Once up on a time, Larry Fitzgerald pondered the possibility of playing for the Raiders.
The Raiders had the No. 2 overall selection behind the San Diego Chargers. Fitzgerald, a consensus top five pick out of Pittsburgh was flown to Alameda for a pre-draft visit along. Also at the facility was the man the Raiders would eventually select with the pick.
“Me and Robert (Gallery) were out there together,” Fitzgerald told Bay Area reporters by conference call Wednesday. “I remember it vividly. I was out there with Mr. (Mike) Lombardi and got to meet Mr. Davis and the whole staff, organization.”
Fitzgerald said it really didn’t matter to him one way or the other which team selected him.
“You know what, at that time I was just elated to have the opportunity to play in the NFL, I could have cared less where I would be playing football, I just knew that I was about to embark on my lifelong drive and that was to play professionally, so I really didn’t have any preference as to where I was going to play,” Fitzgerald said.
The Raiders can hardly be faulted for taking Gallery, considered at the time one of the safest picks in the draft as a franchise left tackle. To be fair, many other teams would have made the same call. There was no way of knowing Gallery would eventually become a guard and be beset by injuries.
At the time, the Raiders felt pretty good about their receiving corps of Jerry Porter, Ronald Curry and Doug Gabriel. The following year, they would bring in Randy Moss.
Since that 2005 season, Fitzgerald has more receptions than any receivcer in the NFL (475) for 6,413 yards and 52 touchdowns. The Raiders recieving leaders during that span _ Jerry Porter, Ronald Curry (in 2006 and 2007), Johnnie Lee Higgins and Louis Murphy, combined for 249 receptions, 3,273 yards and 18 touchdowns.
But while Fitzgerald was available and brought in for a visit, it was purely for show. They never considered drafting him because he didn’t have a fast enough time in the 40-yard dash. Davis’ favorite receiver, I’ve been told by was Roy Williams out of Texas.
More to come later . . .