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Raiders' commitment to taking a gamble

ALAMEDA

The NFL college draft is always a gamble but Saturday the Oakland Raiders made playing the lottery a sure thing in comparison. In the most remarkable display of either penetrating insight or abject stupidity, and the charitable pick is the latter, the Raiders with the seventh overall pick in the draft chose a wide receiver who was second on his college team in touchdowns.

Darrius Heyward-Bey was an honorable mention All-Atlantic Coast Conference, making Heyward-Bey at least the seventh-best pass receiver in a second-tier college football conference.

So if you are asking yourself right now: Why didnt the Raiders at least draft one of those six ACC wide receivers picked ahead of Heyward-Bey on that postseason honors team? thats a fair question.

Theres a lot of fair questions to ask about the Raiders first-round pick but none of them cut to the chase quicker, sum up the shock more tightly than this one: Have the Raiders clearly lost their ever-loving mind?

Its not just that Heyward-Bey was the third-rated wide receiver in the draft or, at the very least, that five other players were rated higher when the Raiders selected him.

Its that Heyward-Bey appears to fit well in this sentence that Raider sportscaster Greg Papa is sure to utter this upcoming season: JaMarcus Russell throws it deep, the receiver is behind the safety, hes wide open and, oh no, oh no, Darrius Heyward-Bey drops the ball!

Yes, let the comparison to James Oops Jett begin.

Theres also another fair question to be asked: Tom Cable didnt really say that, did he?

The Raiders head coach said Heyward-Bey was a no-question pick. ... we targeted him a month ago ... the best wide receiver in the draft.

Cable didnt think 309-pound Eugene Monroe of Virginia, the second-rated offensive tackle in the draft, warranted even a sniff of interest from Oakland. Cable also said Heyward-Bey reminds him most of that celebrated knucklehead, Randy Moss, and theres nothing that inspires run-for-your-life more than comparing anyone to Randy Moss.

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