I spent so much time talking about the 49ers draft, cause, let's face it, it's no secret I'm partial to the San Francisco teams, but when I started this site, I wanted to broaden my horizon's and since then, I've been paying close attention to the Oakland teams. However, we don't talk as much Raider talk here as we do A's talk purely because the Raiders have been a laughing stock the last few years, and unfortunately, they didn't do too much in the draft to help themselves out.
Instead of taking a player who cold maybe come in and help their wretched quarterback position, the guy I thought they would take when he fell as fare as he did, was Ryan Mallet. There was first round talent still on the board when the Raiders selected, and talent that met their needs. Outside of Mallet, who would have been perfect competition for Jason Campbell at QB, their were guys like Clemson's Da'Quan Bowers, a top-5 pick minus the off-field issues that shouldn't be an issue. There was big linebacker out of Georgia, Justin Houston sitting there, a guy PFL had in it's the top-35 or even DT Marvin Austin, who could come in and start right away in the Raiders 4-3 defense. It's not the selection of Wisniewski that should irritate Raiders fans, it's the fact that the Raiders could have gotten him with one of their other 9 low-round picks that they stockpiled for some odd reason, as he was a 123 ranked prospect and probably wasn't on any one's minds as far as the first 3 rounds
After the Wisniewski (pictured) pick, the Raiders continued to reach for their typical speed and leap skill guys rather than targeting actual solid football players. With pick 81, they selected cornerback DeMarcus Van Dyke who apparently the Raiders love because they saw his incredible speed and immediately had visions of him returning kicks and in defensive backfield in passing situations with that speed. Problem is, he's not a great cover guy, and the Riaders passed on 2, much better cover corners in Johnny Patrick out of Louisville and Brandon Harris out of Miami (though they would have had to take him in the 2nd round to get him). So I didn't really like that pick either. I even hated their 2nd pick in round 3 even more, Joseph Barksdale, a complete project lineman out of LSU where he got moved around so much because he didn't fit anywhere. At that point, I knew the Riaders were just going to go after guys they had on their minds. I mean, they had countless opportunities to nab Ryan Mallet in the 2nd and 3rd rounds, and passed. I just don't get that. They passed on Randall Cobb, a guy who some think may come in and be the offensive rookie of the year in the NFL, a polished receiver, not a track-star like Heyward-Bay.
Here are the rest of the Riaders picks- in parenthesis, I have players who they passed on for those picks. These picks do take into consideration Day 2's choices:
4th Rnd.) Chimedi Chekwa, CB, Ohio St. (OLB Chris Carter, Fresno St. )
5th Rnd.) Tawain Jones, RB, East Washington ( QB Ricky Stanzi, Iowa) *
5th Rnd.) Denarius Moore, WR, Tennessee ( WR Dwayne Harris, ECU)
6th Rnd.) Richard Gordon, TE, Miami ( TE Virgil Green, Nevada)
7th Rnd.) David Ausberry, WR, USC ( S Joe Lefeged, Rutgers)
*Another RB! Really, Al!
So in my version of the Raider draft, they end up with Mallet in the 2nd, Patrick in the 3rd then just switch out Stanzi and WR Tandon Doss in order to provide Mallet with as many receiving weapons as possible. Tawain Jones is the one pick I actually liked, but I didn't get unless they have plans to deal Bush or McFadden... Anyway, those would have been my selections, judging on what was available at the time of pick, if I ran the Raider war-room. Instead, they focused on 6', 180 pound running/defensive backs that run and run some more, as well as versatile lineman? You gotta be thinking disappointing draft if your a member of the "Nation".
So, in essence, I wouldn't have made one choice the Raiders did on draft day, and for that, I have no choice but to give them- Overall Draft Grade: F