Sometimes you can just tell that a guy has it. Doesn't matter what team he may end up playing for because he has the skills, determination, and sometimes that chip on the shoulder to compete at a high level. Since Thoughts from the Dark Side is (almost) strictly a Silver and Black website, here is a list of guys who fit the Raiders and what round they could be had in during April's draft.
Quarterback -- Jerrod Johnson -- Texas Tech
In my opinion, Johnson is the guy in this year's draft class who I want to come in and learn from Hue Jackson and behind Jason Campbell. He's a real good athlete at the quarterback position and definitely has the type of skills that can take him to the next level, however he's not ready to be thrown into the fire just yet. Johnson needs to improve his footwork before he finds his way onto an NFL field. I like his fluidity and the calm he shows under the pressure of throwing in front of NFL coaches and scouts. With his 6'5" 251 pound frame and impressive mobility, he will turn a few NFL heads.
He wasn't a top performer in anything for the quarterbacks today, but this guy has a rocket for an arm and has above average accuracy. He's most likely a late fourth to early sixth rounder in this QB class, so whoever takes him isn't taking that big of a risk.
Wide Receiver -- Edmond Gates -- Abilene Christian
This guy has the natural hands and quickness out of his breaks that NFL scouts love to see from a smaller receiver. He was a top performer in the 40-yard dash, the vertical jump, and the board jump today. The thing I really like about him is that he knows how to control his speed. In other words, he knows how to accelerate quickly and stop on a dime. He also does a good job with his footwork in route running. Perhaps this kid can't run all the routes the coaches would like to see, but he does have the ability to learn them and do a decent job.
Gates is a good project wide receiver. The Raiders don't really need a wideout in the draft, but if they are looking to get another gem like Louis Murphy and Jacoby Ford in round four this year, Edmond Gates could certainly be that type of player for a team that's willing to take a chance.
Tight End -- Lee Smith -- Marshall
I'm a real big fan of Virgil Green from Nevada in this year's class of tight ends. If he's off the board when the Raiders are ready to go tight end in this draft, then I hope USC's Jordan Cameron can come in and fill that third tight end role for the Raiders. But if they wait until late in the draft, as they did recently for Brandon Myers, then they might be surprised what they can get from Lee Smith of Marshall. He'll likely fall into that 6th round, 7th round, possibly undrafted portion of the draft.
He's almost the stereotypical third tight end. He's got the strength and grit you look for in a good blocker, but also has the natural hands of an underneath/outlet type of tight end for the offense. He won't be lighting up any scoreboards or taking any big gainers to the house for touchdowns, but at times all you need is a first down and I think Smith can give that to a team.
Offensive Lineman -- Ryan Bartholomew -- Syracuse
I can't leave this conversation without talking about this year's workout warrior on the offensive line. Bartholomew ran a 4.89 forty and racked up 34 bench press reps. He is not even projected to be a top ten center in this draft, but he surely got Al Davis' attention with his stats.
The QB I would rather have than Johnson, who can be drafted later, is TJ yates from UNC. He's known for his accuracy and for his leadership. He has good arm strangth as well. I think that the whole leadership aspect of being a QB is entirely underrated.
Ryan Bartholomew is definitely a guy who I think will be a Raider. His combine stats are to good for Al Davis to pass on, and we may see him picked no later than the 6th round. But, as good as Bartholomew's numbers are, it would not surpise me if Al Davis reached up and selected him in the second round, over Wizniewski.
Another guy who could be a sleeper and wind up on the Raider wish list is Ryan Mallet. At 6 feet 7 inches tall and 250+ pounds, Mallet can seriously throw the ball deep (80+ plus yards according to him), and a guy with a cannon of an arm like that will definitely draw interest from Davis. Mallet, who is certainly a first round talent, had his stock lower due to issues of drug use. However, if this kid is available by the time the Raiders pick in the second round, and his substance abuse issues are only a minor infraction (smoking pot), then I would without question select him over Wizniewski, or Bartholomew, as the Raiders are in critical need of a quality backup quarterback, and with Mallet's talent and armstrength, this could be a guy who could be the future of the Raiders and a high quality NFL quarterback for many years....