Draft position, baby.
The Raiders will pick eighth in the 2010 NFL Draft, that springtime fix in the football dry season we've just entered. Had the Raiders won that Ravens game, they would have picked after the current ninth-pick Buffalo Bills based on the stronger combined record of the Raiders' opponents.
And because it's never too early for a Mock Draft, FootballExpert.com projects the Raiders taking Alabama linebacker Rolando McClain with that eighth pick. MyNFLDraft.com has them taking Georgia Tech defensive end Derrick Morgan.
The 49ers will have the 13th and the 16th or 17th pick, depending on results of a coin flip.
The Raiders also learned their opponents for the 2010 NFL season. In addition to the obligatory divisional games with Denver, Kansas City, and San Diego, the Raiders will have home games against the Rams, Seahawks, Colts, Texans, and Dolphins. Their non-divisional road games are against Cardinals, Jaguars, Steelers, and -- hello! -- the San Francisco 49ers.
Joe Kukura is a freelance writer whose New Year's Resolution is to not black out during the first round of the NFL Draft now that they've moved it to a Thursday night.