Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

April 28, 2008
Observations from the Draft

Just in case you forgot, here are the Raider draft picks:

Round, No, name, position, nchool
1 (4) Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas

4 (100) Tyvon Branch, DB, Connecticut

4 (125) Arman Shields, WR, Richmond

6 (169) Trevor Scott, DE, Buffalo

7 (226) Chaz Schilens, WR, San Diego State

I’m not going to give the Raiders a grade for their picks, simply because like most writers, I detest deciding how they’ll impact the team before they even play a down of NFL football.

It’s obvious Al Davis is tired of watching his Raiders not score points and not scare defenses.

But here are my observations from the weekend:

*Justin Fargas will be good for McFadden. Fargas isn’t the kind of person that will refuse to help the rookie because he’s worried about losing carries. Lane Kiffin mentioned using both in the game at the same time.

*Branch will also have a good mentor in Jarrod Cooper. Branch is going to play a lot on special teams and Cooper is one of the NFL’s best. Cooper will have no problem knocking someone silly to block for him on kickoffs. And Branch’s speed and tackling should help kick coverage that was already pretty good.

*Shields and Schilens fit the mold of the kind of receivers Kiffin had at USC, bigger players. I wonder if this means Johnnie Lee Higgins might be reduced to being the team’s punt returner. Shields’ knee injury, which no one can seem to describe accurately, is 100 percent.

***UPDATE****

Shields injured his PCL in 2007. It had been reported to be an ACL. I won't get into all the medical lingo, I think we all know those are knee ligaments.

*The extra speed will give tight end Zach Miller a lot more opportunities in the passing game.

*I hope the team gives Scott a chance to develop. Players with his size and speed are rare and he figures to get better since he’s only played defense for two years. If Kalimba Edwards struggles, Scott could contribute immediately as a pass rusher.

*I noticed Fabian Washington’s background on his myspace page had already been changed to give the page a Baltimore Ravens look.

****

The Raiders minicamp for rookies and first-year players will be May 9-11. No word on the date for the mandatory.
****
Since I don’t want to grade the draft, here’s a sampling of what others said:

Mel Kiper, ESPN: B-
Comment: He likes the Branch selection, calls Shields a “developmental receiver.”

Paul Zimmerman, SI.com:

"Oakland Raiders: Mainly because I called this one right in my mock draft, and I needed wins real bad. Al Davis has a mob of runners, but none of them like McFadden. He runs a 4.33, and in the old days, the typical Raider running back, Mark Van Eeghen, Marv Hubbard, that bunch, couldn't cover 20 yards in that time. So everyone's keeping fingers crossed that the bright lights of Oakland don't ensnare the young man. Ghosts of Teddy Hendricks and John Matuszak are everywhere. I also like Oakland's third-round choice, fourth rounder Bryan Shields, the tall wideout who broke the bank at the combine workouts."

Comment: Obviously a typo on Shields’ first name. I assume Branch is the third-rounder he’s talking about.

John Czarnecki, Foxsports.com: B
"The only thing I didn't like was the trade of former first-round pick Fabian Washington for a fourth-rounder, though he had fallen out of favor in Oakland."

Comment: Also likes the Branch pick.

Jason Cole, Yahoo Sports: A-

"Branch and Shields are desperate attempts to fill needs, but should make the team."

Comment: I really disagree on Branch. The Raiders need depth at safety and a kick returner. As for Shields, he shouldn’t be forced to play early, so I don’t think that was desperate.

--Jason Jones

About Comments

Reader comments on Sacbee.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Sacramento Bee. If you see an objectionable comment, click the "report abuse" button below it. We will delete comments containing inappropriate links, obscenities, hate speech, and personal attacks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. See more about comments here.

What You Should Know About Comments on Sacbee.com

Sacbee.com is happy to provide a forum for reader interaction, discussion, feedback and reaction to our stories. However, we reserve the right to delete inappropriate comments or ban users who can't play nice. (See our full terms of service here.)

Here are some rules of the road:

• Keep your comments civil. Don't insult one another or the subjects of our articles. If you think a comment violates our guidelines click the "report abuse" button to notify the moderators. Responding to the comment will only encourage bad behavior.

• Don't use profanities, vulgarities or hate speech. This is a general interest news site. Sometimes, there are children present. Don't say anything in a way you wouldn't want your own child to hear.

• Do not attack other users; focus your comments on issues, not individuals.

• Stay on topic. Only post comments relevant to the article at hand. If you want to discuss an issue with a specific user, click on his profile name and send him a direct message.

• Do not copy and paste outside material into the comment box.

• Don't repeat the same comment over and over. We heard you the first time.

• Do not use the commenting system for advertising. That's spam and it isn't allowed.

• Don't use all capital letters. That's akin to yelling and not appreciated by the audience.

You should also know that The Sacramento Bee does not screen comments before they are posted. You are more likely to see inappropriate comments before our staff does, so we ask that you click the "report abuse" button to submit those comments for moderator review. You also may notify us via email at feedback@sacbee.com. Note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us the profile name of the user who made the comment. Remember, comment moderation is subjective. You may find some material objectionable that we won't and vice versa.

If you submit a comment, the user name of your account will appear along with it. Users cannot remove their own comments once they have submitted them, but you may ask our staff to retract one of your comments by sending an email to feedback@sacbee.com. Again, make sure you note the headline on which the comment is made and tell us your profile name.

hide comments

On October 14, The Sacramento Bee will temporarily remove commenting from sacbee.com. While we design the upgrade, we encourage you to tell us what you like and don't like about commenting on sacbee.com and other websites. We've heard from hundreds of you already and we're listening. Please continue to add your thoughts and questions here. We also encourage you to write Letters to the Editor on this and other topics.



About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

FOLLOW US | Get more from sacbee.com | Follow us on Twitter | Become a fan on Facebook | Watch Bee news, lifestyle videos | View our mobile versions | e-edition: Print edition online | What our bloggers are saying

October 2013

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30 31