Typically, a drafted player needs to hit the ground running and start producing immediately. As it relates to drafted players, the Raiders have consistently used speed and potential as determining factors. For the most part, In 2010, the Raiders put down the stopwatch and drafted players with outstanding football intelligence and instincts.
The results yielded from that approach were solid quality starters like MLB Rolando McClain, DE Lamarr Houston, and OT Jared Veldheer. There was some solid depth and potential added in LB Travis Goethel and S Stevie Brown. Gem WR Jacoby Ford came via the stopwatch but proved to be much more than speedy.
A large factor that determines a team's success is how well they go about selecting and evaluating talent. The Raiders have been lacking in the area for quite a few years which helps explain why they couldn't get above five wins in a season. Some solid draft picks of late help explain why they were able to get back to .500 last season.
The team's expectations of a player are important as well. A first or second round player has to show the coaching staff in his first year that he belongs and that the staff can have confidence in putting him on the field.
Any player a team burned a draft pick on must show improvement in his second year. This will develop trust between the player and the coaching staff. The team in return will invest an average of two to three years in a player. Teams don't have the luxury to wait any longer to see them develop.
The phrase "developing a player" is almost non-existent in today's NFL because coaches are not given enough time with them. A head coach signs a deal from three to five years and is given the task of implementing his scheme and turning the team around as fast as possible. There is rarely enough time between a coaching staff and a player.
A first round draft pick signs a deal between four and six years. The top 16 picks in the first round can sign six-year deals. The maximum length of contract a player drafted in the bottom half of the first round can sign is five years. After the first round, the length of contract will not exceed four seasons.
While a team should expect immediate starters from the first two rounds, a franchise really builds their team in rounds three through seven.
Here's a look back at current Raider players from drafts 2005 -2009:
1. Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR, Maryland
2. Mike Mitchell, S, Ohio University
3. Matt Shaughnessy, DE Wisconsin
4a. Louis Murphy, WR, Florida
6b. Brandon Myers, TE, Iowa
1. Darren McFadden, RB, Arkansas
4a. Tyvon Branch, DB, Connecticut
6. Trevor Scott, DE, Buffalo
7. Chaz Schilens, WR, San Diego State
2. Zach Miller, TE, Arizona State
3b. Mario Henderson, OL, Florida State
3c. Johnnie Lee Higgins, WR, UTEP
4a. Michael Bush, RB, Louisville
1. Michael Huff, S, Texas
2. Thomas Howard, LB, Texas-El Paso
2. Stanford Routt, CB, Houston
Several high Raider draft picks who are not listed here are CB Fabian Washington (Round 1, 2005), Kirk Morrison (Round 3, 2006), JaMarcus Russell (Round 1, 2007), and Quentin Moses (Round 3, 2007). Moses never made the team out of camp. The team gave up on Morrison and Washington and traded them away, and the Raiders finally grew tired of Russell and cut him.
The good news is the lower rounds have indeed built the team with picks like Michael Bush, Tyvon Branch, Matt Shaughnessy, and Louis Murphy. They are all players who either made an immediate impact as rookies, or have improved each year in the league.
The unfortunate thing for the Raiders is the majority of players expected to make an impact next season in silver and black are currently 2011 free agents. Those impact players who will be returning include WR Chaz Schilens, DE/OLB Trevor Scott, RB Darren McFadden, DE Matt Shaughnessy, SS Michael Mitchell, TE Brandon Myers, WR Louis Murphy, and WR Darrius Heyward-Bey.
Time is running out for Darrius Heyward-Bey. He improved his overall numbers last season over his single digit receptions total (9) his rookie season. However, he is clearly the number four wide receiver and the Raiders need to consider bringing in two more receivers -- one via the draft and another as a veteran free agent.
Time has long since run out on players like Jonnie Lee Higgins who has regressed since his breakout 2008 season.
Once the labor issue is resolved some of the players drafted from 2005-2009 will return. For some others, their window for remaining a Raider has likely closed.
Jeff Little contributed to this article
If Bey was a fourth rd pick such as murph and Ford he would have been cut long ago. The guy is never going to catch the ball consistently and can't catch a pass over 40 yds on the fly so there goes Al vision of the vertical game He will be a bust nationers so accept it and hopefully we can trade him for a 2nd or 3rd rd pick.
Chris, why are you blaming Jason Campbell for DHB's poor performance as a wide receiver??? Is it Campbell's fault that DHB lead the Raiders in dropped passes??? Is it Campbell's fault that DHB is such a poor route runner that he can't get open??? Is it Campbell's fault that DHB has such poor hands??? Why was Jacoby Ford able to make big plays with Campbell at quarterback and DHB can't???
DHB was selected 7th overall for the purpose of being a big play receiver. He was supposed to be our deep threat, but has only one catch of 30+ yards. That is not Campbell's fault. You portray Campbell as a terrible quarterback, but I think he did one hell of a job considering the rediculous quarterback controversy with Gradkowski, and considering the inconsistency of the offensive line. DHB had plenty of balls thrown at him and he could not convert anything that was not thrown directly into his numbers....
Chris, how could you honestly say that the Raiders would not have been much better off picking anyone else in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft. Think before you write. Jeremy Maclin, Percy Harvin and Michael Crabtree are all vastly superior Wide Receivers to DHB and their numbers back it up. Either of these guys previously mentioned would have been a much smarter pick, as the Raiders were and ARE in need of a high performing wide receiver, not a project with terrible route running skills and very questionable hands. We had the 6th ranked offense in the league (with Jason Campbell as our quarterback) and had no go to wide receiver. Imagine how high our offense would have been ranked if we had a reliable wide receiver with great hands. Top (3) without a doubt.
Finally, why is it ok for you to label all these first round picks a bust, yet it is not ok for me and other raider fans to be honest in their assesment of DHB??? Regardless of what you say or believe about him, I will stand firm in my belief that DHB was a horrible draft choice and that he is on the road to being a serious bust. Numbers don't lie Chris, and DHB's numbers are absolutely terrible, and for a guy who was being advertised as the next Tim Brown or Jerry Rice, these numbers are completely unacceptable...
DHB facts: (2) touchdowns in (2) years as a starter. 7th overall pick in the 09 draft and he has the worst statistics among all receivers in the league who are starting from that draft. Only one catch of 30+ yards in (2) years as a starter, and he is supposed to be our deep threat. Lead the team in dropped passes the past two years. Worst route running skills in the entire league..... Take your goggles off Chris and get real. DHB is a bust, and he has shown us nothing to get fired up about. McFadden is an entirely different player, and like I said before, he showed glimpses of his promise before his breakout year. DHB has shown no glimpse of anything except being unable to catch the ball unless it hits him right in the numbers, and even then it is questionable.....
By the way, you have the nad to say he would have over 800 yards receiving if he played for a team like the Eagles??? Obviously, my friend, you live in a world of serious denial. There are two receivers on the Eagles named Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson who would give DHB a little competition at the Wide Receiver position. If you think DHB would crack that lineup then I suggest you get a mental evaluation, because that is one of the most rediculous things I have ever heard.
Two years is enough time for the Raiders to evaluate what they have with DHB, and saying that he needs (4) years to develop, well that is just about as rediculous as the Eagles comment...
@Chris9999 @Spartacus You are not accurate in your assessment of the other 1st rdrs Chris. Stafford has played well when he isn't being roughted up. and Jenkins is a starter at S which is what the Saints wanted to do just like when Nam was switched from S. I don't blame DHB for he had nothing to do with Al foolshly drafting him for he wasn't even in the top five wr's on all boards except the Raiders " Al Davis"
You know, let’s look at that vaunted 2009 NFL draft
1: Stafford – he’s not done anything
2: Smith – he’s lost his place as starter at LT
3: Curry – mediocrity so far
4: Sanchez – looking at stats alone, he’s a bust
6: Andre Smith – has barely played a game
8: Crabtree – decent but hardly a superstar
9: Maybin – bust
10: Moreno –bust
14: Jenkins – bust at CB
15: Cushing – failed a drugs test
16: English – bust
18: Ayers – bust
20: Pettigrew – average so far
22: Jerry – bust
27: Brown – bust
30: Britt – done nothing much
31: Wells – done nothing
Players in the first round, that DHB has probably done better than in his first 2 years = 9
Players in the top 10 DHB has done better than = 4
The actual truth is.
Crabtree joined a play off calibre team with a decent Passing attack.
Maclin joined one of the leagues best passing teams.
Harvin joined one of the league’s best passing teams.
DHB joined a team that hasn’t had any consistent QB play until about 30 months after making his debut.
DHB is raw. Plays on a lousy passing team.
What I’m saying is:
1: Stop making out that Oakland would have picked anyone much better in the first round – they would have ended up with Jason Smith, Curry, Andre Smith or possibly Crabtree at number 5, other than DHB. That was their Draft Board order probably.
2: Don’t criticise rookie players, until at least you have a QB who can pass for 3’000 yards, and make 300 completions.
You know, Campbell only makes 190 completions, and you’re expecting Heyward Bey to have a 80 catch season!
Campbell only throws 13 TD passes total, and you’re moaning as DHB didn’t make 8 TD catches. As in 65% of them! If Reggie Wayne caught 65% of Manning’s TD completions, he’d catch about 25 a year.
Campbell only threw for 2500 yards, and you’re expecting DHB to catch half of it!?
Again, if receivers actually did that, guys would be getting 2500 yards a season with the top teams…………
What I’m saying is, DHB is not a good player at the minute, but he’s not as bad as guys like you try and make out.
Blair White catching regular balls, and Austin Collie catching balls isn’t because they’re better, or more talented than DHB.
It’s not a case that DHB was 6th round talent, and Austin Collie is first round.
The difference is, one plays with a QB who averages about 460 completions a season, to almost anyone. And one plays with a guy who makes 190 completions a season.
The better Oakland’s line, and QB get, the better DHB will play. End of argument.
So there’s no good judging DHB for his production, when the O line, and QB aren’t producing either.
If Campbell comes out next year, and makes 350 completions, and DHB still only catches 30 of them, then feel free to call him a bust. Truth is, if Campbell makes 350 completions, probably 50, minimum would go to DHB
Development time, for a WR, if you have a good passing offense (QB, offensive line, and a double teamed receiver) - I'd say about 3 years is fair,
Development time, when for 1.5 of the first 2 years, you've had a QB who can't complete a pass, and a O line that can't protect him?
I'd say DHB's clock started about halfway through this season, when Al gave him a QB who could complete more than 5 passes a game.
If you actually watch Oakland in 2010, the games Campbell played well in, DHB usually got about 3-4 catches in. His problem this year, and last year, is that he's been playing in games when the QB isn't even completing 8 passes total. Let alone 8 passes to him.
What's more, he's playing in a side, with no star receivers, getting Double Coverage, meaning that he's the guy getting double teamed on the deep attempts.
Put DHB in the Colts side, or someone like the Eagles, as their second receiver, and he'd probably have about 800 yards last season. Watch a lot of receptions Maclin makes, or Jackon makes, and he's just getting the ball, in the numbers, wide open, with about 10 yards of space to work into.
Harsh truth is, DHB is raw, but he's a raw player, who's been playing in a lousy pass offence. Which was lousy at QB before he got there. And still is now.
Got to give him at least 4 full seasons. And he needs full seasons, where has a QB who can throw the ball
I honestly believe if the player shows flashes of greatness, then you give him (3) years to develop. Darren McFadden is a classic example. He had two injury plagued seasons before emerging in 2010 as a top tier running back. During those first two seasons, McFadden showed glimpses of his promise, and even though he was struggling with nagging injuries, everyone in Raidernation knew he had a special gift, and it was only a matter of time before he develops into it.
Jacoby Ford was brought in slowly, but by the end of the year, this rookie showed that he has the potential to be a game breaker.
Then there is DHB. I still marvel at these people who keep defending DHB, saying he "needs more time" etc. etc. What has DHB shown us in (2) years as a starter??? NOTHING.....He has a total of (2) touchdowns in (2) years, and literally cannot catch a ball unless it is in his numbers. He was promoted as this VAUNTED deep threat, and the longest catch he has made in his career is what, 30 yards one time?? DHB has not shown us greatness. He has not shown that he is capable of being a gamebreaker. Yes, he works hard, and yes, he is a good guy and it is hard not to pull for him. However, when DHB is on the field, he is a liability to the offense, and as the 7th overall pick selected in the 2009 draft, DHB has to be more than a decoy, and he has to make a tough catch from time to time. With DHB, I see no flashes of brilliance, and I see a very unpolished wide receiver who is argueably the worst route runner I have ever seen and one who has very poor hands. In DHB's case, I would release him and move on. There is a very talented group of guys available in free agency this year, and I would focus on getting a receiver that will contribute to our offense, and not waste anymore time trying to develop something out of nothing...Two years has been long enough to see if DHB has any kind of potential, and it is painfully obvious that the selection of DHB with the 7th overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft was a mistake of epic proportions....
Come on man. Start talking facts.
90% of the raider nation, were saying McFadden didn't have what it took to even play pro football. Let alone be a star.
Fans wanted him traded. Didn't even want him on the roster.
You had pundits, and analysts saying he was fundamentally not suited to playing NFL.
Truth is, hindsight is wonderful.
And I'm sure you'll be saying "it was only a matter of time" and "he had the talent, he just needed experience" this time next year, if DHB has a good season!
Your comment is valid, if other receivers had just turned up in year 1 or 2, and just done brilliantly.
It's not true at all. Guy's like Reggie Wayne -possesion guys- with Peyton Manning throwing to them weren't really doing much until year 3.
The truth with Heyward Bey, is he was signed on "potential" and is seen as a game breaker. A guy worth the risk.
And he's had a combination of Jamarcus Russell, BG, and JC throwing at him.
In many games, he's played, the QB has completed less than 10 passes in the entire game! Are you expecting DHB to catch 9 of them?
Truth is, Murphy, Heward Bey, Lee Higgins, Z Miller, N Miller, all had plain average passing returns, and big play returns this year.
Either they're all lousy, or you've got to accept that Oakland just hasn't had a line or QB who can consistently move the ball in the air