Wednesday, 23 April 2008


The news that the No.1 pick is done and dusted, with Jake Long due to become a Dolphin on Saturday, made the likelihood of my preferred scenario of Chris Long falling to the RAIDERS slightly more feasible, but only slightly.

I have a really bad feeling about the Rams, I remember Scott Linehan looking all doe-eyed in the direction of Long at the Virginia Pro Day all too well.

Scanning the St Louis media didn't seem to give much information on how the scribes there see the thinking of the team at this point, although it did reveal that the term Ram Nation is in use.I mean come on, RAM NATION!! A view of any Rams home game and the array of sweaters on show seems to reveal a fan base with a commitment to knit, after all a nation of Rams will have a large surplus of wool.Looking at the 2007 stats for St Louis on defense shows them at 20th against the run and 21st in sacks with 31 in total, so a close call between the need for a DE or DT.Of course Dorsey and Gholston are in the mix too, so it really comes down to who the coaching staff feel will make the most impact.

The rumours of New Orleans making a run at the No2 pick to grab Dorsey, and Atlanta preferring Brian Brohm to Matt Ryan could further complicate things if the RAIDERS are to get Long.

All this aside if Gholston, Dorsey, or McFadden become RAIDERS on Saturday then we will still have a player who will make the team better, and I'm not even going to get into the possible trade possibilities open to us, as I just don't see Al moving out of fourth, at least not down.

So with all that said my picks in the Pond mock draft of 2008 are:

First Round:Chris Long DE Virginia.

Destiny, legacy, call it what you will.Can Al resist a chip off the old block if available?Plus a second generation Long playing Oakland seems right, and I'm sure he would rather play for the NATION of the non-sheepy variety.

Fourth Round:Donnie Avery WR Houston.

Deep threat that the RAIDERS had a look at in Alameda.He's fast, had 90 plus receptions in 2007, and scores TD's.This is a reach to say that he will drop to the fourth, but I am factoring in the RAIDERS trying to get into the third to get him.

Round Six:Wesley Woodyard OLB Kentucky.

Has had three consecutive 100 tackle seasons, and is a sideline to sideline player.The concerns that he is undersized for the NFL have him highly motivated and these same concerns could have him still available, could be a weakside Thomas Howard for the RAIDERS.Some draft rankings still have him taken in the mid rounds so another reach really but that's the fun of picking a list.

Round Seven (213):William Robinson OT San Diego State.

A big tackle with apparently sound technique for a guy who is forecasted to go in the late rounds.Worth a look to compete in camp and the last S.D State player we took turned out to be quite good.

Round Seven (226):David Faaeteete DT Oregon.

Again a little undersized for NFL DT's, but this is the seventh round and he's from Medford and we went to a Medfordian tailgate on our first Oakland trip, and made them ill with Guinness.Good enough reason for me.

That's me done for the draft.Whoever becomes a RAIDER will be welcomed by the NATION regardless.Although if it's McFadden we will have to be a little on the forgiving side, after he revealed a liking for the Broncos recently.

Roll on 8.00pm GMT Saturday.

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