The Oakland Raiders have been trying to live down the first round NFL Draft embarrassments over the past few years and the 2010 NFL Draft may have been their best in years. Oakland picked up Jason Campbell from the Washington Redskins for a fourth round draft pick in 2012 NFL Draft, a move that sealed Jamarcus Russell’s fate.
Russell, an embarrassment to Oakland since being drafted first overall in 2007, will most likely be let go before Oakland enters camp in the Summer. Releasing Russell now will save Oakland six million dollars and a lot of headaches.
Oakland’s draft was definitely different from the last few years, it was well thought out and executed almost perfectly. Oakland did not panic when their favorite player Bruce Campbell was available in the fourth round, they waited and Campbell was there for the taking in the fourth round. Campbell, known as the “Workout Warrior” during the NFL Combine, is a raw talent that will play his way onto the Oakland offensive line.
Oakland Raiders first NFL Draft pick and eighth overall Rolando McLain.
Oakland was making moves behind the scenes as they prepared to take Rolando McLain, inside linebacker from Alabama. Oakland was in negotiations with Jacksonville for their fifth round NFL Draft position in exchange for long time Raider linebacker Kirk Morrison. Once McLain was drafted by Oakland the talks heated up and Morrison would be traded on Saturday.
The trade of Morrison signals to McLain it is time to step up and assimilate to the NFL now not later. McLain will receive a baptism by fire but he should be up to it. McLain has a reputation as a strong inside run stopper and will plug holes with aggressiveness that only a rookie can bring. McLain will start all 16 NFL games for Oakland and has the opportunity to lead the team in tackles.
Oakland Raiders second NFL Draft pick and 44th overall Lamarr Houston.
Lamarr Houston a defensive tackle out of Texas, will be yet another piece to the puzzle solving Oakland’s poor run defense. Houston will be a force on the inside line and as a player from Mac Brown’s stable he may have more discipline than most defensive lineman. Houston will play on first and second down run situations and play every game of his first NFL season.
Oakland Raiders third NFL Draft pick and 69th overall Jared Veldheer.
Oakland is always good for making all the NFL Draft experts scramble and scratch their heads in disbelief with one of their out of the box picks. Jared Veldheer an offensive tackle from a small school, Hillsdale, is a solid pick that actually rated highly with most NFL scouts. Veldheer may not play full time in his first full NFL season but he will get time late in games and of course if injuries occur on the Oakland offensive line.
Oakland Raiders fourth NFL Draft pick and 106th overall Bruce Campbell.
Bruce Campbell an offensive tackle from Maryland was the best available player based on the NFL Combine in this spot. Campbell impressed every NFL scout at the Combine in Indianapolis and it was almost a sure thing Campbell would be taken in the first round. Campbell kept falling until Oakland couldn’t let him pass by anymore. Campbell has raw talent and the physique of an NFL tackle but he will need to learn the NFL game. Campbell may sit most of his first NFL campaign but look for him to get increased playing time late in the season.
Oakland Raiders fifth NFL Draft pick and 108th overall Jacoby Ford.
The other shoe dropped for Kirk Morrison when he found out he had been traded for this Jacksonville draft pick, so Rolando McLain could take over at linebacker. With the pick, Oakland drafted Jacoby Ford , the wide receiver out of Clemson. Ford fits the Oakland Raider mold of a super speed receiver. Ford has better hands than Darrius Heyward-Bey and he may be a better route runner also. Ford will be on the field early in the NFL season to stretch the field along with Heyward-Bey and with Jason Campbell slinging the deep ball, Ford may have a few touchdowns. Ford will ease his way into the Oakland line up and will see action in most of his 16 NFL games.
Oakland Raiders sixth NFL Draft pick and 138th overall Walter McFadden.
Walter McFadden a cornerback from Auburn, is a good value pick in this spot. McFadden won’t start but he does have the nose for the ball all good corners must have. McFadden does lack in the tackling department and a tour of duty on special teams may help him overcome that problem. McFadden will possibly make the special teams and play in spots on defense during the 2010 NFL season.
Oakland Raiders seventh NFL Draft pick and 190th overall Travis Goethel.
Travis Goethel , a linebacker from Arizona State, will give Oakland added depth at linebacker. Goethel was a player several teams had on their radar but Oakland picked him up at the perfect place in the draft. Goethel will get limited playing time on defense but look for him to be the star on special teams in his first NFL season.
Oakland Raiders eighth NFL Draft pick and 215th overall Jeremy Ware.
Jeremy Ware a cornerback from Michigan State is yet another speed burner and if he makes the Oakland roster he most likely will be a back up. Ware can learn from the best corner in the business during practice, Nnamdi Asomugha. Ware may not make the Oakland roster but he will be asked to stay on the practice squad.
Oakland Raiders ninth NFL Draft pick and 251st overall Stevie Brown.
Stevie Brown yet another cornerback with speed from Michigan. Brown knows how to come up and help stop the run from the corner position and that could earn some playing time for the rookie. Brown will be had pressed to make the team but he has a shot at special teams based on his superior tackling skill. Brown will play in some games in the 2010 NFL season.
NFL Network NFL Draft live coverage April 22-24, 2010.
ESPN TV NFL Draft coverage live April 22-24, 2010.
NFL.com player profiles.