By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Friday, April 15th, 2011 at 8:08 am in Oakland Raiders.
Third in a series
The Raiders are scheduled for one selection in the fourth round of this year’s NFL draft, No. 113 overall.
Here’s a ranking of their fourth-round picks since returning to Oakland in 1995:
1. RB Michael Bush, Louisville (100-2007): First pick of Day 2 lost final season at Louisville to badly broken ankle. The Raiders rehabbed him for a year and got a nice payoff _ 376 carries, 1,665 yards and 14 touchdowns. Had career best 137 yards on 25 carries in last year’s finale with Darren McFadden injured. Not under contract, but count on him Raiders keeping him around.
2. WR Louis Murphy, Florida (124-2009): If first-round pick Darrius Heyward-Bey had Murphy’s two-year stats (75 catches, 1,130 yards, six touchdowns), the top pick that year wouldn’t seem like such a reach. Murphy has performed at a higher level than DHB since the day he arrived.
3. WR Jacoby Ford, Clemson (108-2010): Based on rookie season (25 catches, 470 yards, 2 TDs, 10 rushes, 155 yards, 2 TDs, 53 kickoff returns, 12,80 yards, 3 TDs) one of the true steals of the 2010 draft. Possibly devalued by new rule moving kickoffs to 35, but if Ford improves on receiving-rushing numbers, he could move to the top of this list.
4. S Tyvon Branch, Connecticut (100-2008): Coaching staff thinks two-year starter is a potential star at strong safety. Has 171 tackles and three forced fumbles in last two seasons, but has whiffed on his share and needs to be better against the pass.
5. LB Mike Morton, North Carolina (118-1995): Started 17 games at right inside linebacker, including 11 times in 1997. That was on the infamous “last against, last against the pass” defense.
6. OL Bruce Campbell, Maryland (106-2010): Looks like Campbell will be given a chance to start in the new regime this year, which could vault him into the Bush-Murphy-Ford-Branch realm.
7. C-G Gennaro DiNapoli, Virginia Tech (109-1998): Inactive for 12 of 16 games as a rookie. Suited up four times, did not play. Started nine games in 1999 before finishing season on injured reserve with an injury. Started 16 games for Tennessee Titans in 2002.
8. WR Carlos Francis, Texas Tech (99-2004): Track sprinter returned 14 kickoffs for 259 yards as a rookie, suffered a knee injury and never recovered. Spent a second season on injured reserve.
9. DT Junior Ioane, Arizona State (107-2000): A 320-pound defensive tackle who played in nine games in two seasons, with two tackles and one assist and one sack. Played three seasons with the Houston Texans, starting give games.
10. RB Chad Levitt, Cornell (123-1997): Played in 10 games as a rookie with two starts, caught two passes for 24 yards, rushed twice for three yards and returned one kickoff 12 yards.
11. LB Slade Norris, Oregon State (126-2009): Briefly promoted to 53-man roster as a rookie after opening the season on the practice squad. Last seen doing the same in Seattle.
12. CB John Bowie, Cincinnati (110-2007): Drafted with the pick acquired for wide receiver Randy Moss. Played in five games in two seasons (predominantly on special teams) and had one tackle. While Moss was tearing it up in New England, safety Jarrod Cooper said dryly, “Well, at least we got Bowie.”
13. WR Arman Shields, Richmond (125-2008): An impressive combine performance fooled Raiders into believing he was progressing nicely from knee injury as a senior. He wasn’t.
14. S Darnell Bing, USC (101-2006): Physical specimen who couldn’t stick as a safety or linebacker.
15. DE Shurron Pierson, South Florida (129-2004): Played in six games as a rookie failing to make a statistical column. He didn’t make the roster in his second season, was signed by the Chicago Bears, and played in six games, making one tackle.
16. WR Dameane Douglas, Cal (102-1999): Hugely productive wide receiver at Cal, Douglas lacked speed and immediately irked by Jon Gruden by wearing sunglasses to his first team meeting. He didn’t make it out of training camp.
NOTABLE FOURTH ROUND PICKS IN RAIDERS’ HISTORY
– WR Cliff Branch, No. 98 in 1972 out of Colorado, couldn’t catch a cold as a rookie and developed into the classic Raiders’ deep threat. Clutch player who excelled in postseason and outperformed Lynn Swann, should be in the Hall of Fame.
– DE Greg Townsend, No. 110 in 1983 out of Texas Christian, was a fast and relentless pass rusher who had 107.5 of his 109.5 career sacks as a Raider from 1983 through 1994. Had 10.5 sacks as a rookie on the Raiders’ last Super Bowl championship team with career high of 13 in 1991.
– C Dave Dalby, No. 100 in 1972 out of UCLA, took over for Hall of Famer Jim Otto and the Raiders didn’t miss a beat. A starter in two of the club’s three Super Bowl championships, made one Pro Bowl.
– RB Charlie Smith, No. 110 in 1968 out of Utah, was an underrated runner-receiver who had 3,351 yards rushing and 24 touchdowns and added 141 catches for 1,596 yards and 10 scores. Played in 95 games with 65 starts.
– RB Clarence Davis, No. 97 in 1971 out of USC, is best known for his “Sea of Hands” touchdown catch to beat Miami in the 1974 playoffs but had 3,640 yards rushing with a career high of 787 in 1987. Had career-best 137 yards on 17 carries against Minnesota in the Raiders’ first Super Bowl win.
– DE Tony Cline, No. 102 in 1970 out of Miami, was a solid starting left end in 56 games from 1970 through 1975.
– WR Napoleon McCallum, No. 108 in 1986 out of Navy, played with the Raiders in 1986 as a rookie with 536 yards rushing before his obligations as a Naval officer took him away for three years. Finished with 790 yards rushing and six touchdowns, his career ending with a gruesome knee injury in the 1994 season opener against the 49ers in San Francisco.
– WR Raghib Ismail, No. 100 in 1991 out of Notre Dame, was considered a first-round talent whom the Raiders got in the fourth round because he was playing in the Canadian Football League. Never achieved stardom with the Raiders his skill seemed to merit, but still a nice fourth-round find _ 88 catches, 1,357 yards and nine touchdowns in three seasons before he was traded to Carolina. Also returned kickoffs, although he didn’t score a touchdown.
– QB Steve Beuerlein, No. 110 in 1987 out of Notre Dame, showed some promise in 15 starts in 1988 and 1989 with 15 starts, but complained about his contract publicly and ended up holding a clipboard for a year before escaping to Dallas, Arizona, Jacksonville, Carolina and Denver.
– G Mickey Marvin, No. 112 in 1970, was a distinguished starter on two Super Bowl champions as a right guard and remains with the organization as a scout.
RANKING RAIDERS’ DRAFTS BY ROUND
Links to previous rankings of Raiders’ drafts by round: