Raider Draft Prospects

The Raiders will select in the 1st, 4th, 6th and 7th rounds of the NFL Draft on April 26-27 in New York City. The Raiders lost a coin flip against the Atlanta Falcons and subsequently will select 4th overall in the first round.

1st Round

The Raiders have a few top players from which they can choose from.

Glenn Dorsey, DT

Dorsey was a beast on the defensive line during his years at LSU. He would fit into our 4-3 defensive scheme as a three technique to take over from the retired Warren Sapp. Dorsey will attract a double team every time and this will free up our linebackers to stop the run. He is also very good as a pass rusher, recording 69 tackles, 12.5 TFL and 7 sacks his senior season. He is explosive off the line, and is extremely strong. It is incredible that he may not even fall to the Raiders, since either Miami or St. Louis could take him with their picks. However, Dorsey’s knee injury could still be a concern.

Chris Long, DE/OLB

Do I even need to mention how awesome this pick could be? Raider HOFer Howie Long’s son playing in silver and black would be a dream come true. Not to mention that he is an excellent DE. It has been rumored that Rob Ryan is looking to incorporate a 3-4 scheme as well, and Long can also play OLB. Long can blow by offensive lineman with his club move, and will not give up on plays. He finished his senior season with 79 tackles, 19 TFL and 14 sacks, which is extremely impressive.

Sedrick Ellis, DT

The big debate for the Raiders will be whether to select Glenn Dorsey or Sedrick Ellis if both are available. Sedrick is very quick off the line, and since he is only 6’0, his leverage enables him to get past offensive lineman. He is probably the strongest defensive tackle available and would be just as good at the three technique as Dorsey. Ellis had a huge Senior Bowl, bowling through every offensive lineman in practice and sacking the QB for a safety during the game. He can also play nose tackle if Rob Ryan decides to use some 3-4 packages.

Darren McFadden, RB

McFadden carried the entire Arkansas team and should have won the Heisman this year. Not to mention that he ran all over the vaunted LSU defense during the Razorbacks’ upset win. As a running back, McFadden is fast and does not go down with initial contact. He also has great hands and can catch the ball out of the backfield and take it down field. During his junior season he ran for 1,620 yards and 14 TDs with a 5.9 yards per carry average. At 6’2″ 215 lbs, he has the strength to offer solid pass protection.

Jake Long, OT

Long is the premier offensive lineman of this draft class, and the Raiders need a left tackle to replace Barry Sims. The Raiders did get burned after drafting Robert Gallery with the second overall pick in the 2004 draft. At 6’ 6” 320 pounds, Long is surprisingly quick on his feet and has good hands. He is also good at run-blocking and can beat the speed rush although Vernon Gholston did torch him during this year’s Ohio State-Michigan game. Long could hold down the left tackle spot for the Raiders for a decade, and partnered with Robert Gallery at left guard, could be great protection for Jamarcus Russell’s blindside.

Who to draft?

The Raiders really need to address the defensive side of the ball, especially after Warren Sapp’s retirement and the disappearance of Terdell Sands on the defensive line. It is a great coincidence that two of the best defensive tackles in college football are easily within the Raiders’ grasp. If one is selected before the Raiders are on the clock, the decision will be that much easier. However, if both are available, the NFL combine could determine which defensive tackle the Raiders will select. If Chris Long is available, the Raiders will easily make him our top pick. But, I am already counting him as drafted by the Dolphins. McFadden would be the obvious pick to casual fans but the running back position is not a high priority for the Raiders. Michael Bush is an amazing player, and after coming back from injury could be our starter and if we resign Justin Fargas, we will have solid platoon at the position. Not to mention Lamont Jordan and Dominic Rhodes, who are still under contract. Our offensive line, still needs an upgrade at left tackle and possibly at center, but we should be able to address these problems in later rounds. Jake Long still has a high probability of being selected, but St. Louis also needs a left tackle to replace Orlando Pace.

2nd Round

Sam Baker, OT

Baker is a left tackle, with great hands and quick feet. Baker can be effectively used in Tom Cable’s zone-blocking scheme and will be an instant upgrade over current left tackle, Barry Sims.

Anthony Collins, OT

Collins is also a left tackle and works well in a zone-blocking scheme. Due to the fact that Sam Baker is likely to be selected in the first round, Collins is a solid selection with our second rounder.

James Hardy, WR

Hardy is 6-5 and ran a 4.47 40 yard dash. Enough said. We will be lucky if he falls this far.

2 responses

22 04 2008
4evaRaider

does anyone know who is courting the Falcons 4 the 3rd pick?

22 04 2008
Wilson

I think the Ravens may try to trade up to select Matt Ryan.

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