Despite their course of action in the NFL Draft,
the Oakland Raiders suggest not to read too much into the team drafting two
The perception is that third-year man Derrick Gibson, Oakland’s projected
starter at strong safety, could be on the hot seat after the team drafted Nnamdi
Asomugha (California) in the first round and Siddeeq Shabazz (New Mexico State)
in the sixth round.
Oakland drafted Gibson in the first round in 2001. He has played at times
but also has been prone to injury.
Gibson began last
season as a starter but Anthony Dorsett replaced him after getting injured.
Dorsett played well enough to keep the job even after Gibson was healthy enough
to return to action. The Raiders, however, released Dorsett in a cost-cutting
move. As a rookie, Gibson showed signs of promise before a broken hand
sidetracked his progress.
“That's a misperception, that we
are disappointed with Derrick Gibson,” Raiders defensive coordinator Chuck
Bresnahan said. “He got injured last season and Anthony Dorsett took over, but
we are totally expecting Derrick Gibson to take the position and fight like hell
to make it his.”
If the Raiders were,
however, comfortable with Gibson’s play, one must wonder why the team drafted
two players in that area. Asomugha could likely push Gibson for playing time.
Oakland probably would not have drafted Asomugha in the first round if it did
not think highly of him.
Gibson is entering
his third season, a time when a highly drafted player should be making his mark.
For Gibson, that time needs to be now.
Vince D’Adamo can be reached via e-mail at