No. 8 Overall: Rolando McClain, ILB, Alabama
McClain was far-and-away the premier inside linebacker in the class. He's brilliant against the run, which is a big reason why he was selected. McClain comes from the 3-4 defense in Alabama, but most experts agree he has the best football IQ in the draft. This kid will adjust fine.
His best attributes are his natural instincts. He has been provided with great leadership by the best defensive coach in college football in Nick Saban.
Walter Cheripinsky (Walter Football.com) does not agree that it was a good pick. He originally gave it a Millen grade. Walt said that the positional value was awful in an e-mail to me yesterday.
It may have been, but who honestly gives a damn if you're going to pick the same guy by moving a few spots back to get the same player anyway?
No. 43 Overall: LaMarr Houston, DT/DE, Texas
Houston has so much versatility he can bring to a football team.
When he first came to Texas, he played the end position. Then a couple years ago, he played as a DT. Houston will be brought in to start next to Tommy Kelly, but will provide depth on the line.
He's also better against the run than the pass.
No. 69 Overall: Edwin Veldheer, OT, Hillsdale
Veldheer is a raw tackle with a lot of potential. Look at his 6'8" frame.
I must have forgot to tivo all the Hillsdale games on ESPN primetime. I don't have tape of him, so I will rely on scouting reports with this pick.
From the scouting reports I've read, they say that he is perhaps a tad bit better in pass protection than run blocking.
Veldheer definitely has a learning curve because of the level of competition he played against in Division II to the NFL.
No. 106: Bruce Campbell, OT, Maryland
Campbell put on a show at the combine. He ran a 4.85 forty yard dash. If the NFL games were the combine, Campbell would be the MVP.
Campbell is not a fantastic football player, but he has unbelievable potential. Cable even came out and said that they might use Campbell on special teams.
No. 108: Jacoby Ford, KR/WR, Clemson
Perhaps the Raiders' biggest weakness last season was returning kicks. The Silver and Black averaged only 18 yards a kickoff, two yards behind 31st-ranked Carolina.
Jacoby Ford was always behind C.J. Spiller, but there's no doubt that Jacoby Ford has great potential with his speed (4.28 40 yard dash) returning kicks. That should be his main job, as I don't think he'll be a receiver for the Raiders.
No. 138: Walter McFadden, CB, Auburn
McFadden is a little undersized, but is quite a speedster.
Corner Chris Johnson struggled mightily at times last season, but that may be attributed to getting 70 percent (probably more) of the balls thrown at him.
I expect the Raiders to use McFadden in the nickel, and possibly compete for a starting spot beside Asomugha.
No. 190: Travis Goethel. ILB, Arizona State
Not a lot is known about Goethel except that he earned Pac-10 honorable mention this past season. He is said to have good instincts, and is depth behind rookie Rolando McClain. He has a lot of experience in the division 1 level starting, and is a grinder.
No. 215: Jeremy Ware, CB, Michigan State
Ware was supposed to go un-drafted and there were other players on the board that were better players than the unknown Ware. He's a speedster, and hopefully will compete for a special teams job.
No. 251: Stevie Brown, S, Michigan
Brown will add to the S depth behind Mike Mitchell and Hiram Eugene.
He is a good leader, and should be very physical as a special teamer.
Overall, this was the best draft the Raiders have had in a decade. They addressed every single need area with their picks.
McClain could be the next Ray Lewis; he's that good. LaMarr Houston may not have the physical prowess of a Al Davis pick, but the production was always there.
If Bruce Campbell can develop into a great offensive tackle, it will be the best pick in the last decade by Davis.
On a side note, the Raiders sent their fourth round pick in 2012 to Washington for quarterback Jason Campbell. Campbell is an upgrade over our current crop of quarterbacks.
He has a solid arm, and has improved every year in the league. The cons of the deal is the poor Campbell has been through so many offensive systems even going back to his days as an Auburn Tiger.
Clinton Portis has also criticized Campbell for his lack of leadership.
This was almost like a pick, so I give it a grade of an A.
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