Monday, April 26, 2010

Who Were Those Guys?

If you read the grades from the NFL draft last week, you will notice that no one agrees on much.

Some writers gave Seattle an A+ while others say the Seahawks' draft was overrated. I've seen San Francisco get two thumbs up for spending early picks on fixing the team's offensive line while others claim the 49ers reached to get their picks.

The grades vary so greatly that you have to wonder if everyone was watching the same draft and who is right and who should never be taken seriously as a draft prognosticator.

The only thing I noticed most draft sites agreeing on is that the Raiders had a good draft.

I'll repeat that: the RAIDERS had a good draft.

What the hell is going on here? I was looking forward to the comedic value that is a Raiders draft. You say there are three players that would be a smart pick at this point in the draft? Well, the Raiders aren't picking any of them. They're picking a lettuce shredder at Taco Bell who ran a 4.2 second 40 yard dash when he accidentally lit himself on fire at the Tortada station.

It's been a highlight of the draft for a decade: guess who's going where and then watch the Raiders throw the entire draft into flux when they make a completely boneheaded pick that no one can see coming. As the Raiders approached their turn to draft, my friends and I began throwing out over/unders on how random their pick would be. It's like being at the office Christmas party and seeing which gag gift you end up with.

And then Oakland goes off and does something totally logical and normal. I feel so empty and unsatisfied. Rolando McClain is a solid pick for a middle linebacker and a team leader the Raiders have so desperately needed. They got Lamar Houston to fill in a defensive tackle spot and add some extra help to one of the worst run defenses in the league.

Then came the big move: the Raiders traded starting quarterback and resident fat ass JaMarcus Russell for team leader and hard worker Jason Campbell. Suddenly, the Raiders came to grips with the fact that they had the laziest bust of a quarterback jiggling his belly behind center. Before, you could look at Russell and feel safe knowing that he would personally blow four or five games for Oakland since he doesn't understand how to read a defense (and doesn't bother to learn.)

Now, they have a quarterback that has been yanked around every year while he was in Washington despite his admirable work ethic and you can't help but root for the guy. It's like the Raiders have suddenly bought a computer instead of stubbornly relying on the 1965 typewriter...basically, they got a clue.

I feel confused and alarmed by this. Before, I could always count on the Raiders being the benchmark for futility in the modern NFL. If you had a worse record than Oakland, your team needed to change. Now, the Raiders might actually build something good. And a whole generation of football fans will question reality.

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