After a “nuts and bolts” first three rounds, the Raiders have let Al Davis out of the closet. There is no other explanation for them taking workout warrior offensive tackle Bruce Campbell out of Maryland and then trading up with the Jaguars to take speedy wide receiver Jacoby Ford out of Clemson.
The Raiders traded longtime middle linebacker and leading tackler, Kirk Morrison, for the right to move up from the Raiders original position at 153 to get Ford at pick 108.
Both of these players are Al Davis type of players. But while Campbell was projected to go much higher and fell, Ford was a severe reach. Ford is fast but not a polished receiver. And standing at just 5'8", he won't be leaping over anyone either. He is brought in to fill the kick return duties for the Raiders. Something that Tom Cable had mentioned the Raidersmay try to address in this draft. But with plenty of great prospects still on the board, this pick was ill advised at best.
He is literally a track star. In track and field during 2007, he was named ACC Indoor Freshman of the Year. He set an ACC record in the 60 yard dash and the national best for the year, at 6.52 seconds. Ford was also named the Southeast Region Indoor Track Athlete of the Year, and he was awarded All-American, All-East Region, and All-ACC honors. And expectedly, he ran a combine best 4.28 40 (Chris Johnson ran a record 4.24 two years ago).
In football, his accolades are far less dazzling. But he was Second-team All-ACC wide receiver in 2009 with team best 56 catches for 779 yards. Which I suppose is better than drafting the ACC “Honorable Mention” as they did with the 7 overall pick in drafting speedster Darrius Heyward-Bey.
Now after all the analysts were lauding the Raiders great first three picks, they are really talking now. Even saying that they “restrained” themselves from taking Bruce Campbell in the first round. As if to say they had any intention of drafting him at #8 just because everyone in the sports media predicted it.
In the end, this is a tale of two halves in regards to the draft. While Al Davis was under a sedative, locked in a closet, or just bound and gagged thru the first three rounds, his bony fingers are all over these two picks.
Get ready for a defensive back to be drafted now that Al has taken over.
UPDATE: Raiders Al Davis drafts CB Walter McFadden out of Auburn with their next pick in 5th round. Breakdown coming soon.
Bret's Take: Jacoby Ford was another one of those picks that Oakland fans were afraid would be an over-drafted 2nd or 3rd round pick for Oakland just based on his 4.28 forty time at the combine. Instead, they take the dangerously fast Ford in the fourth round two picks after combine freak BruceCampbell. Ford has very good hands and a lot of playing experience in the ACC which is a really good conference in NCAA football. The knock on him would be his route running, and he still may have been a bit over-drafted, but in my opinion he has the potential to be an excellent slot receiver and return man for the Raiders in the very near future.