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My long-time friend Richard Lieberman is prone to hyberbole and god-love him, this is one of those moments. The San Francisco Chronicle blogger may have made some hay by charging ESPN with a "bias" against the Oakland Raiders, but where I am in New York, and where I was at Radio City Music Hall for the NFL Draft, the notion was quickly put to rest. I'm going to spend about as much time on this as ESPN did, but the bottom line is a lot of people didn't like the Raiders draft, almost from top-to-bottom.
I was editing videos in the Interview Room when I overherd NFL Network's Pat Kirwan, and Clark Judge of CBS Sports doing a take for NFL Network, and both were almost laughably derisive of the Raiders decision to take Darrius Heywood-Bay, who's the third ranked receiver in the draft over Michael Crabtree who was picked in an almost regional slap-in-your-face move by the cross-bay San Francisco 49ers. The preseason game will be interesting.
This is what one scout at draftcountdown.com wrote about Heywood-Bay:
A smooth, fluid athlete...Long strider with rare speed...Explosive with great acceleration and a burst...Quick and agile...Terrific height and bulk with long arms...Excellent leaper...Nice body control and ball skills...Tough and not afraid to work the middle...Vertical threat who can separate...Also a dangerous weapon on reverses...Great work ethic...Could also contribute as a return man...Still has a ton of upside.
Is inconsistent catching the ball and does not have great natural hands...Questionable instincts and awareness...Still very raw as a route runner...Not much wiggle and won't make people miss...Doesn't break a lot of tackles...Average strength...Marginal blocker...Has little or no special teams experience...Wasn't real productive..Workout Warrior?
As to the best draft? Well, that's three years before anyone can determine, but I'm going to give props to The Miami Dolphins for getting West Virginia Quarterback Pat White in the second round of the Draft. It's the best mating of man, scheme, and need I've ever seen. In the "Wildcat" offense they run he will succeed and perhaps be in line for "rookie of the year" honors by seasons end.