With the draft approaching, let's review our first round picks over the last 20 years. Let's go back to 1988 when we had not one but 2 stellar first round draft picks.
1988a: WR Tim Brown now owns all the Raider career recieving numbers and has represented the Raiders in the Pro Bowl 9 times...more than any other Raider and has a shot at the Hall of Fame.
1988b: DB Terry McDaniel is 3rd on the Raiders career INT list and was a 5 time Pro Bowler.
1989 we didn't have one but second round pick LG Steve Wisnewski (our highest that year) went on to become an 8 time pro bowler and potential Hall of Famer.
1990: DE Anthony Smith was a good pass rusher, but never a pro bowler.
1991: QB Todd Marinovich had a lot of high hopes and expectations from the fans and the RaiderNation, especially after Bo Jackson's career had just ended to a hip injury back in January, but the RaiderNation was greatful when Jay Schroeder became the starting quarterback at the end of the season again.
1992: DT Chester McGlockton was one of the highest respected Raiders ever after earning 4 pro bowl appearances. He was a major force and is greatly missed to this day.
1993: S Patrick Bates...I remember him from Texas A&M, but I don't remember much of him as a Raider. I do remember a linebacker that we took this year in round 7 named Greg Biekert. I also remember a quarterback that we took in round three named Billy Joe Holbert that I'm still trying to decide if he was worse than Todd Marinovich
1994: LB Rob Fredrickson was a major force on the Raider defense of the 90s.
1995: RB Napolean Kaufman had lots of potential and is 4th on the Raiders all time rushing list. I honestly think he should've been in the Pro Bowl in the 1997-98 season. I really hated to see his career end early due to injuries, but he's now doing God's work and has started his own church.
1996: TE Rickey Dudley...If he slept with an HIV posistive woman and couldn't catch AIDS...
1997: DT Darrell Russell...the heir to Chester McClockton's throne in the Middle of the Defensive line. Russell was a 3 time Pro Bowler but his career was cut short when he got in trouble with drugs and he died a few years ago. Great player but too many off the field problems.
1998a: DB Charles Woodson was the defensive rookie of the year and made the Pro Bowl his first 4 years, but afer and injury in 2002, he wasn't the same and money issues led to him leaving in 2006
1998b: OL Mo Collins was a good all around offensive lineman, but his career was cut short with knee injuries.
1999: OL Matt Stinchcomb was injured his first season and never really established himself at any position despite playing Tackle, Guard and Center. He was excellent depth though.
2000: PK Sebastian Janikowski has not played like you would expect a kicker in the first round to play. This was our biggest need, but I'm sure he'd've been available in a later round.
2001: S Derrick Gibson was consistantly benched and was often called for holding penalties that negated big defensive stops. I couldn't believe we held onto him as long as we did.
2002a: DB Phillip Buchannon was a bigtime play maker and really seemed to have excellent potential and was a great compliment to Charles Woodson. He really looked like he might be rookie of the year but broke his wrist halfway through the season and was forgotten until the next year. He consistantly led the team in INTs but never made the pro bowl and after numerous feuds with the coaches he demanded a trade and got it and was never heard of again.
2002b: LB Napolean Harris became the heir to Greg Biekert's throne quicker than expected and was a major force in the middle of the Raider defense being one of our leading tacklers. He was later traded along with the #7 overall pick in 2005 for a guy named Randy Moss that ended up being a big mistake in the Raider Nation.
2003a: DB Nnamdi Asomugha was unheard of on draft day and it wasn't easy for him to establish himself in the shadows of Charles Woodson and Phillip Buchannon. The first thing I said when I saw that we drafted him was "How do you pronounce this guy's name?" He finally got his chance to start in 2005 after Buchannon was traded and many fans were ready to give up on him that year after still not recording an INT, but in 2006 he changed that by grabbing his first 8 and got a last minute call to the Pro Bowl but couldn't catch a plane to Hawaii and make it. In 2007, quarterbacks greatly feared him and avoided throwing his way.
2003b: DL Tyler Brayton pretty much has a career of musical positions going from DE to OLB in a 3-4 to OLB in a 4-3 back to DE and now to DT. He has the fighting heart that it takes to play in the NFL, but the only thing he ever made headlines for was when he gave Seattle TE Jeramy Stephens a knee to the groin in 2006.
2004: OL Robert Gallery was expected to be out next great Left Tackle, but was unable to beat out Barry Sims and was moved to Right tackle to Right guard and back to right tackle and then to left tackle in 2006 when nobody on the line did well, but he finally found his home at left guard in 2007.
2005: CB Fabian Washington at least got his first career INTs in his second season unlike Asomugha who didn't get any until his 4th. The biggest mistake in this draft was trading the #7 overall and MLB Napolean Harris for Randy Moss, but at least we got a good replacement for Harris in round three with Kirk Morrison.
2006: DB Michael Huff...I still question this pick. He has not been the impact player we needed on defense or anywhere on the team. There were several players I would've rather taken like Chad Greenway, Bobby Carpenter, Jay Cutler, Lendale White, just to name a few. However second round pick LB Tom Howard has been a major impact player.
2007: QB Jamarcus Russell is expected to be our franchise quarterback. Unfortunatly he missed training camp and fell behind and we didn't get to see much of him this year. If we can get a good deep threat receiver this offseason to compliment him I think he'll be great. The last quarterback drafted by the Raiders that was successful was Kenny Stabler. Hopefully that will change.
2008: Chris Long, Jake Long, Glen Dorsey, Sedrick Ellis, Vernon Ghoulston seem to be the greatest possiblities. Hopefully whoever we get will be great and not a bust. Biggest needs are runstuffers and deep threat receivers and we seem to have a good class of defensive linemen. Will we get our next Chester McGlockton?