The “AFR” First-Year Star

The Raiders Research Project presents: The “AFR” First-Year Star Award

This award, which was run from 2006 through 2009, was voted on by the members of, the biggest and best Oakland Raiders fans website.

It was intended to honor the rookie (or first-year) Raider who contributes the most to the team’s success during the season:

The “After Further Review” First-Year Star award is given to the rookie or first-season Raider judged by the members of to have contributed the most to the team in the just-completed season.

Nominees from the team’s rookies and second-year players who did not participate during their first season were selected by Eric Strauss, writer of the Silver & Black Report’s “After Further Review” column. They were then voted upon by the fan members of

The winner was named the “After Further Review” First-Year Star!

The First-Year Stars:

2009: Louis Murphy, wide receiver

The fourth-round pick performed much better than Top 10 selection Darrius Heyward-Bey, leading the Raiders’ receivers in catches with 34 while earning nine starts, primarily at flanker. Murphy played in all 16 games and scored his first three NFL touchdowns while averaging more than 15 yards per catch.

Player Position Vote total Vote pct.
Louis Murphy (D4a-09) Wide receiver 31 86.11
Matt Shaughnessy (D3-09) Defensive end 3 8.33
Darrius Heyward-Bey (D1-09) Wide receiver 1 2.78
Mike Mitchell (D2-09) Strong safety 1 2.78
Desmond Bryant (OFA-09) Defensive tackle 0 0.00
Brandon Myers (D6b-09) Tight end 0 0.00
Slade Norris (D4b-09) Outside linebacker 0 0.00
Other (not specified) 0 0.00

2008: Trevor Scott, defensive end

The sixth-round draft pick in 2008 tied for the team lead with five sacks, winning the closest vote in award history. He registered a pair of two-sack games, most notably dropping future Hall of Fame quarterback Brett Favre twice in the Raiders’ overtime win against the New York Jets.

Player Position Vote total Vote pct.
Trevor Scott (D6-08) Defensive end 30 32.26
Mario Henderson (D3b-07) Offensive tackle 24 25.81
Michael Bush (D4a-07) Running back/Fullback 17 18.28
Darren McFadden (D1-08) Running back 10 10.75
Tyvon Branch (D4a-08) Safety 5 5.38
Chaz Schilens (D7-08) Wide receiver 5 5.38
Todd Watkins (W/StL-08) Wide receiver 1 1.08
Other (not specified) 1 1.08

2007: Zach Miller, tight end

The second-round draft pick in 2007 set a team rookie record for receptions, with 44, good for 444 yards (10.1 average) and 3 touchdowns. He started all 16 games and providing strong blocking to go with his good hands.

Player Position Vote total Vote pct.
Zach Miller (D2-07) Tight end 71 94.67
Oren O’Neal (D6-07) Fullback 4 5.33
Jon Condo (FA-07) Long snapper 0 0.00
Hiram Eugene (OFA-05) Free safety 0 0.00
Johnnie Lee Higgins (D3c-07) Punt returner 0 0.00
Jay Richardson (D5a-07) Left defensive end 0 0.00
JaMarcus Russell (D1-07) Quarterback 0 0.00
Other 0 0.00

2006: Thomas Howard, weakside linebacker

The fleet-footed second-round draft pick in 2006 won the starting job at weakside linebacker during the preseason and wound up starting 15 games while finishing with 110 tackles, good for second on the team.

Player Position Vote total Vote pct.
Thomas Howard (D2-06) Weakside linebacker 80 69.57
Kevin Boothe (D6-06) Right guard 20 17.39
Michael Huff (D1-06) Strong safety 12 10.43
John Madsen (OFA-06) Tight end/wide receiver 1 0.87
Andrew Walter (D3a-05) Quarterback 1 0.87
Other (“no player”) 1 0.87
Kevin Huntley (OFA-05) Defensive end 0 0.00
Paul McQuistan (D3-06) Left guard/right guard 0 0.00

Sources: voting,,

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