Monday, March 23, 2009

What goes better with a trade and mock draft than turkey?

After the Raiders spent the fist part of free agency relatively quite, they've now made a trade. This time, they've made a trade to address the depth at the center position.

The Raiders have sent a draft pick to Miami for center Samson Satele.

Not sure how this will work out; Satele had been a starter in Miami, but became expendable when they got Jake Grove in free agency. The word floating around the internet is that Satele is too undersized to handle the defensive tackles of the AFC East. We'll have to wait and see. People thought Grove was undersized, but he did just fine at the center position for the Raiders.

My bigger wonder is what implications this move will have on the draft (outside of the obvious fact that the Raiders have one less pick). Clearly, Al Davis and Tom Cable aren't sold on the depth at the center position. Does this move, though, mean that drafting a wide receiver at the number seven spot in the first round is a given? The talk lately had been about Alex Mack and that Tom Cable was impressed by Mack at his pro day at Cal. This move has to make that decision a little less clear cut.

Speaking of the draft, Yahoo! has released the sixth version of their mock draft and it's interesting, to say the least. They have the Raiders taking B.J. Raji, defensive tackle out of Boston College. As they have it, Crabtree drops to tenth, into the lap of the 49ers and Maclin Jeremy Maclin dropping to 22nd to the Vikings. I just don't see that happening. We have too much money wrapped up in Tommy Kelly to pay first round money to someone at that position. The need at receiver is too big to use the pick on a defensive tackle. Now, this is just me....either take the receiver at that spot or trade down for more picks (the latter would be preferrable). The Raiders have been too fiscally unintelligent that past year and a half and the only way to get out from under that is build through youth, stock up on young talent and clear cap space, smartly, when necessary. Drafting a defensive tackle at the number seven spot is not the answer.

Finally, the Raiders will open the season on Monday night for the second straight year (against the Chargers) and play on Thanksgiving Day (against the Cowboys). Personally, I'm pretty excited. We, in the Nation, can now actually look forward to watching a game we care about and can look forward to making that a Silver and Black holiday. That should be a fun game to watch and an excellent treat for all us fans.

(Editorial note.....Get on over to The Raider Image and get your 50th season gear ordered for the upcoming season. Regardless of the W-L record, I know all the members of Raider Nation will make it one for the ages.)

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