Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Niners and Raiders Quick Take

Welcome to our first "real" sports post here at the Bay Area Sports Journal. This thing is still in the early stages of construction, but we have a basic platform down, and have a bunch of things to talk about, so I'm going to get things started today, June 2nd, 2009. I also wanted to point out that for more in-depth team news on the Giants or Warriors, check out The Giants Baseball Blog and The Warriors Rundown. We'll still talk about some of the things that go on with them on this site, but most of the stuff we'll save for those blogs so check 'em out.

Now, right off the bat, I'm going to tell you, we are sort of a San Francisco-biased Sports blog. If I had my choice, I must say, I'd rather sit down and watch the Giants or Niners over the A's and Raiders. Don't worry though Oakland fans, we'll still delve into Raiders and A's stuff when necessary. That said, since this blog just launched, and our other blogs are Giants and Warriors specific, I wanted to talk a little bit about the state of the Bay Area football franchises. Since we are brand new, we didn't get a chance to discuss the NFL draft, so I wanted to throw my two-cents in on the top picks for both the Raiders and Niners.

The 49ers are still probably sending their gratitude towards Al Davis and the Raiders for allowing them to grab Michael Crabtree, the drafts best all-around reciever, about 7-8 picks later than he should have gone. Crabtree finally gives the 49ers that high-profile receiving threat that they haven't had since Terrell Owens. The Niners also plan on throwing Crabtree into the mix right away as well, something they haven't really done with high-round receiver choices in recent years. And don't worry 'Niner fans, there is no chance that he ends up like the last receiver the Niners took at pick 10; it was J.J. Stokes in 1996. The kid from Texas Tech is the real deal. He's big and strong, and although he's not a burner, he still moves very well on the field and is very much a home run threat. In addition to his skills as a pass catcher, route runner and playmaker, the dude also is a force in the run game as well. He even made it a point in some of his draft-day interviews to mention that he loves blocking for the run and can't wait to get to do so for Frank Gore. The 49ers are also bringing him into the prime situation. He's got one of the best receivers from the last two decades, Issac Bruce, to learn from, and I'm sure some guy named Rice will pay him a few visits between now and kickoff '09 in September. Sure, they did need an offensive tackle, and they sure could have used a big, athletic defensive lineman that can get after the passer, but they took the best player available to them at pick 10, and I think it's going to pay huge dividends.

The Raiders were a little more of a mystery. Most educated football people had Darrius Heyward-Bey going around the mid/late second round at the earliest, but Al Davis decided to take the speedster from Maryland near the top of the first. Now, it's not that the kid doesn't have talent. It's just that his is more projectable than guys like Crabtree's and Jeremy Maclin's. He has a chance to be just as good as those two guys, based purely on athleticism, but he's nowhere near the route-taker as Maclin and has nowhere near the hands or physical prescence of a Crabtree right now. I don't want to keep beating this issue to death, because it is old news by now, so I'll stop there, but it's still beyond me why the silver and black passes up an opportunity to get JaMarcus Russell some help right now.

No comments: