AFC West veteran draft: Oakland Raiders

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

This one will hurt the Raider Nation.

The player I'm giving the Raiders is a player they bypassed more than four years ago. Yes, the veteran player I'd draft for the Raiders is Arizona Cardinals' wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.


In 2004, the Raiders had the No. 2 overall draft choice. They took left tackle Robert Gallery in an attempt to answer their need at left tackle. The team also had a need at receiver. Fitzgerald, though, was bypassed. He went to Arizona with the next choice.

Fitzgerald, of course, is in the spotlight this week. He is the Cardinals' best player and a major reason why they will be playing in their first Super Bowl on Sunday. Gallery, meanwhile, has been moved to guard after struggling at left tackle. He was solid in 2008 but he is nowhere near the impact player Fitzgerald has been.

If the Raiders had a chance to get any player, I'd give them Fitzgerald. Along with, yes, left tackle, receiver is the Raiders' greatest need. Fitzgerald is the best impact receiver in the game right now and he would help develop quarterback JaMarcus Russell. With Oakland's solid running game, Fitzgerald would be a dangerous weapon in Oakland.

And to think this actually could have happened.