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'This guy improves us'

Unpredictable Raiders take Janikowski with 17th pick

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Posted: Sunday April 16, 2000 12:47 AM

  Sebastian Janikowski The Raiders aren't concerned about Sebastian Janikowski's legal problems. AP

ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) -- Looking past attempted bribery charges and possible deportation, the Oakland Raiders took Florida State kicker Sebastian Janikowski with the 17th overall pick in Saturday's draft.

It was the first time a kicker went in the first round since New Orleans selected Russell Erxleben of Texas with the 11th pick in 1979.

Janikowski, at 6-foot-1 and 263 pounds, kicked 50 field goals the past two seasons, and sent many of his kickoffs through the endzone.

The Raiders need a kicker, having lost several close games the past two seasons because of missed field goals. But Janikowski, a native of Poland, faces a bribery charge for allegedly offering a police officer in Tallahassee, Fla., $300 to release his roommate from custody. The roommate had been denied service at a club and was arrested for trespassing when he refused to leave.

Raiders First-Round Draft Picks
Year  Player  Pos  School 
2000  Sebastian Janikowski  Florida St. 
1999  Matt Stinchcomb  OT  Georgia 
1998  Charles Woodson  DB  Michigan 
1998  Mo Collins  OT  Florida 
1997  Darrell Russell  DT  Southern Cal 
1996  Rickey Dudley  TE  Ohio State 
1995  Napoleon Kaufman  RB  Washington 
1994  Rob Fredrickson  LB  Michigan State 
1993  Patrick Bates  DB  Texas A&M 
1992  Chester McGlockton  DE  Clemson 
1991  Todd Marinovich  QB  USC 
1990  Anthony Smith  DE  Arizona 
1989  NO PICK       
1988  Tim Brown  WR  Notre Dame 
1988  Terry McDaniel  DB  Tennessee 
1988  Scott Davis  DE  Illinois 
1987  John Clay  Missouri 
1986  Bob Buczkowski  DE  Pittsburgh 
1985  Jessie Hester  WR  Florida State 
1984  NO PICK       
1983  Don Mosebar  USC 
1982  Marcus Allen  RB  USC 
1981  Ted Watts  DB  Texas Tech 
1981  Curt Marsh  Washington 
1980  Marc Wilson  QB  Brigham Young 
1979  NO PICK       
1978  NO PICK       
1977  NO PICK       
1976  NO PICK       
1975  Neal Colzie  DB  Ohio State 
1974  Henry Lawrence  Florida A&M 
1973  Ray Guy  Southern Miss. 
1972  Mike Siani  WR  Villanova 
1971  Jack Tatum  Ohio State 
1970  Raymond Chester  TE  Morgan State 
Since 1970
X -- No. 1 pick

Oakland coach Jon Gruden said the Raiders would deal with the legal issues as they come up, but wasn't overly concerned.

"We did a lot of research on this young man," he said. "We feel we have an environment with our veteran players and our coaching staff for this young man to flourish."

Janikowski, meanwhile, said he's ready to prove there's more to him than the headlines.

"I'm going to put that behind me," he said. "I know who I am and I want people to know me more."

Although the Raiders already have kickers Michael Husted and Joe Nedney on their roster, Janikowski impressed the team with his strength and accuracy.

"At the combine, I don't believe he missed a kick," Gruden said. "He put on an orbital display in Indianapolis."

Oakland had 13 missed field goals last season, and all eight the team's losses in 1999 were by a touchdown or less as the team finished 8-8 for the second straight season.

"This is something we desperately needed to improve on," Gruden said. "This guy improves us."

Janikowski, who spent three seasons with the Seminoles, ranks third on the school's career-scoring list with 324 points.

He faces a May 3 hearing on the bribery charge, a third-degree felony. If found guilty, Janikowski could face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, and also could face deportation if convicted.

Kicking things off
Kickers and punters selected in the first round
Year Team Pick Player College 
1973 Oakland 23rd Ray Guy USC 
1978 St. Louis 15th Steve Little Arkansas 
1979 New Orleans 11th Russell Erxleben Texas 
2000 Oakland 17th Sebastian Janikowski Florida State 

"I'm not worried about thce up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine, and also could face deportation if convicted.

"I'm not worried about that," he said. "I talked to my lawyer and he said everything is going to be OK," he said.

On Sunday, during a tearful conversation with reporters, he said he

With the 47th overall pick in the second round, the Raiders took wide receiver Jerry Porter out of West Virginia. The 6-foot-2, 220-pound Porter also played at quarterback and safety last year, and impressed pro scouts with a 44-inch vertical leap.

"That just tells a little bit about his athletic ability," Gruden said of Porter. "We brought him here to be a wide receiver."

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