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Friday, February 23, 2007

The Latest

With only one Quarterback, Andrew Walter, returning to our organization, there has been a lot of speculation flying around about the draft and potential trade candidates. There are two potential trades that I could see having some sort of credibility to them.

Trade Scenario 1
Trade Randy Moss to the Jaguars for Leftwich and some sort of draft pick package.

The good thing about this trade is that we get rid of Randy Moss and get compensation for doing so. The bad part is that Leftwich hasn't really done anything the last few years to prove he can lead a team effectively. Overall, I wouldn't say this is a bad trade. Even if Leftwich doesn't start, he would be valuable as a second Quarterback. This trade seems to be a little far-fetched to me. I can't see the Jaguars wanting to part with Leftwich because Garrard isn't a capable starter and there aren't many others available.

Trade Scenario 2
Trade a draft pick (3rd/4th) for Texans QB David Carr

David Carr hasn't done much in a Texans uniform but I don't think there are many players that could have. A third or fourth round pick for him seems like a pretty decent deal. I am one of the few that actually thinks David Carr is a good Quarterback.

My Ultimate Offseason Scenario

1) Trade our 3rd or 4th round draft pick for David Carr.
2) Trade Randy Moss to the Jaguars for Leftwich and draft pick compensation.
3) Swap first round picks with the Browns and acquire an additional pick.
4) Draft either Adrian Peterson or Joe Thomas with the first round pick.
5) Try to sign a veteran Offensive Gaurd during Free Agency.

This would give us three Quarterbacks with starting experience on our roster. We could open up a three way battle in training camp and hopefully be left with a quality quarterback as our starter. The other benefit is that all three of these guys still have quite a few years left in them. Leftwich is extremely unlikely but we can still get a decent guy if we decide to take a QB in the second round. Of course doing so would admit we are giving up on Andrew Walter.

If we were to draft Joe Thomas and sign a veteran gaurd our offensive line would be immediately improved. Gallery could move back to Right Tackle, where he had his best season, and our current Gaurds could battle it out for the remaining starting position. If we went with Adrian Peterson, we should try to retain Barry Sims and have him at Left Tackle.

All five of these things happening are very unlikely but I could see 2 or 3 of them working out.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Raiders Draft Outlook: Running Backs

The top Running back in the upcoming draft is Adrian Peterson. Peterson has all of the skills to become a great NFL back but his injuries may make some teams shy away. He is the only Running Back in the draft that can realistically be considered with the first overall pick but there are some other decent options if we decide to trade some picks or players around.

Cal's Marshawn Lynch is projected to be a mid first round pick, with a likely landing spot in Green Bay at pick 16. He also has all the skills needed to succeed in the NFL but the only way we would land him is by trading down or somehow acquiring another first round pick. It is unprobable that he will end up wearing the silver and black but you never can tell what Al Davis has up his sleeve.

The other Running Backs with first round potential are Kenny Irons and Michael Bush. One of these two guys could be a likely choice if we are able to trade up into the back half of the first round. Auburn has produced some decent NFL running backs and Irons could be the next. The 2008 draft may have one of the best running back classes in years if some underclassmen declare so we could wait until then to use a first round pick on a running back.

While it may seem unlikely that we will be able to draft a running back in the first round, it could be the only solution to a poor running game. The free agent market will be pretty bare with quality backs and Lamont Jordan hasn't got what it takes to keep up with the other AFC West runners. Another option could be a trade for a talented back like Clinton Portis but talented backs will come at a high price.

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Raiders Draft Outlook: Quarterbacks

With our current draft position, there are a couple of Quarterbacks that could warrant a look. The first and most likely choice is Jemarcus Russell. Russell is the most physically gifted of the Quarterbacks in the upcoming draft and can throw a deep ball that will make Al Davis drool. He is currently the first or second Quarterback selected in most Mock Drafts and his stock will not drop after the combine due his remarkable physical skills. He is a bit raw and may need a little time to develop properly but he could be worth the wait. If he is drafted, there is a good chance he could sit on the bench his first season. If that is the case, look for us to either keep Aaron Brooks on the roster or pick up another veteran Quarterback for the upcoming season.

Another viable option is Brady Quinn. His stock may be dropping slightly after a poor bowl game outing but he may be the most NFL-ready Quarterback in the draft. I have a feeling that Quinn will drop a few picks after the NFL combine and won't be considered with the first overall pick in the draft. The main knock on Quinn is he can't win the big games. The majority of his good stats came against weak opponents and when matched up against quality defenses he struggled. If he is drafted, he should be ready to start right away but he may be the next Rick Mirer.

Troy Smith could also be a decent NFL Quarterback. We know Al Davis likes Heisman Trophy winners but the only way we take him is if we trade down or he falls all the way to the second round. The main knock on Smith is his height but short Quarterbacks can still be successful, just look at Drew Brees. Smith is also a winner and the Raiders franchise could use a winner at Quarterback. Smith would be a decent pick if he does fall to the second round but our front office can't count on the possibility after Brohm and Brennan announced they are returning to school.

Of the three Quarterbacks listed, I think Russell would be the best fit for our organization. He has a cannon but may take a season or two to develop into a franshice type Quarterback. The best solution, in my mind, would be to start Andrew Walter while Russell is being groomed to see what we really have with Walter. If Walter pans out, we would end up in a similar situation as San Diego was in last season with Drew Brees and Philip Rivers but if he doesn't, we would have our next "Quarterback of the future" already on our roster.