-Tim, YOUR Raiders Team Needs Correspondent
A week gone by, UDFA’s signed, and plenty of time to think about the Raider’s Day 2 picks. Let’s start at the begining…
#71 – Matt Shaughnessy, DE Wisconsin. ShauNASTY may not be bringin speed off the edge, but is a stout prescence against the run – a large area of need. There are Raider fans out there (myself included) who hoped that this would be the focus of the draft. A HAMMER at SS is a big help, but we all know that run defense starts at the line. I had DE set as a top need for pirmarily this reason – we need help setting the edge against the run if we want to improve as a team. We’ve got Terdell Sands, Gerard Warren, and, according to Coach Cable, Ryan Boschetti as stout run-defending tackles (Kelly will hopefully bring Sapp-style sacks), so we needed some help on the end. He’ll be competing though, to take his place amongst 5 DE’s currently on the roster.
#124 – Louis Murphy, WR, Florida. So, maybe I needed to set our WR need, not only at a P1, but also as a multiple need! We received this pick from the Pats, and surprise surprise, this guy is a speed-demon. Murphy, the anchor of Florida’s track team, was left in the dust startdom wise, to Percy Harvin and Tim Tebow. He comes to Oakland with a love of football and a set of wheels (sub 4.4 40), solid hands, but a bit of a slight frame. He has a great attitude, which really seems to be the focus of this draft.
#126 – Slade Norris, DE/OLB, Oregon State. SLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAADE!!!!! Schottey, the Lions correspondent, was kind enough to search his database of players when this pick was made, and came up with this beautiful statement, “Ok, I give up.” Now, Mike isn’t a Raider fan, but there was plenty of that sentiment around Raider Nation (a lot of, “Who is this Kid” and “Another big reach?”) but we welcome him, and his sweet sweet vampire slaying name. In all seriousness though, a speedy linebacker (really don’t see him competing for the SAM LB spot, which we sorely needed), that will make his bread and butter on special teams. My best guess is that he is here to attempt to fill int he shoes of the late Marquis Cooper, a huge loss this offseason.
#199 – Stryker Sulak, DE/LB, Missouri. The Raiders, apparently have decided to change their focus from football, to sweet sweet jersey selling names. I hope this and the last pick pan out, I can see an NFL network replay touting the LB corps of Stryker and Slade, but I digress… Sulak had some great production, but one number sticks out in particular – the 14 forced fumbles (6 his senior year). This, to me, shows an incredible drive and knack for changing the game. This kind of attitude will be a fantastic supplement to our current D. He’ll most likely start out on Special Teams, but if he keeps his motor running, we could really use this kind of nastiness and ball hawk mentality on our defense if we want to return to the SnB days of old (aka – “Lynn Swann, soft”).
#202 – Brandon Myers, TE, Iowa. Potentially Zach Miller’s new BFF. Coach Cable has been mentioning pairing Miller up with another TE to free him for some passing. Miller is a great blocker for being such a credible receiving threat, but faulty tackle play has resulted in his numbers not being what they could. Myers is mostly a blocker, and a solid one at that, lending a lot of power to our two TE sets could be the “power running” that Mr. Davis suggested was needed. Pass blocking too, should get some more help, allowing for Miller to get a few more routes his way.
All in all, we drafted some high character, high motor players. Maybe not what all the “experts” predicted (I know for sure that our drafttek.com rankings will have the Raiders at the bottom, due to a lot of reaching, but hey – I’m confident that a few years down the line, the retro-grading process, the Raiders will get a fair shake out of drafttek.com :). Our defense, and overall football team needs an attitude adjustment. The culture of loosing faded at the end of last season, which is most evident in hanging on to a 4 quarter lead when we are playing for pride and the other team is playing for a playoff spot. Hang tough Raider Nation, we’re on our way back.