Was Kiffin's recruiting an influence?

Raiders head coach Lane Kiffin was known for his recruiting skills at USC. Was this draft littered with his picks or could you feel a touch of Al Davis testing to see if he still has any magic left in his wand.

Judging from the talent assembled in Lane Kiffin's first draft as Raiders head coach, his background as recruiting coordinator at USC gave him considerable input into the class of 2006.

But there were some prototypical Al Davis picks as well.

The bottom line is the Raiders addressed some major needs -- including the most glaring one at quarterback -- and also made some chance plays that may not pay off for a year or two down the road.

Once Davis and Kiffin determined that Russell's character was on par with his physical skills, it was a no-brainer that he be the first quarterback taken by the Raiders in the first round since Todd Marinovich in 1991 (No. 24 overall).

In the end, the draft will be evaluated on whether Russell takes over in a manner worthy of the top pick of the draft, and little else will matter. The answer is not likely to come soon -- with McCown aboard via trade, Kiffin can take his time putting Russell into the lineup.

More likely to play right away is tight end Zach Miller of Arizona State, a second-round selection Kiffin said the Raiders had rated higher than first-round pick Greg Olsen of Miami. He is probably the safest of the 11 picks.

Elsewhere, there were calculated gambles on players who were unproductive, injured or both -- players which could pay off in a big way or end up on the waiver wire inside of two years.

Georgia defensive end Quentin Moses (third round, 65th overall) suffered through a dismal senior year but has pass rushing skill Kiffin believes can be rejuvenated. Florida State tackle Mario Henderson (third round, 91st overall) was an underachiever through his junior year who was marginally impressive as a senior.

Wide receiver Johnnie Lee Higgins (third round, 99th overall) was Oakland's seemingly yearly pure-speed pick at wide receiver, where he'll join a unit that counts Jerry Porter and Ronald Curry as the only sure things.

Louisville running back Michael Bush will be given ample time to come back fully from a broken leg, at which time it is hoped he'll displace either LaMont Jordan or Dominic Rhodes within the next year or two.

Cincinnati corner John Bowie is a pure speed project who won't be rushed into action, with Ohio State defensive end Jay Richardson (fifth round, 138th overall) coming in as development insurance as a pass rusher.

Among the later picks, safety Eric Frampton (fifth round, 165th overall) has the sort of production and ability to create turnovers the Raiders need, although both he and fullback Oren O'Neil (sixth round, 175th overall) are more likely contributors on special teams, assuming they make the 53-man roster.

The Raiders made one last speed pick in the seventh round (254th overall), taking Johnathan Holland of Louisiana Tech, a Western Athletic Conference sprint champion and occasionally brilliant receiver.

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