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Talk pro football with SI.com's Andrew Perloff in Huddle Up, a forum to discuss the hottest topics around the NFL.
4/06/2007 11:28:00 AM

Raiders' Mysterious Ways

Russell
JaMarcus Russell has impressed everyone this offseason, but the Raiders may not feel a quarterback can help them win quickly enough.
Bob Rosato/SI

VIDEO: Calvin Johnson | JaMarcus Russell | Brady Quinn

Now that David Carr signed with the Panthers, the list of potential Raiders quarterbacks for next season is even smaller. And SI.com's Michael Silver wrote yesterday that Oakland is strongly leaning toward taking Calvin Johnson with the No. 1 pick, because Al Davis thinks the gifted receiver gives the Raiders a better chance to win now.

Taking Johnson makes sense, but the second half of Silver's report was a head-scratcher. Apparently, Davis is content with Andrew Walter as his starter. The notion of sticking with Walter, who threw 13 picks compared to three touchdowns last year, is either dementia or a smokescreen. Reports also surfaced that the Raiders are trying to acquire QB Josh McCown from the Lions, which indicates even more strongly that they're thinking Johnson at the top of the draft.

If Johnson goes No.1, the next five picks become chaotic. Everyone seems to think the Lions will trade down, so that could mean teams trying hard to move up to take Russell. And then Brady Quinn to the Browns seems like a layup.

All of that makes sense, but over the last couple years quarterbacks like Aaron Rodgers and Matt Leinart have taken nose-dives the week before the draft. It's possible that either Quinn or Russell lasts longer than expected. I don't think that will happen this year, however, especially after a number of teams were burned by passing on Leinart.

Then again, the Raiders are mysterious, so who knows how this will play out? If I had told you at this point last year that Mario Williams would go No. 1 , you would have laughed at me -- even more than usual.

If you think you have a better idea of what's going to happen at the top of the draft, let me know in our comments section.
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