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Thursday, May 21, 2009


For those who don't already know, I'll tell you.

The Raiders were laughed at on draft day for picking DHB over Crabtree and Maclin, especially by Kiper and Cris Carter. Al Davis doesn't pay my bills, I'm just a superfan and I was still hurt and upset by the critics. You know what though, I had to admit that they all had a point.

First, DHB shouldn't have went that high, true, when everyone said WHY NOT TRADE DOWN? Here's why, after the Jets made the move for Mark Sanchez, nobody was interested in the 7th from what I heard and read (sorry, I'm not even sure if my sources are reliable ,I'm a rookie) OK, so that made me feel a little better. In the draft, you set your sights on a guy and you get him, who cares what people say and what your draft position is. By the way, the Giants were ready to trade up to get this guy but who knows how far.

Number 2 - The pick appeared to be another Al Davis speed-freak special (see Mr.Jett) but after I reviewed all the background on this kid it appears as if Davis actually sat down with his staff and brainstormed (not sure how much storm ability he has left upstairs though) and weighed all of the pros and cons and figured out who would be the best fit for the offense and the team, not the athelete who had the best collegiate stats. Don't forget, DHB is a product of not only a pro-style offense but the West Coast style. This, I believe is a major point in the pro category for Oakland's pick here. The West Coast offense isn't an easy one to learn, hopefully the Raiders adopt some of the theories that Bill Walsh implemented way back when, some short horizontal passing to open up run lanes, then after the run is established the vertical lanes will open, this appeared to be the offensive scheme with Gannon under center. Granted the ACC isn't the most competitive college football conference in the country but the offensive stats in 2008 alone shows how effective DHB was in the West Coast offense. Of the 227 pass completions, DHB hauled in 42 of them while the other 185 were spread out to roughly 10 other players and he accounted for about 25 percent of all the rec. yards and a third of the rec. TD's, not to mention a little rushing thrown in there too (15 att., 202 yds., 1 TD if you are curious), and all the while he was teamed with a QB who was decent at best.

Lastly, character....plain and simple. Many have said that Crabtree is the most NFL ready WR but I just don't like the idea of drafting a guy who is; just a kid and he already travels with an entourage, is starting his career with a steel pin in his foot, has an attitude problem (“I’m not cocky at all. People talk, man, but I’m a cool guy. As for playing for the Raiders, no comment.”), and is a product of a spread offense.

In conclusion, I believe that it is the League versus the Raiders and it always will be. It isn't without just cause, I know. Boneheaded moves have been made in the past for sure but they have purged thier roster of locker room cancers and focused on youth and a positive winning attitude. Everything from Al moving to LA and back, all the way up to the most bloated contract ever given to a man who had 1 or 2 good receiving years and is hurt....a lot, Javon Walker, these things leave the franchise open for ridicule. Perfect example, Kiper laughed at the Mitchell pick in round 2 and made fun because this kid wasn't even invited to the combine only to backtrack after it was confirmed that Chicago called Mitchell and told him to stay by the phone because he was going to go to the Bears at 49. I was pissed to hear every NFL analyst covering the mini-camps taking shots at the rookie WR after sitting out practice a couple of weeks ago due to hammy strains, if you are going to quote, add the demeanor of the guy after the quotation marks. DHB said “Just tightened up,” My legs are a little too tight. Running too fast.” and then he laughed jokingly, this was more of a preventative measure than a real injury, just for the record Louis Murphy and Mitchell sat out as well. These kids just have to get used to NFL practices.

I hope this is a sign of things to come and these young players step up to the challenge, not just to win games but to prove the naysayers wrong, and believe me, there's an abundance of them. I firmly believe it all starts with the coaching staff that, hey guess what? We actually have in place for a second term, pretty much. That's another story though. Wish you luck DHB, make us proud.