Posted by beaston26 on August 23rd, 2011
In case you didn’t hear or forgot, there is only one Al Davis in the National Football League and he’s back up to his old tricks. No one person has ever been enamored like Al with physical specimens, and has never been afraid to pull the trigger on one. In the 1973 Draft, Al Davis selected punter Ray Guy out of the University of Southern Mississippi in the first round, the only punter to ever be selected in the first round. Two sport star Bo Jackson was another favorite of the Raiders owner and general manager. Unfortunately injuries derailed his career, but Jackson was a superstar during his short career. Guy’s booming punts and Jackson’s electric runs made them great successes in the pros and one of the all-time greats, but not all of Davis’ pet projects turned out as pleasant.
There have been seemingly several busts for each gem that Davis has discovered. The signing of Randy Moss and Daunte Culpepper failed miserably as they failed to rekindle the chemistry they shared in Minnesota. Receiver Darius Heyward-Bey was snagged at number 7 overall despite the consensus top receiver, Michael Crabtree, remaining on the board. Heyward-Bey has only totaled 35 catches and 2 touchdowns in his career thus far. Strong-armed quarterback Jamarcus Russell was another huge bust for Oakland. Taken with the number one overall pick, Russell held out extensively before signing an extremely lucrative contract. He then showed up at training camp vastly overweight and behind the learning curve. Russell never got his act together and was eventually released.
On Monday Al Davis continued his trend of drafting athletic players with the selection of troubled Ohio State quarterback Terrell Pryor in the third round of the NFL’s supplemental draft. It was questionable whether or not Pryor would even be eligible for the draft after he was facing a 5 game suspension at Ohio State for receiving improper benefits. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also suspended Pryor for the first 5 games of the NFL season for whatever team decided to draft him, but a 4.36 40 yard dash time at a private work out was good enough for Mr. Davis to pull the trigger. Pryor, an excellent runner with questionable quarterback smarts and arm strength has the potential to switch to wide receiver or tight end at 6′6 and 230 pounds. The plan right now is to keep Pryor at quarterback, but as always with the Raiders, don’t rule out a position change down the road. Hate him or love him, Al Davis is as unique as they come and makes for some very interesting NFL conversation no matter what he’s doing.