The top 10 reasons why Michael Oher could be a Raider

michaeloher

With just over a week  remaining until the NFL draft is underway, the picture is as clear as a foggy morning in the East Bay. If the rumors of the Detroit Lions opening contract talks with Matthew Stafford have any legs to them, then they’d better go from a motivated walk to a full on sprint sooner than later. For the sake of our sanity – and to save my man Daniel Evans over at NFLMocks.com from having to anticipate another 100,000 different scenarios – Detroit needs to get the 2009 draft party started and put the Rams on the clock.

Depending on your view, the Oakland Raiders are in either a precarious or an auspicious position at number seven. With a multitude of options floating around out there, I’d like to whittle down the top 10 scenarios for the Oakland Raiders and present a conspiracy theory for selecting Michael Oher of Ole Miss.

 1) Michael Crabtree will be gone by the time Al Davis is on the clock: Forget about it Nation. This was wishful thinking from the start. That screw in Carbtree’s foot was only a tease. I don’t see him lasting past Seattle or even Kansas City for that matter. However, this writer doesn’t see that as a bad thing. I’m in the minority here, but I’m not buying the Crabtree hype. I think Crabtree will be a solid pro, but so is Antonio Bryant who was a second round pick. Brian Robiskie anybody?

2) There will be no swapping of first round picks: I am a subscriber in the “trade out of the top 10″ movement. Unfortunately, I think I’m the only one keeping that scenario in circulation. When asked about trading down on draft day, Tom Cable said, “It has to be an option.” Don’t get too anxious though, Cable followed with, “I don’t think there’s a lot of history to that [in Oakland].”

3)  Darrius Heyward-Bey is not “top 10″ material: Many have hoped the Raiders would stay true to form and select the fastest receiver in the draft . To me, the “Heyward-Bey to the Bay” movement is all posturing by the dhb1Raider brass. He’s got a lot of potential, but economics play into this and at this point in time he’s not worth the $20 million in guaranteed cash. More on why the Raiders worked out Heyward-Bey later.

4) Andre Smith is still a gamble: Despite Tom Cable’s glowing review of the dominating Alabama tackle, Andre Smith is still very much a question mark. Some have compared his skill level to that of Orlando Pace when he was pancakeing Big 10 defenders at will. However, none have stepped forward and defended Andre’s work ethic after the Bobby Petrino disappearing act he pulled off at the combine. Wait, that last statement is not exactly true. Nick Saban, his former head coach, came to Smith’s rescue. If you trust a single word that Saban utters, then you might want to dial anybody in the 305 and ask them about what Nick the Slick’s word is truly worth.

5) B.J. Raji alone cannot fix the run defense: Terdell Sands is not going to be confused with Albert Haynesworth anytime soon. But not even Fat Albert’s presence in Oakland could help with all the defensive issues. Perhaps Raji is a step in the right direction. But what good is Raji if Kirk Morrison is still out of position? How can Raji be a factor if the opposing QB is never blitzed? What good does it do to pay a defensive tackle more than $40 million if your scheme that has failed to stop the run for 6 years running doesn’t change? I’m not making a case against Raji. This is all about Al Davis, Tom Cable and John Marshall getting on the same page. Sorry B.J., you’re just collateral damage on this one.

6) Malcolm Jenkins cannot be an option for Oakland: After the combine, the top cornerback looked more like the top safety. To quote Brian Billick, “Corners who can’t run become safeties; safeties who can’t run become linebackers.” Jenkins might become a good NFL safety one day, but he does not have “Raider speed” and the last thing our roster needs is another money pit at the safety position. Forget about it!aaron-curry

7) Aaron Curry could be a Raider: Don’t laugh, this is a real scenario. Ignore all the hype out there surrounding the Wake Forest freak. There are some real questions that NFL general managers are mulling over. The biggest question surrounds Curry’s lack of a pass rushing prowess.  That  issue alone could spell a Brady Quinn-like moment on draft day for Curry as he falls out of the top 5. Hello Oakland! Maybe he’s not the answer, but I’m willing to guess that neither are Sam Williams or Ricky Brown. Oh, almost forgot to mention, I don’t think Brian Orakpo is either. I know I’ll get some heat for this, but I’m done with taking Longhorns in the top 10. Until one of these kids from Austin makes good on all that potential, I’d advise all NFL teams not to buy what Mack Brown is selling.  Also, if Curry slips then Eugene Monore and Jason Smith will be gone by the time Oakland’s clock starts, so go ahead and cross them off.

8 Matthew Stafford and Mark Sanchez aren’t even in the equation: There is a lot of JaMarcus Russell hatred out there, even among Raider Nation. No matter what your take is on J-Russ, it’s too early to tell. I don’t even want to list all the reasons why you can’t select quarterbacks in top 10 within three years of each other. Let’s just say that if you know your history, then you’ll understand that for young throwers it’s all about the second season as a full-time starter. But here is one great reason not to even think of going QB in the top 10 again: $ (cah-ching!).

9) Jeremy Maclin has no business being in anybody’s top 10: Yes, he’s going to make an immediate impact on special teams. Yes, he’s still got room for growth. Before you start to remind me of all your You Tube viewings of Maclin, keep in mind that he has been injury prone and has no clue how to run pro-style routes. Maclin is the kind of prospect that needs to prove he’s worth the top 10 price and not the kind who should be given an all-pro contract prior to his NFL debut. I’ll stick with Johnnie Lee Higgins if for no other reason than the fact that I’ve seen him play on Sundays and know what to expect.

10) Michael Oher could very well be the pick: I’m going out on my own on this one. No proof of anything, just a theory I’ve cooked up. Everyone has been so quick to talk of the big three (Jason Smith, Andre Smith, Eugene Monroe) yet it was Tom Cable who was very specific when he said “There’s four of them that are outstanding” when speaking of the offensive tackles in the draft. Here is my conspiracy theory. The Raiders worked out Heyward-Bey to put a little pressure on teams picking late in round one to trade up. Should there be no takers for the trade, Cable made sure to talk up Andre Smith, this time to pressure the teams picking ahead of Oakland. All the while the Raider coach was just hedging his bets to ensure Michael Oher is on the board no matter what when Oakland is on the clock. Stadning at 6’5″ and tipping the scales at 309 lbs, Oher has the ideal ZBS build. His upside is huge and he’s the kind of project Tom Cable would love to undertake.

So there you have it. I’m not advocating the selection of Oher. Heck, I’m not even saying it’s a real possibility. I’m just trying to connect the dots on a picture that’s changing every five minutes. For all I know, Eben Britton is the guy Tom Cable has been eyeing all along.

For what it’s worth, I see trading out of the top 10 as the best option in Oakland. There are too many needs and not enough help coming via free agency. Of course, I’ve already dispelled that happening, so take it for what it’s worth. Merely opinion sprinkled in with hopeful fanaticism. That’s about all we’ve got to hang our hat on in April.

Topics: Aaron Curry, Al Davis, Oakland Raiders, Raider Nation, Fans, Popular, Featured, Albert Haynesworth, Andre Smith, Antonio Bryant, B.J. Raji, Bobby Petrino, Brady Quinn, Brian Orakpo, Brian Robiskie, Darrius Heyward-Bey, Eben Britton, Eugene Monroe, JaMarcus Russell, Jason Smith, Jeremy Maclin, John Marshall, Johnnie Lee Higgins, Kirk Morrison, Mack Brown, Malcolm Jenkins, Mark Sanchez, Matthew Stafford, Michael Crabtree, Michael Oher, Nick Saban, Orlando Pace, Ricky Brown, Sam Williams, Terdell Sands, Tom Cable

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  • Rick Wascher

    I sure hope you’re right. I believe Maclin is the twin of JLH.Only JLH isn’t getting 40 million bucks to do the same job.We already have a QB that is earning big bucks and the only way to utilize that big arm is to give him some protection.It’s too bad we only have 5 picks because we’ve got a lot of holes to fill on both sides of the ball.

  • Mikey

    LMAO-”Terdell Sands is not going to be confused with Albert Haynesworth anytime soon. But not even Fat Albert’s presence in Oakland could help with all the defensive issues. Perhaps Raji is a step in the right direction. But what good is Raji if Kirk Morrison is still out of position? How can Raji be a factor if the opposing QB is never blitzed? What good does it do to pay a defensive tackle more than $40 million if your scheme that has failed to stop the run for 6 years running doesn’t change? ”

    So I guess we will just hope that all the guaranteed money we gave T.Kelley is going to stop the run?? I totally disagree, Raji will come in day one and collapse the pocket, pressure the
    quarterback and clog the middle against the run. I dont care whos out of place behind the line, if the line is getting split like the red sea and runningbacks are getting to the next level, you cant win in the NFL. And maybe when Cable was saying there were 4 outstanding “Tackles” in the draft you dont think he was talking about DT. He never specified nor should he. And if you think Curry will be there at 7 your crazy. He will not get by K.C. and the 3-4 they are switching to.

    TRADE DOWN!!!!!! or B.J. Raji. Best option for our glaring holes and it stars UPFRONT!!!! not behind the line. We could get a solid athlete to play LB in the later rounds. B.J. will produce and will earn his guaranteed money. Cant really say that about many others picked in that spot. Oher would be a waste of draft position and if he is in the cards we def. need to trade down and get him and maybe a Maualuga or Cushing.

  • Howie

    You hit the nail on the head, the Raiders have too many needs and not enough draft picks. I am a great organizer and have always had an ability to see the over all picture. It is my concerted opinion that the Raiders need to take care of the “O” line first with making it the very best in the NFL. So concentrate on the “O” line this year and the “D” line next year. A great “O” line sustains the run which elevates the game of everyone, including the defense by keeping them off the field and fresh. Al Davis’s hit and miss, bandaid approach has brought the Raiders six straight losing seasons and the scorn of the NFL. Lets bring back the swagger by fixing one unit at a time with real talent, talent that cannot be had in the lower rounds. Besides, I think John Marshall, the new DC in Oakland is a much better coach than Rob, I can’t see my toes Ryan and will do wonders for the “D” unit.

  • Chris Shellcroft

    I hear you Mikey. I like Raji and if he’s there at 7 I say take him. My concern is that Cable said Marshall’s “D” will be no different than Ryan’s. If that’s the case then what difference will Raji make? You can have all the talent but defense in the NFL is all about scheme and communication. Two things that never existed under Ryan. I hope you’re right and Raji alone will be the difference, but I doubt one DT can make that big a difference when you have other holes too.

    And Curry could seriously drop. I’m not saying he’s going to fall out of the top 10, but depending on trades and other issues, Curry could very well be there at number 7.

  • Mikey

    Their is no way Cable didnt see the impact of a good blitz scheme and their is no way in hell we arent more aggresive in that department. Although there is some validity to your post I have to agree to disagree to some degree. I think Crabtree is a gamer and yes he would be a luxury rather than need.
    And if he is there we take him and try to make up for it later in the draft (DT-OT-S) in that order. But we have no one on our line that can stop the run in the 4th quarter when its 3rd and 1 or 2. I agree we need OT to help the defense stay fresh, but if we cant get the ball in the offense hands then its a mute point, and it wasnt the offense that could get it done in the 4th quarter last year it was the D not able to stop the run late. Also if you ook at all the positions in the draft and the Raiders needs Raji is hands down the best at his position and one of the Raiders biggest needs (DT). And besides it doesnt take an elite tackle to be a dominant force in the Zone B.S. so I feel we could get great value later in round 2-3-or even 4. There are some great OL that will be available in round 2, like Wood,D.Robinson, A.Mack, Beatty to name a few. Or maybe even B.Robiskie in the second round. But I feel we spent to many draft choices on WR last year so unless its Crabtree I say Defense in the 1st and Raji may just be there for the taking.

  • cj

    YOUR STATEMENT ON RAJI IS TRUE,HE ALONE CANT STOP THE RUN…THIS IS WHY I’V BEEN PREACHING “REY” #1 THE WHOLE TIME!!! I’VE ASKED OVER & OVER WHATS THE DIFF.BETWEEN RAJI & BRACE, NO ONE HAS A GOOD ANSWER,SO IF EVERYONE KEEPS SAYING WE CAN GET BRACE #2,AND HE’S THE SAME AS RAJI?? THEN WE GET REY #1 BRACE #2 CHIP VAUGHN #3 AND YOU HAVE INSTANT RUN STOPPING IMPACT FROM DAY 1(MONDAY NIGHTER)BRACE AT THE POINT, REY BEHIND HIM,MORRISON NEXT TO RAY(STRONG SIDE)& CHIP VAUGHN IN THE BOX NEXT TO HOWARD!!

  • cj

    THINK OF THIS IF YOU GET RAJI #1 (WHOM I LIKE)THEN YOU MISS THE CHANCE OF PUTTING A GAP THUMPER BEHIND HIM…I LOVE MORRISON & HOWARD, BUT THEY WOULD BECOME EVEN MORE FORMIDABLE IF THEY PLAYED TO THEIR TALENTS RATHER THAN WATCHING THEIR MAN/GAP/ZONE AND COVERING FOR BROWN/BURGESS/SCOTT,LETS FACE IT THOSE GUYS ARE PASS RUSH ONLY! THE OPPOSING BACK WILL RUN AWAY FROM MORRISON AND TOO OUR D-ENDS AND BROWN AND HOWARD!!!

  • Mikey

    Good points.. But you watch the tape and decide for yourself, but Raji is a W.Sapp type player and I think his career turned out alright. You make some great points and thats what I have said before is the best thing to do would be trade down get Maualuga, H,Nicks or DHB or even B.Robiskie and Brace or best OT then DT in the third….either way you get the point. But I dont think for one Al has tooooo much pride to trade down. So Raji is the best player for the money that the selection at #7 will cost. He is going to be a solid player, you cant teach size and agility and this guy has it. So all Im saying if we stay and Crabtree is off Raji has to be the pick. The ZBS doesnt need a hall of famer to be productive in that system. And this is a deep draft for solid OL within the first 2 rounds. I would like to see us trade Fargas and Andrew for maybe a 2nd or high 3rd and things really get interesting!!! Your right on though, I beleive the defense is the quickest way to make an impact with this roster..

  • kep

    The trade down, while rare to Al’s Raiders, is intriguing. The raiders have needs at OT, WR, DT, DE, LB, and S. Excluding a miracle draft in rounds 1,2,3,4, and 6, stockpiling could gain a coveted 1st round pick such as Michael Oher, and picking up another pick or two. I would be happy with Oher, 1st, OT; Brian Robiskie, 2nd, WR; Ron Brace, 2nd, DT; Chip Vaughn, 3rd, S; Jason Williams, OLB, 4th.

  • Chris Shellcroft

    Kep,

    That might the best Raider mock I’ve seen. I think those picks are solid values for each round. There might not be a franchise player in any of those picks, but all look like the are set to be pros for a long time.

  • Raider Joe

    This scenario makes good sense. I wouldn’t be disappointed. I agree all the fans hoping Oakland will trade down are dreaming. Al won’t and never has. I have been in the Crabtree camp.Or more to the point the WR as top priority based on our inablilty to move the ball and score TD’s. I don’t follow college football all that close, so I rely on expert analysis.So,That said, my whole thing is: if they take a WR at 7 overall then it HAS to be somebody that than can start on day one, contribute immediately and make plays.Somebody that can make an immediate impact out of the gate. Like I said based on everything I’ve read, Crabtree is the WR fits that bill far better than any other WR in the draft.Now, I also agree that he probably won’t be on the board at #7.But if it’s a WR he has t be able to contribute immediately.

  • cj

    ya …those same experts pre-season picked cardinals to make it to the superbowl???…not…those same experts that said ryan leaf over payton…yah….those same experts who unanamously chose tampa bay to crush the raiders to get to the playoffs last year…ya …and i suppose they said miami and atlanta would have a complete turn around after being dismal??? ya those experts really saw the whole m.ryan resurecting atlanta as a rookie qb thing!!!! listen your just as much an expert.

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