Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

June 27, 2008
The talent pool

The Raiders spent a lot of money this offseason, but exactly how talented is the team?

Pete Brisco of ranked the Top-50 players in the NFL this wee

There were more former Raiders (Randy Moss was No. 4.and Charles Woodson at No. 18) than current Raiders.

Cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha was 29th, checking in as the only Raider to make the list.

These lists, of course, mean little in the big scheme of things. It's something for us media types to do in the offseason.

So for those that claim the Raiders have an abundance of talent, here's one more person that disagrees.

Go ahead, add Brisco to the Raider-hater list.

Since there's nothing else going on this time of the year (except chasing Javon Walker updates) I figured I'd rank the 10-best Raiders regardless of position.

My Cal allegiances aside, Asomugha is easily No. 1

No. 2 This is tough, but I go with Shane Lechler for his body of work and that he was in the Raiders' lone Pro Bowl selection.

No. 3 Defensive end Derrick Burgess is a no-brainer here.

No. 4 Cornerback DeAngelo Hall is a two-time Pro Bowl player. But he'll get picked on with teams staying away from Asomugha.

No. 5: Linebacker Kirk Morrison's experience gives him slight at edge over the player....

No. 6: Linebacker Thomas Howard.

No. 7: I'll slot Gibril Wilson here. He should be since he's now the NFL's third highest-paid safety.

No. 8: Running back Justin Fargas is the emotional leader of the offense.

No. 9: Tight end Zach Miller could go higher. And I'll be shocked if he doesn't play in the Pro Bowl in a couple of years.

No. 10: Now this is tough...who gets this spot? I'll go with defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, based on the flashes he's shown and that he was having his best season before his knee injury last year.

What does this list mean? Nothing at all. But it does mean the Raiders have too much talent on defense to be bad in 2008.

JaMarcus Russell (lack of experience) and Darren McFadden (no experience) didn't make the list, but if I decide to do this next year, they should be up there.

And I couldn't justify putting any of the offensive linemen in the top-10. The receivers are still question marks, too.

But if I compiled this list tomorrow, I might feel differently.

In more Raider-hater news, the judge in the Walker case admitted to being a Chargers fan.

It the trial is somehow pushed back to where Walker has to appear in court Thursday, Dec. 4 (When the Raiders play at San Diego) you know why.

I haven't talked to Al Davis, but I'd guess he agree with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell's stance against rising rookie salaries.

The Raiders have committed more than $60 million in guaranteed money to first-round picks in the last two drafts.

The issue of being able to recoup money is a lot different when you're talking about $5 million, not $30 million.

The problem is where would a cap on the amount rookies are guaranteed start? In the next couple of years, the amount guaranteed to the first overall pick could be almost $40 million.

The NFLPA isn't going to agree to a very low number, even though many veteran aren't happy seeing unproven players make more than some of them will in their entire careers.

If history has shown something about the NFL and labor issues, Davis will have a big part in getting this resolved.

--Jason Jones

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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.

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