And with the #4 overall pick, the Oakland Raiders select RB Darren McFadden. There was a lot of talk about trading down and after the selection was made, it was revealed by coach Kiffin that trading down was gonna be looked at only if McFadden wasn't available. This was probably a tough choice, but elite players like McFadden don't come around often, so Kiffin decided that it was best to go with him. He also stated several times prior to the draft that we were stacked at the running back position, but McFadden is a rare breed. Defensive coordinatior Rob Ryan is optimistic about moving Tommy Kelly back inside to DT will help the run stopping issue and believes in Gerrard Warren, who had 4 sacks last year and Terdell Sands, plus the addition of William Joseph will add good depth to the position. He also believes the anothe rnew comer on the DL Kalimba Edwards will be a great compliment to Derrick Burgess. When you have a guy like Darren McFadden on your offense, (one that can possibly go the distance every time he touches the ball), you have improved your team greatly as a team. I was shocked myself to see them pass on DT Glen Dorsey and DE/LB Vernon Gholston and was quite discouraged because it seemed like Al Davis was wanting to do the drafting and McFadden was his choice and Kiffin wanted the best available DL, but once I found out that McFadden was Kiffin's choice all a long, I wasn't as mad about it. For several years now, I've been saying they need to draft the best offensive playmaker available and I think McFadden is the man they've been waiting on.
Other picks include a potential kick returner in Tyvon Branch. They mainly list him as a CB, but I think he has a better chance at making it as a return man. We also picked up DE Trevor Scott, who is actually a converted TE who hasn't been playing football very long. His numbers make him seem like a good pass rusher to rotate in on passing downs, but He didnt' play against top notch competition in college, so there is still a big question mark next to his name as to whether or not he's NFL matterial. Then theres two speedy WRs we drafted. The first one, Ahman Shields had a better junior year than senior, so that is signs that he's slowing down already. So far from what I can tell about him is that if he doesn't pick his game back up, he might end up being another Alviss Whitted. Then there is Chaz Schilenz, a WR that I am fairly optimistic about. Apparently he was injured most of his senior year, so didn't get the stats he had as a junior. Some say that he might've been a higher round prospect with his size, speed and athleticism. He sounds like a player we can definatly use.
Then there are the undrafted Rookies. Linebacker Malik Jackson from Louisville might be a stellar special teams player along with TE Darrell Strong and DB Darrick Brown. Offensive Linemen Brandon Rodd and Adam Speiker will add competition for OL depth and TE Chris Wagner has a shot at making the team too. RB Louis Rankin might spark from time to time to turn some heads, but it will be a miracle if he makes it with McFadden being drafted and Justin Fargas and Michael Bush returning for sure. Dominic Rhodes has already been released and Lamont Jordan is expected to be as soon as the Raiders give up on trade offers for cap space. The Raiders still think they can get some trade value out of him for his 2005 1000 yard performance, but he has been hit with injuries since then and the whole NFl knows he'll have to be released sooner or later. Lets hope for the best of our draft picks and look forward to a great season.