Raiders Deal Washington to Ravens

By Jason Jones –
Published 6:13 am PDT Monday, April 28, 2008

For the second consecutive year, the Raiders added a fourth-round draft pick by dealing a player who once figured prominently into their future plans.

Last year, the Raiders traded Randy Moss to New England for a fourth-round selection.

This time it was cornerback Fabian Washington, who was dealt to the Baltimore Ravens for the 125th pick in the 2008 NFL draft.

Moss went on to have a record-breaking season for the Patriots.

It remains to be seen what will become of Washington. He was the team’s first-round pick in 2005 but fell out of favor last season and was benched after two games.

“I think we think we have better players here,” said defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. “He was a fine player for us and we wish him the best. I’d like to really talk about the players that are here and we’re excited about what we have coming up this season. Obviously, you add DeAngelo Hall and the production of Stanford Routt and Nnamdi (Asomugha) with Chris Johnson, it’s exciting.”

With the Raiders trading for Hall, Washington figured to be no better than the fourth cornerback in Oakland.

Washington’s departure continues a trend of the Raiders missing badly on first-round picks this decade. Of seven first-round picks from 2000 to 2005, only cornerback Asomugha and guard Robert Gallery are still on the team.

Gallery, however, was drafted to play tackle, making Asomugha the lone pick to pan out. Two of the picks, linebacker Napoleon Harris and cornerback Phillip Buchanon (2002), were traded.

Harris was traded for Moss with a first-round pick in 2005.

Washington, a player the team traded up to get out of Nebraska in 2005, was seen as a player with Pro Bowl potential as recently as last season. But he lost his starting job to Routt, a second-round pick in 2005, after two games in which he struggled.

He never regained the confidence he displayed in 2006, when the Raiders ranked No. 1 in pass defense and Washington appeared destined for a solid career with the Raiders.

The Raiders began the weekend with five picks and ended the draft with five total after two trades.

The Raiders switched places with Dallas to snag the first pick in the fourth round, 100th overall, to select Connecticut cornerback Tyvon Branch, a speedster with kick-return ability whom the Raiders also plan to use at safety. Oakland also sent one of its two seventh-round picks to Dallas in the deal.

“I’m definitely a big special-teams guy,” Branch said in a conference call. “I really like being on special teams. If they put me out there, I’ll go to work.”

The pick acquired in the deal for Washington was used on Richmond wide receiver Arman Shields, who tested well at the NFL combine in February after missing most of the 2007 season with a knee injury.

Buffalo defensive end Trevor Scott was the team’s sixth-round pick. Wide receiver Chaz Schilens of San Diego State was the Raiders’ seventh-round choice.

~ by Sactown Raider Boosters on April 28, 2008.

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