Oakland Raiders: Raiders Past Drafts Success or Failure from 2003-2010

Patrick MitchellCorrespondent IApril 11, 2011

Oakland Raiders: Raiders Past Drafts Success or Failure from 2003-2010

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    The Oakland Raiders are a team that has constantly been bashed for having poor draft choices.  The most common example is JaMarcus "Skittles" Russell.  Russell was a player that the Raiders drafted in 2007, and I'll be the first to admit I was ecstatic about the pick.  The Raiders needed a quarterback, and who would you of suggested they take?  When all the draft "experts" start calling a rookie quarterback a "top five player" or the next John Elway of course we are going to be happy about drafting him.  Of course now we all know Russell is the biggest bust of all time.  This got me thinking what about the other Raiders draft selections, how many other busts have they had?  In addition to the busts what about the success they had in the draft too.  I will talk about the Raiders Success and Failure in the 1st round since 2003.  Lets get started 

2003 Success (Nnamdi Asomugha)

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    This pick is really obvious.  Nnamdi Asomougha.  Any questions? I didn't think so.  He has become the top corner in the league (no offense to Revis, I am still a huge fan).  Nnamdi has been in the league since 2003 and has been one of the best since then.  Of course there is a lot of debate now about whether or not Nnamdi will still be in Oakland next year, but in my opinion he will be viewed as one of the best Raider CBs ever.  And that is saying something.  

2003 Failure (Tyler Brayton)

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    Tyler Brayton was the pick that the Raiders got when they traded John Gruden to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.  Brayton started in all the games his rookie season and started every game.  By 2007 he played in every game, but did not start a single one.  In Oakland for 4 years he had a total of 7 sacks.  In 2008 Brayton signed with the Carolina Panthers and has started almost every game since joining them.  

2004: Bust (Robert Gallery)

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    Look Robert Gallery has been a good guard, but lets remember who was passed on in order to get him.  The Raiders could of had Phillip Rivers, Big Ben, Fitzgerald. Should I continue?  Gallery was drafted to be the Raiders franchise Left Tackle, and now just 6 years later he is on his way out of Oakland.  Yes Gallery is a tough loss to the offensive line, seeing as he is our best offensive lineman, but that is not saying much 

2005 Draw (Fabian Washington)

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    I am not sure really how to label this one.  Fabian Washington is by no means a bust, but he is also out of Oakland.  He was traded to the Baltimore Ravens when the Raiders got DeAngelo Hall.  Washington did not have the best career in Oakland, but he wasn't horrible either.  I guess I have to give him a pass on this one.

2006 Success (Michael Huff)

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    Michael Huff has been a pleasant surprise for Raider fans everywhere.  When Huff was drafted, I actually went "Why the hell would the Raiders pass on Matt Leinart?"  Looking back on it, Huff is now an established player in the NFL and has had a good career.  Leinart, well he got shipped out of Arizona, after losing his spot to Kurt Warner for his entire time there.  Now he is the back up quarterback to Matt Schuab. 

2007 Failure, 100% Failure (Jamarcus Russell)

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    JaMarcus "Skittles" Russell.  I really don't think I need to say anything else but I will.  The reason why this pick is failure is because of what we heard about Russell.  We were all blinded by the fact that the guy could throw the ball a mile from his knees.  When drafted, the "experts", such as Mel Kiper Jr, compared Russell to John Elway.  Looking back at this and we go Kiper you are a complete idiot.  The Raiders passed on Joe Thomas, Calvin Johnson, Adrian Peterson, and even Revis Island himself.  Russell made things worse when he decided to hold out for as long as he did and robbing Al Davis of $40mill.  The 300lb QB is now out of the NFL, and has had problems with the law (cough syrup really Russell?), and money problems.  He is considered the biggest (he might well be) bust of all time.

2008 Success (Darren McFadden)

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    Darren McFadden had his breakout year this past year.  He broke the "bust" label that people were so quickly to put on him.  Coming out of Arkansas people were saying that McFadden was a bigger and faster version of Adrian Peterson.  Coming after the year the Adrian Peterson had his rookie season, that was saying something.  McFadden was plagued by injury his first two seasons, but in his third he broke out. McFadden was a great surprise this past season, and he will be a huge asset for years to come in Oakland.  

2009: Too Early to Tell (Darrius Heyward-Bey)

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    Darrius Heyward-Bey still has to show me something.  DHB will never be considered the right pick in the 2008 draft while Michael Crabtree was on the board.  Heyward-Bey has not done anything in the league to show people that he will be a top tier wide receiver.  The other wide receivers that were drafted in that year have all had better careers than DHB.  Michael Crabtree held out for most of his rookie season, and he still had better numbers that Heyward-Bey has.  Percy Harvin has been to the playoffs twice, and to the NFC Championship once.  Harvin is an explosive player.  Jeremy Maclin has been a great threat to go along with DeSean Jackson for the Eagles.  DHB, well he has had some catches and sparks of brilliance, but it is still too early to write him off.

2010: Too Early to Tell (Rolando McClain)

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    For the first time I can say the Raiders drafted with the heads.  Rolando McClain is a solid player and should be a great NFL Linebacker.  With that being said, I am not ready to label him a success just yet.  I have seen plenty of players have good rookie seasons just to tank the next year and never recover.  McClain was the right pick for the Raiders this year, and he has yet to show me that he won't lead the defense to greatness.  McClain is a winner, he did it in college and I believe he will do it in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders. 

Late Round Success

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    2005- Round 2 Stanford Routt

    2005- Round 3 Kirk Morrison (now traded to the Jaguars)

    2007- Round 2 Zach Miller 

    2007- Round 4 Michael Bush

    2008- Round 4 Tyvon Branch

    2009- Round 3 Matt Shaughnessy

    2009- Round 4 Louis Murphy

    2010- Round 2 Lamarr Houston

    2010- Round 3 Jared Veldheer

    2010- Round 4 Bruce Campbell

    2010- Round 4 Jacoby Ford

    The Oakland Raiders may of been a team that struggled in the first round, but they always were able to find a gem in the late rounds.  All of the players listed have been a starter, and an impact player for the Oakland Raiders.  Zach Miller and Stanford Routt both have all pro potential.  Tyvon Branch is a hard hitting player that will help the Raiders for years to come.  Jacoby Ford is the most explosive player the Raiders have, and Raiders fans have a lot to be excited about for the first time in years

Recap

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    Have the Raiders really been that bad at drafting the past 7 years?  I don't think so.  Out of the 8 first round picks they made 3 are pro bowlers, 2 are still getting used to the NFL, 1 is on a different team and only 2 of them have been busts.  If you throw in all of the gems that the Raiders have found in later rounds I would say they are one of the better teams at drafting. The Raiders are a team that deserves a little bit more credit for their drafting than people give them credit for