The New England Patriots steal. They steal draft picks and players from teams that don’t know what they are getting themselves into. The Pats have always been known for there thriftyness in trades. However, with the recent Richard Seymour trade to the Oakland Raiders, it doesn’t feel like thriftyness as much as it does straight ripping teams off.
For the 29 year old defensive tackle, the Raiders traded a 2011 first round pick. That first round pick is likely to be a high one. In the last 5 first round picks the Raiders have had, 4 have been a top 7 pick. The Pats have ripped off the Raiders before. In 2007, the Pats traded a 4th round pick for Randy Moss.
To put the crime into perspective, consider this: The Green Bay Packers received a 3rd round pick for Brett Favre from the Jets a season ago. Brett Favre, a first ballot Hall of Famer, has started every game since Week 3 in the 1992 season. Richard Seymour has started all 16 games in a season once in his career and that was in 2002.
I cannot, however, be mad at the Patriots. I would want my team to make every trade that they have made. Hell, the other team (in this case, the Raiders) also has to agree with the trade. There is a reason why teams like the Pats are Super Bowl contenders year in and year out and teams like the Raiders are the bottom feeders of the NFL: intelligence. Some organizations have it, others don’t. Oh yeah and, if it were possible, fire Al Davis.
Needs: WR, OL, DL, LB
The Raiders have been stuck in a rut the past couple seasons, drafting in the top ten in four out of the last five years. With the exception of getting rid of Al Davis, the Raiders need help on both lines and at receiver. Raider receivers have been limited by injury and quarterback play. The leading receiver was tight end Zach Miller with 778 measly yards. The lines for the Raiders are allowing too many sacks or not generating enough (the leading sacker on the team last year was Kalimba Edwards with 5.)
Choice #1: Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
This sure handed receiver would give young QB JeMarcus Russell a guy to throw to and run after the catch. Maclin has homerun ability and is versatile enough to help on special teams as well. Think of him as Devin Hester, but a much better receiver. Maclin is electrifying, scoring 17 total tds in 2008 (13 receiving, 2 rushing, 2 returning.) As we all know, Al Davis loves speed and skill position players, so he will target Maclin.
Choice #2: Andre Smith, OL, Alabama
Maclin’s one flaw is that he has an injury history. If that were to scare the Raiders off (which it probably won’t), the Black Hole could look to improve their protection for JeMarcus Russell. Smith had an outstanding career at Alabama and is the perfect build for the NFL (6 foot 4, 330 pounds.) However, as of late, Smith has had some off the field issues. He missed the Crimson Tide’s bowl game while serving a suspension for signing with an agent. Following that mishap, Smith left the combine early after performing sub-par. The big boy has issues, but he has a lot of upside. If there is anything that I know about the Raiders, it’s that they don’t mind a little baggage. Smith won’t scare them.