Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Raiders Report

I've been primarily focused on the 49ers and their draft over the last couple of weeks, and I haven't had much of a chance to really look at what's going on with the Raiders. Today, I wanted to take a look at the Raiders draft and give my 2 cents on the JaMarcus Russell situation.

First off, the Raiders draft was one the the better ones that they've put together in recent memory. Instead of drafting on potential, the Raiders actually drafted guys who are polished football players. Their first round pick, Rolando McClain, was picked to go towards the middle of the first round, but the Alabama stud was far and away the best linebacker in the draft. He's big, quick and has tremendous power in the open field. Scouts even compare him to Patrick Willis, and the Raiders are going to hope to get that type of production. No matter what though, he's going to help the Raiders, much more than their first rounders over the last 3 years have, that's for sure. In the second round, the Raiders grabbed Texas defensive tackle, Lamarr Houston, who will have a shot to win a starting spot on the Raiders defensive line in training camp. Houston is another guy who is a powerful inside player who is known for his ability to stop the run. The biggest wild card in the Raider draft though came in the 4th round when they added physical specimen Bruce Campbell. The 6'7", 300 pounder has a lot to learn, but is one of the most athletic big men to play the tackle position ever. If he gets the technique down and can learn to play at the NFL level, he's going to be a stud. He's about as quick as a linebacker and is built like a big offensive tackle.

One position the Raiders didn't address during the draft was the quarterback, but they will have a new QB under center when the 2010 season kicks-off. That will be former Redskin Jason Campbell. Most thought the addition of Campbell signaled the end of JaMarcus Russell's career in Oakland, but there has yet to be any move made with Russell. The Raiders even added another quarterback in addition to Campbell, former Raven and Ram Kyle Boller. It looks as if Russell is now third on the depth chart and at 10+ million dollars per year, he's an expensive third stringer to say the least. There are some that want to give Russell some more time, but I don't see this guy ever figuring it out in Oakland. I think his confidence here is shot, and he's never going to get the full support and trust of the fans. He needs a change of scenery. I'm sure the Raiders are trying to find a situation where they don't need to just release and maybe can get something for him, even if it is just a late round draft pick. Whether he's in the Silver and Black in 2010 or not though, as long as Campbell's around, Russell's never going to be "the man" again in Oakland.

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