Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

April 7, 2010
Raiders looking at Clausen, Tebow? DHB changes his number and Raiders bring back a familiar face

This being draft season, mock drafts are like opinions - everyone has one.

This morning, ESPN's Mel Kiper Jr. projected on a conference call that the Raiders would take Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen with the No. 8 overall pick.

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JaMarcus Russell who? Bruce Gradkowski what? Charlie Frye where? Who cares if the Raiders need to rebuild their offensive line more than drafting another purported franchise quarterback, right?

"Sure, you could take a left tackle," Kiper said. "Sure, you could take a Trent Williams. Sure, you could take a Bryan Bulaga, but they went to that Iowa program a few years ago with Robert Gallery. Would they do it again?

"I went with Clausen because I think (the Raiders) need him. I've been told the money situation with Russell won't prevent them from taking a quarterback and I think Jimmy Clausen at that point would be a heck of a choice.

"The last time I remember them taking a Notre Dame player early was Timmy Brown (and) it worked out pretty doggone well there."

Kiper then said the Raiders might be able to address their offensive line issues with their second-round pick, No. 39 overall.

"Maybe a Rodger Saffold, the left tackle from Indiana," Kiper said. "Maybe (Maryland's Bruce) Campbell falls all the way down to that pick and they get Campbell in the second round. That's not out of the realm of possibility."

Later in the afternoon, NFL.com scouting guru Gil Brandt floated a story on a separate conference call, per Jerry Mac, that had the Raiders already meeting with Florida quarterback Tim Tebow.
While admitting he wasn't sure if the story was true, Brandt said Tebow was asked to break down a play for the Raiders staff. Tebow's "mental quickness" response: "This is how it's called with Florida. This is how it's called with your organization. And this is how it's called with West Coast (offense) teams."

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"When you get a quarterback and he reacts that quickly, you know that the guy is not only pretty smart," Brandt said, "but he does have that mental quickness to adjust very fast."

Hmmm...

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Meanwhile, former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann ripped Russell on SIRIUS radio today, according to a Tweet by ESPN's Adam Schefter.

"I can tell you conclusively that JaMarcus Russell never will be able to play QB in the National Football League," Theismann said, per Schefter's Tweet. "He just doesn't get it."

Schefter added his own kicker: "Theismann advocates the Raiders trading for Jason Campbell, who does get it."

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Staying with the QB Conspiracy Theory, it's interesting to note the Raiders suddenly have a new number available for a new quarterback, should they acquire one.

Darrius Heyward-Bey has changed his jersey number from 12 to 85, per the Raiders' Web Site. And, as custom, the soon-to-be-second-year receiver had to pay Reebok for the remaining inventory of his No. 12 jerseys, according to profootballtalk.com.

"I had to change it up for myself," DHB told Raiders.com. "It's a new year, new beginning for me and I just needed a change."

Behind the Shield online host Jeanette Thompson asked him why he picked No. 85.

"You go to sleep, you have your dream, you see a number in your head and you're like, you know what, I'm going to go with that," he said.

DHB wore No. 8 at Maryland and said 5 is actually his favorite number.

In case you're wondering, Clausen wore No. 7 at Notre Dame; Tebow No. 15 at Florida.

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And lastly, and in case you missed it, the Raiders have signed former defensive tackle Chris Cooper, who has played for the 49ers, Dallas, Seattle, Arizona and in the UFL for the California Redwoods-turned-Sacramento Mountain Lions since leaving Oakland following the 2003 season. He was the Raiders' sixth-round draft choice in 2001 out of Nebraska-Omaha.

Cooper, you'll recall, was in the middle of the BALCO investigation and was fined three game checks - $187,500 - for testing positive for the steroid THG in 2003, along with Barrett Robbins. Dana Stubblefield and Bill Romanowski also tested positive at the time.

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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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