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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Raiders Al Davis Gets His Combine Studs Bruce Campbell, Jacoby Ford

The Oakland Raiders shocked the football world by making what seemed to be very logical picks on the first two days of the draft. With their first-round pick, they selected Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain eighth overall. With their second-round pick, they chose Texas defensive tackle Lamarr Houston. Both moves seemed to indicate a desire by the Raiders to shore up their run defense because they also traded away LB Kirk Morrison, a player owner Al Davis seemed to blame for their shoddy run-stopping.

In addition to their solid draft picks the first two days, the Raiders acquired quarterback Jason Campbell from the Redskins. On a roster with JaMarcus Russell, Bruce Gradkowski, Kyle Boller, and Charlie Frye as the options at QB, Campbell seems like the best option. While making some strong moves that should improve the Raiders in the future, you knew they couldn’t go the entire draft without making some typical Al Davis selections.

Much like they did last year by taking bust Darrius Heyward-Bey 7th overall, the Raiders went with back-to-back combine speedsters in the 4th round. With pick number 106, the Raiders chose Maryland offensive tackle Bruce Campbell. Campbell created a buzz at the combine by running a 4.85 40-yard dash, posting 34 reps of 225lbs on the bench press, and measuring out with the longest arms of any tackle at 36 inches. People joked he would be a lock to go to Oakland and they were right, only the Raiders took Campbell at a reasonable spot in the fourth round, not the first.

Two picks after drafting Campbell, the Raiders selected Clemson WR Jacoby Ford. Ford was another combine stud, running the fastest 40 time of any player, a 4.28. Ford’s small at 5’8″ and 180lbs and he didn’t produce huge numbers at Clemson, but he is a speedster. Both Campbell and Ford were typical Al Davis, speed/athletic player picks. The good news for Raiders fans is at least Davis took them in the fourth-round where it’s a lower risk. Translation, they didn’t embarrass themselves as much as we thought they would.



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