We all know that Al Davis loves speed, but does he base his draft picks solely on the players 40 times alone? If you look at the 9 fastest 40 yard times you will see that the Raiders have picked 4 of them. I get that you can’t coach speed, but when you look at where these players were drafted and how much they have contributed to the Raiders you come away scratching your head. Here is the list of players:
- Fabian Washington – 4.25 seconds – 2005 draft 1st round 23rd overall – Washington only had 5 interceptions in his 3 year stay in Oakland. Since joining the Ravens in 2008 he has only been able to muster up 1 interception totaling 6 for his career. I am sure the Raiders were the only team that would have picked Washington in the first round.
- Darrius Heyward-Bey – 4.25 seconds – 2009 draft 1st round 7th overall – DHB has been a total bust in his first 2 years in Oakland. He can run fast, but being able to run fast in a straight line does not translate into elite receiver status. In his first 2 years DHB has a total of 35 catches. Numbers that represent a 7th round pick, not the 7th pick in the draft. Maybe DHB can finally get his act together going into this 3rd year, but I highly doubt it. Waste of another high draft based on his 40 time.
- Jacoby Ford – 4.28 – 2010 draft 4th round 108th overall – Big Al may have actually found a player who can run a fast 40 and play football in Ford. This year Ford made some spectacular plays as a rookie and should be even better going into his 2nd year. When Ford got into the open field he showed his speed returning 3 kickoffs for touchdowns in 2010. If Ford can continue to improve he should be one of the most dynamic players in the NFL.
- Stanford Routt – 4.29 – 2005 draft 2nd round 38th overall – The Raiders had already picked Washington in the first round so Al thought why not draft another fast secondary player in Routt. Routt has had a total of 6 interceptions in 6 years with the Raiders. What does Al pay for mediocre numbers like this? How about he gives Routt a new contract paying him 31.5 million dollars over 3 years. Does a player who averages 1 interception a year deserve to be paid this amount? If you average this out, Routt is getting paid roughly a million dollars an interception since he only averages one a year.
The only player that the Raiders have struck gold with is Ford who they picked in the 4th round. The other 3 guys are fast, but Al put to much emphasis on their ability to run the fast 40’s. This approach has gotten the Raiders to where they are today, which is nowhere. If Al wants the Raiders to be an elite NFL team again he might actually want to watch some game film instead of looking at a piece of paper showing how fast guys run at the combine. This approach may have worked in the 1970’s, but this formula has lost its effectiveness.