Moving at a methodical pace, the Oakland Raider front office has taken the same calculated approach with scouting potential draftees as it has in free agency. After waiting for the dust to settle, reports are slowly leaking out as to who the Oakland brass is eyeing for their draft date with destiny.
Heyward-Bey has long been rumored to be on Oakland’s radar after displaying “Raider Speed” by posting a 4.30 second 40-yard dash at the NFL draft combine in Indianapolis. Darrius enters the draft as an underclassman having forgone his final year of eligibility at the University of Maryland.
The now former Terrapin was thought to be a late round pick prior to the combine, but has since seen his draft value rise.
It would seem a reach for the Raiders to select him seventh overall in the draft as Heyward-Bey does not look to be worth either the price tag or expectations that come with a top 10 pick. In keeping with Al Davis tradition, Darrius is a former track star still learning the nuisances of the receiver position. He looks to be a raw talent, loaded with potential but might not have the immediate impact expected of a player selected in the top half of the first round.
However, there is plenty of trade speculation in the ’09 draft and many have begun to ponder the possibility of Oakland either dropping back in the first round or moving up from the second round. The driving force behind the move would seem that the Raiders are seeking to enter into the fray of receivers thought to be available in the middle to late selections of round one.
The Raiders are not turning a blind eye to their defensive needs. Last week the staff flew out to North Carolina to see a couple of defensive backs from Wake Forest and now appear to be peeking out of the windows of their Alameda offices to observe local talent.
The former Cal Bear is thought to be a third round selection, meaning he won’t hear his name called until the second day of the draft. None the less, the pass rushing outside linebacker is getting some attention from the neighboring San Francisco 49ers and the Buffalo Bills among a list of other teams.
With a few rumors of work outs having been debunked, it would appear that the Raiders are finally beginning to show some of their draft cards. The focus for round one would appear to be offensive, specifically receiver, and the second to later rounds have the look of being defensive.
So far none of the big names in the draft have found their way into the Raider wheelhouse for observation. One can anticipate a few more reports to surface between now at the time that the Raiders are on the clock.