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Showing posts from April, 2009

Mike Mitchell is a Media Darling

Mike Mitchell is quickly becoming a media darling. I can't think of a reason anyone in the media wouldn't like to see Mike Mitchell do well. After all, reporters are always looking for a good story. Mike Mitchell has been overlooked by draft pundits and talking heads, If he goes on to be a successful NFL player, that is a great story. It is also one every media person can respect.

Add to this fact a man who speaks clearly and eloquently and you have a recipe for a media darling.

Jerry MacDonald of the Oakland Tribune has already stated he loves the story. ESPN has now caught on. <a href="http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/draft09/columns/story?columnist=chadiha_jeffri&id=4110782"> Jeff Chidiha has an interesting interview with Mike Mitchell.</a>

Who is Darius Heyward-Bey?

First watch this highlight reel and take special note of the routes DHB runs.



If you listen to KC Joyner aka The Football Scientist, you would realize what a hack he is. He said on ESPN radio the other night, that he broke down 3.5 tapes of DHB, only to find that he ran so few routes other than the 9 route, that he didn't see the point of going further in his analysis.

If you didn't know, the 9 route is the generally known as the fly route. Straight downfield. The truth is, he didn't look at DHBs routes, because anyone with an little football knowledge can see that he ran 3-5 other routes just in this small highlight reel. If you broke down game film, I am sure he ran plenty more routes, common logic would say that he did. If he didn't and this highlight reel has at least a few other routes, then one must conclude he was massively misused at Maryland.

Commenting about Darius Heyward-Bey's route running, is tough. There isn't much information about it around.
The a…

Judging the Draft

Judging the draft is like judging your sister when she is 13. First off, it is downright wrong you are judging her looks. Secondly, you can't really tell if that young girl is going to a model or plain Jane when she matures.

Give her three years before making a judgement and five before you let her date.

You can't quite tell what the players in the draft are going to become, so giving grades and judging it is wrong.

1) Sometimes they are on the road to be a model and it is derailed by sex, drugs and videotape. So you better protect the draft, or others will attempt to taint her.

2) Sometimes the ugly duckling at 13 becomes the hot girl at 18. This is the perfect scenario, as the big brother had to do the least amount of work.

3) Rarely, they are on the model road from the very start and are never leave. You did a good job if she is still hot at 18.

4) Then, there is the case where you know the poor young girl's looks aren't going to get her anywhere in life and you do the b…

Crabtree vs. DHB: Head-to-Head

Graham Harrell - 628 Pass Attempts, 442 Completions for 5111 yards and 45 TD
Chris Turner - 374 Pass Attempts, 214 Completions for 2516 yards and 13 TD

Crabtree - 97 Receptions, 19 TD and 1165 yards
Heyward-Bey - 42 Receptions, 5 TD and 609 Yards

Crabtree had 22% of Harrell's completions, 42% of the TDs and 23% of the yards
DHB had 20% of Turners completions, 38% of the TD and 24% of the yards

Very comparable, but Harrell had 9 INT in those 628 attempts and Turner had 11 INT in his 374 attempts. Harrell was a much better QB in a pass happy offense. Turner was a poor QB in a run first offense, yet DHB had comparable numbers, relatively.

Cable's claim that DHB would have had 50 TD in the Red Raider's offense isn't that far fetched after all.


Here is a little more...

Maclin 102 rec, 1260 yards, 13 TD
Daniel 528 Att, 385 comp, 4335 yards, 39 TD

26% of the comp, 29% of the yards, 33% of the TDs

Maclin's numbers are much better than both Crabtree and DHB in these areas.

Mike Teel 396…

Mike Mitchell

Now we know the Bears wanted him with the 49th overall selection. Mel Kiper also said another team planned to take him in the third round. Apparently a few scouts see something in this guy. Mel said the scout said that he had pro bowl potential.

Mitchell also had some interesting comments for Kiper saying Kiper can have his opinion, but that Mitchell's nine-year-old nephew can watch tape and have an opinion and that Mitchell trusts guys who get paid for their opinion.

I don't think Mitchell was implying Kiper isn't paid, but that if Kiper was so good an NFL team would have paid him a lot of money to scout for them. Truth is, Kiper's board is more of an aggregation of information from other scouts. Those scouts can easily mislead Kiper and there are scouts he probably doesn't talk to. I don't think Raiders scouts talk to anybody.

Mayock already has said he hasn't seen video on the kid and that he focuses on the top 200 or so.

So what do we really know about the …

Bold Draft or Bad Draft?

So far both the Raiders picks could be considered a reach. While I support the Heyward-Bey selection, I wish we could have traded down to get him and got more picks.

While there is debate about Heyward-Bey, you could argue that he was a sleeper because his college QBs were so poor.

Then there is the curious case of the second round selection. Trading down and getting extra picks was a good move, but drafting Michael Mitchell with the 47th overall selection is a major question mark.

Mitchell is a 6'1" 220 pound safety who idols Jack Tatum. His highlight real is impressive:



Sonny Jacobs had an article about Mr. Mitchell in yesterday's bleacher report.

While I can't judge a pick before he has a chance and I'd like to give Mitchell that chance, I wonder why the Raiders didn't wait to pick him until their next selection in the 4th round, at least.

It is a bold draft by a bold Al Davis. I said before our scouting department needed to have a great draft, from the outside …

Burgess Shopped. Raiders Sour on Crabtree

News or not, these are two of them I personally think are worth posting about.

1) Burgess is reportedly being shopped. This isn't a surprise since his skills are diminishing, he doesn't show up for anything voluntary, he is cheap, and he is in the final year of his contract.

2) Crabtree left an unfavorable impression on the Raiders when he visited.

Also, the media people weren't impressed with how he handled himself.

There is also news that the Raiders are a lock to select Heyward-Bey. I say that is just Al Davis loves speed bias. However, I really like Heyward-Bey, call me crazy. I'd prefer if we dropped down to get him, because it will "seem" crazy to reach on him.

Rumors of Heyward-Bey or Harvin at No. 7

Sound crazy?

Sure does to me. That is what ProFootballTalk is throwing out there. For what it is worth, even local beat writer Jerry McDonald has said he has heard rumors about Heyward-Bey being a lock. I've read elsewhere early on in the process that Davis likes Harvin.

Still, I actually really like both these guys and wouldn't be overly disappointed if we drafted them. Unless of course we pass on Aaron Curry to do it.

This leads me to believe the Raiders may be one of the teams that are trying to move down. What? What did I say? Going back on my word? Not really. I still think it doesn't happen, unless Mark Sanchez is available at #7. In that case, I believe one of the teams that are trying to get him at #8 will leapfrog the competition and give Raiders an extra 2009 or 2010 1st round selection.

If no team wants to move up to #7, don't be super surprised when the Raiders make a big splash by reaching.

I will point out reaching isn't all bad. Buffalo  reached on Donte…

Crabtree: Recipe For Disaster

Crabtree had a pre-existing injury. It didn't hurt him during the season and running does nothing to hurt it any more than it already was. See Crabtree's comments about the injury to the Dallas Morning News.

It was "discovered" at the combine. He could have worked out for scouts and then had the surgery. Instead, some "sense" was talking into him and teams will not have any workout at all on which to judge the guy. None.

It is also an injury that can become chronic if it doesn't heal correctly: Jones Fracture Info

Mike Leach's offense:

Check them out in the Pre-Crabtree years...you will see hardly a difference.

Crabtree Year's
2008 - 413 Passing YPG (Ranked #1 by 12 YPG)
2007 - 470 (Ranked #1 by 24 YPG)

Pre-Crabtree
2006 - 369 (Ranked #3 behind by 69 YPG) - This was also Harrell's first year starting.
2005 - 389 (Ranked #1 by 5 YPG)
2004 - 399 (Ranked #1 by 61 YPG)

However, you have to keep in mind the relative aspect, which is why I provided the ran…

Crabtree Disses Raiders

PFT had a piece from Raiderbeat.com about Crabtree Dissing the Raiders.

It was briefly removed from the chat and has now been re-posted.

Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
"I'm not cocky at all, bigjayboogie! People talk, man, but I'm a cool guy. as for playing for the Raiders, no comment."

Then later he was asked "Why did you say no commit to playing for the raiders? Does that mean you wouldn't like to be a raider."

Michael Crabtree, WR, Texas Tech
"No, I'd like to play for whoever picks me."

He either knows the Raiders aren't going to pick him or he thinks he is going to be gone by then or he has an unfavorable view on the Raiders.

I don't think a comment like this would preclude Davis from drafting the guy, but it sure doesn't help.

Crabtree or Raji?

BJ Raji currently holds a five vote edge over Michael Crabtree in the ongoing poll. Since they are now the clear front-runners I will now compare the two.

Raji seems to be the perfect fit as a Nose in a 3-4. He also could play the nose tackle spot in the 4-3 which is currently occupied by Gerrard Warren and Turd Sands. Kelly plays the 3-technique spot.

Facts:
- The Raiders are paying a load for those three DTs.
- Tom Cable said Warren was one of the leaders of the team.
- Warren was a Top 5 pick.
- The Raiders don't traditionally believe they need  to draft defensive tackles high.
- The Raiders best WR last year was JLH, who had 22 receptions.
- Javon Walker has the rest of his contract guaranteed at a much lower rate.
- The mood of the team still seems to be wanting playmakers and protection for Russell.

BJ Raji, seemingly would address an area of great need, but he also doesn't make a ton of sense monetarily or within the normal Raider draft framework. The question was "Who would…

The Raider Way: Don't Trade Down

Peter King of Si.com put together a table of recent draft weekend trades.

It turns out, the Raiders traded up six times and down just one time in the last five years.

A little math brings us to a ratio of trading up to trading down of 86%. The only two teams with higher trading up percentage was Buffalo who traded up three times and down no times and Arizona that traded up one time and down no times, but that isn't even an average of a single trade per draft.

Do a little assumption based on this limited set of data, the Raiders will trade at least once and there is a good chance it is going to be up. If you factor in the trade down as likely having everything to do with Kiffin, who is now gone, put some money on the Raiders trading up at least once.

Other Notes: The funny thing is I am starting to believe Aaron Curry could actually fall to our pick based on the untrustworthy draft week rumors. I am not convinced the Raiders would draft him if available, which is the scary part. I am a…

Aaron Curry Falling? Raider Nation Dreams

Do you remember my previous post? Never trust anything you hear the week of the draft. Not even from me. We all can get it twisted this last week. One thing I can say for sure, the good NFL teams keep it straight and basically tune out any speculation and turn the phones on for trade talk only.

There are reports out there that KC probably will not draft Aaron Curry. There is always a possibility Curry gets snatched up before KC or the Browns or Bengals could potentially jump in and get Curry. Still, a few things hold true, LBs aren't traditionally top 5 picks. I believe the last one was AJ Hawk, and who right now would trade Thomas Howard or Morrison for AJ Hawk? Maybe half of people would say that, but the those two Raiders linebackers came cheaper because they also came later in the draft.

Three scenarios could play out.

1. Curry is picked by KC, or somewhere before our pick
2. Curry falls to us and we select him
3. Curry falls to us and we don't select him

Scenario 1 is dreamles…

Draft Week 2009: Things to Remember

So with draft week here finally, I just want to remind everyone of a few historical facts when it comes to the Raiders.

1. The Raiders have not drafted an Offensive Lineman in the first round since Robert Gallery in 2004 (Norv Turner). Before that it was Matt Stinchcomb in 1999 and Mo Collins in 1998 (Jon Gruden). Before that is was Steve Wisniewski in 1989 (Shannahan with Art Shell as an Assistant).

2. Notice the direct correlation between team sucess and drafting these lineman?
2000, 2001, 2002 - Won AFC West
1990 - Won AFC West
The exception? Robert Gallery, who never played well at the position we drafted him to play. We also had Norv as Head Coach.

3. All the talk about the Raiders unorthodox offseason has got people thinking we might trade down. I find this laughable, especially now that Philly has traded away a first round pick for Jason Peters. The Raiders never trade down in the first. I don't see it starting this year.

4. Along the lines of trades, don't be surprised if t…

Raiders Schedule Not Forgiving

I waited to post my thoughts about the release of the Raiders schedule. I wanted to chew on it a little. There will be and have been complaints about the way this schedule looks for the Raiders. However, I hate to point this out...It was going to be a much tougher schedule than last year's anyway.

We play the AFC North and NFC East. Last Season we played the AFC East and NFC South

It was going to be harder no matter what. Could the NFL have given us a few easier games? Not really. Could they have given us fewer cold weather games? Yes.

Does a few cold weather games scare the team? Don't cold weather games favor our high powered running attack? Or do they favor any team with a running game against our mush rush defense?

The start is going to be pivotal. The end of the season will play itself out just fine, if the team has something to play for.

vs. San Diego - Very important to start well, play well in primetime, and get the biggest monkey off our backs. Modest Underdogs.
@ Kansas C…