. He was kicked off the Gators and suspended for three games early in his career due to a marijuana charge.

  • Brien the General 510

    Cincy will drastically improve VR. Trust that. Their defense has improved and Palmer has someone watching his back.

  • alisgod

    Dakota Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 1:16 pm
    Hey Alisgod, or is this the high character guy that you are talking about that we got in the draft? Yep, that new high character policy Al is allowing Cable to instill is really on the right track…are you sure you want to keep playing this game with me dipsheet?

    ____________________________

    -=Louis Murphy=- says his friends call him “the comeback kid.” Murphy has earned the depiction.

    His St. Petersburg, Fla., high school team was 0-10 his junior year and 2-8 his final prep season — but Murphy won two national championships at the University of Florida. He was kicked off the Gators and suspended for three games early in his career due to a marijuana charge.
    —————-

    He is so BADDDDD THAT HE WAS THEIR CAPTAIN LAST YEAR! STUPID FCK!

  • RaiderRockstar

    Rey Malalala will be a bust in Cincy …

    their defense stinks every year despite what players they acquire in the draft

    Marvin Lewis should have got canned 2 years ago.

    As long as Chad Johnson is there to rip apart the locker room they will finish with 6 wins or less. Trade the man

  • Brien the General 510

    Rey will not be a bust. No way

  • Some on this blog chewed over every square inch of this draft for 2 months. And to be so off base, is surprising.

    Many were skeptical of the sterotypical knee-jerk proclivities of Al Davis, well guess what?

  • 4evaRaider

    yes he is a high outstanding individual

  • Brien…#654 looks kind of familiar! Aren’t you at least putting Mitchell in there somewhere, just so Al can pound his chest and claim he drafted an opening day starter?

  • Brien the General 510

    Louis Murphy is an excellent pick people. I’m not upset having him on my team

  • vegas raider

    Some said that no way would SD pass on the local guy Rey-Rey. They almost got the chance to pass on him twice.

  • RaiderRockstar

    who will replace Javon Walker in the starting lineup when he gets hurt again?

    Higgins, Schilens, Shields or Murphy?

    obviously DHB starts on one side …

  • Brien the General 510

    Dakota Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 1:19 pm
    Brien…#654 looks kind of familiar! Aren’t you at least putting Mitchell in there somewhere, just so Al can pound his chest and claim he drafted an opening day starter?

    Dakota………..nope. Its a joke man

  • Alisgod, you are clearly retarded, lol. Sorry to point it out to everyone.

  • vegas raider

    Brien the General 510 Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 1:18 pm
    Cincy will drastically improve VR. Trust that. Their defense has improved and Palmer has someone watching his back.

    *********************************

    Drastically improve in that division?? They will be lucky to break .500 in a few years. Smith and Rey will figure out the Cincy way real quick. Not quite the Alabama or USC of the NFL, yadidamean.

  • What will the “new Al Davis” do next Alisgod? I hope he fields a winning team. That would be change I could believe in.

  • Cincy, please cut Levi Jones, Al and Cable please sign him!

  • alisgod

    Dakota,

    You stupid fck. You are going to be my biatch today.

    Only you would bring an argument against your own logic.

    1. Why do you think they call Murphy the comeback kid?
    2. Why do you think they made him Captain last year and they won a championship?

    Please know your schytt before you blab.

  • Ryan

    Joseph got busted for pot, also. Now the Raiders just need to get Leroy Hill and the three of them, (Murphy, Joseph and Hill) can chill together. Maybe invite Seabass and Walker.

  • vegas raider

    I like the two WR’s we got, and the two DE’s and TE seemed like good value.

    I am hung up on this Mitchell guy. He is the Kimbo Slice of the draft until proven otherwise. All hype and “cool” you tube videos.

  • alisgod

    Dakota Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 1:24 pm
    What will the “new Al Davis” do next Alisgod? I hope he fields a winning team. That would be change I could believe in.

    ———————

    Hey you dubm fck. Winning starts with attitude. We finally got the right attitudes in our locker room and you whine like a bitch.

  • DKnight007

    RaiderRockstar Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 1:01 pm
    I told everyone here that we aren’t interested in high profile vet WR’s like Boldin, Edwards or Burress.

    I told everyone is here that we would not draft a DT or MLB.

    I told everyone that WR was a huge need that we would address in the draft.

    Looks like I got blasted for no good reason …

    DHB was a huge reach. I might be the biggest Raider fan in here and even I can admit that.

    Davis/Cable don’t care about “reaches”. Paying him #7 overall type money is only a problem if he doesn’t produce and who says he can’t?

    draft “experts” always talk about value for the pick. Davis/Cable target players they want and they go get them.

    ^^^^^^
    Sounds like you were on the ball RR and most of us Raider fans were on a completely different page. Which is interesting, yet disturbing. We could have got Rey Rey, Everette Brown, Ron Brace, Jarron Gilbert, Jamon Meredith, Jasper Brinkley.

    I was so agitated and pissed on saturday night that I didn’t even bother watching Day 2 yesterday and it was an easy decision to go visit my grandfather at his grave site on his B-Day with my family and not give a crap about the Raiders Day 2 Draft Day.

    DHB’s main motivation better be to prove the naysayers WRONG, every day from here on out and work with his idol Jerry Rice. I’m not worried about Mitchell playing with a chip on his shoulder….cause he will.

    All DHB has to do is play hard, work hard, play with confidence when route running, and his main PRIORITY should be to just CATCH THE DAMN BALL first and foremost. Everything else after he catches the ball should be fine.

    If he starts dropping passes….thats when us fans will want the old mans head on a platter!

  • Brien the General 510

    Ryan Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 1:26 pm
    Joseph got busted for pot, also. Now the Raiders just need to get Leroy Hill and the three of them, (Murphy, Joseph and Hill) can chill together. Maybe invite Seabass and Walker.
    *************
    Fuk all that. I’m going to that party! Welcome to the yay area!

  • Ryan

    I don’t think Mitchell was hyped. Most of the “experts” never saw film on the guy.

  • alisgod

    vegas raider Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 1:27 pm
    I like the two WR’s we got, and the two DE’s and TE seemed like good value.

    I am hung up on this Mitchell guy. He is the Kimbo Slice of the draft until proven otherwise. All hype and “cool” you tube videos.
    ————–

    I’ve been waiting for someone to bring up the Kimbo Slice argument. Here is the diff…Kimbo was fighting nobodys. Mitchell was lighting up those guys in Red Jerseys…you know OSU.

    As a matter of fact, look at the tube again…early in the vid, see how he was playing the right side and at the last second recognized the pass down the middle…see how fast he changed his hips and recovered and how leveled that OSU receiver?

    There is another shot of him still counting the offense when the play started, see how fast he went from playing the left side to switching back to the right and leveled that receiver?

    That’s what I look at. What do you guys look at?

  • MikieG

    Dakota #256 was priceless, nice one!

  • Brien the General 510

    vegas raider Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 1:22 pm
    Brien the General 510 Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 1:18 pm
    Cincy will drastically improve VR. Trust that. Their defense has improved and Palmer has someone watching his back.

    *********************************

    Drastically improve in that division?? They will be lucky to break .500 in a few years. Smith and Rey will figure out the Cincy way real quick. Not quite the Alabama or USC of the NFL, yadidamean.

    B-more wont sneak up on folks this year. Cleveland is on the same level as cincy and Pitt is still Pitt. Going 500 would be a bad season really. I see the Bengals winning and playing better than you think

  • Sorry Alisgod, only a retard like you would proclaim that a “new Al Davis” has emerged who is allowing Cable to bring in “high character guys” when one of the guys we drafted was suspended from his team for multiple games and the LT we signed was convicted of DUI and when on a rampage about the city he was playing in.

    Did your mother take too many meds while you were in the oven?

  • RaiderRockstar

    DKnight007: Cleveland drafted Braylon Edwards 3rd overall and he dropped the most passes in the league last year

    He became a pro bowler and is HOT on the trade market!

    We drafted DHB 7th overall. now that is a value pick

    haha

  • M Lonetree

    Damn the Whiners across the Bay. And I don’t mean about CrustaceanTree.

    How cool would it have been to have Slade, Stryker and Bear as consecutive draft picks. Those guys can make the All-Nagurski team.

  • maybe they have the right attitude, they still have the wrong position to help the team…

  • Crow

    # priesttj Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Brien come on man they are essentially the same size. Raji 6′ 2″ Brace 6′3″ both right at 330.

    Sands sucks! OK and you know this how? The coaches BRien wether you believe or not POUR over the film of the past year they then look at FA’s and what the draft has to offer. Marshall and Dwain Board watched more film of that line than all of us put together.

    Except they know what they’re looking for. they could’ve taken Raji and Brace and they didn’t……….what does that tell you.

    Oh! for get it……….this crap is pointless.

    Remember we’re fans, they know what they need.

    _______________________________________________________________

    You don’t really believe any of those coaches had any say at all in this draft, do you?

    Dumbasses.

  • DirtyRaccoon

    Next years draft should be heavy on the DL,

    If Super Mario is not os super then C. Black from LSU.

  • Crow

    # RaiderRockstar Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 1:33 pm

    DKnight007: Cleveland drafted Braylon Edwards 3rd overall and he dropped the most passes in the league last year

    He became a pro bowler and is HOT on the trade market!

    We drafted DHB 7th overall. now that is a value pick

    haha
    ______________________________________________________

    If Edwards were “hot” on the trade market, he wouldn’t still be a Brown.

  • DirtyRaccoon

    Russell Okung

  • RaiderRockstar

    I hope we crush the 49ers in the preseason.

    Who’s gonna cover DHB?

    35 year old Walt Harris? good luck …

  • NW Raider

    KoolKell Says:
    April 27th, 2009 at 11:51 am
    Draft a project at #7????????????????????????????????
    .—————————————————-
    why not? we took one at # 1 two years ago

  • OAKlifer

    Double R!!!

    Good day brotha… thanks for the info BTG510,

    In shock was I and I like the kid….2wr tho??? no dt??? and a questionable lb and de…..hmmmm…WOW.. just WOW….I hope In ten years I can call cable one of my hero’s…..

  • RaiderRockstar

    Cable only has a 2 year window to succeed or fail.

    I hope these players he lobbied to draft pan out. His job depends on it!

    more change at HC = more losing

  • onceuponatimeinthewest

    Sat, Aug 30 Eastern Washington W 49-24 —
    Sat, Sep 6 at Nevada W 35-19 —
    Sat, Sep 13 Southern Methodist W 43-7 —
    Sat, Sep 20 Massachusetts W 56-14 —
    Sat, Oct 4 at Kansas State W 58-28 —
    Sat, Oct 11 Nebraska W 37-31 —
    Sat, Oct 18 at Texas A&M W 43-25 —
    Sat, Oct 25 at (19) Kansas W 63-21 —
    Sat, Nov 1 (1) Texas W 39-33 —
    Sat, Nov 8 (8) Oklahoma State W 56-20 —
    Sat, Nov 22 at (5) Oklahoma L 21-65 —
    Sat, Nov 29 Baylor W 35-28

    The best thing we didnt do was draft CrabDiva Are you kidding me look at who he played against.Im not saying DHB is the next Rice but I wonder what his #s would of been had Harell been his QB

  • 90210

    This ia a very sad draft, Jerry you must be Al’s puppet cuz all that S H I T that is coming out of your mouth regarding the column that your suppose to write. Mr. don’t put too much stock in it, because I don’t I just can’t believe you said weren’t you high on Crabtree? You should write on how rediculous this orginization looked on Saturday!

  • chargerschoke

    Mr Davis are you still going to hire a GM? I’m tired of people criticizing you and I want to wear my Raiders gear without getting laughed at.

  • chargerschoke

    This organization is just too loyal to it’s players, telling a free agent we won’t draft a offensive tackle if he signs was wrong, we really need a GM who is all business and competition, one who tells them one thing but will change his mind quickly to improve the organization, the players are too well paid to be loyal to, when they want a contract renegotiated and hold out they certainly isn’t any loyalty there, in the NFL it should be appease your fans and ticket holders before appeasing spoiled players!

  • 90210

    Jerry your a F U C K I N’ I D I O T ! ! ! ! !
    You two face little F U C K E R ! ! ! ! !
    Go back under that old goats desk you hyprocrite little B I T C H ! ! !
    All that s h i t talkin about how Crabtree is the best reciever and how you would jump on drafting him, now your all for what a joke of picks we got! You should write about how stupid and pathetic this organization looked on Saturday you little b i t c h ! ! !

  • South FLA Raider

    I am glad we picked up Frantz from FAU. I called his name several times over the weekend following the draft on this blog, but we passed on him. Good move for the Raiders. He will replace Morrison in the middle, write it down! This guy knows how to play football.