Jets' Fans Boo Raiders’ Pick of McFadden
Darren McFadden
Darren McFadden
The Morning News/Razorback Central
Posted Apr 26, 2008


NEW YORK — Fans of the New York Jets have never been shy about expressing their opinions — and sometimes their frustrations — during the NFL Draft.

And as soon as Darren McFadden walked across the stage inside Radio City Music Hall to pose for pictures with an Oakland Raiders jersey, dozens of Jets fans let out a chorus of boos.

They weren’t booing McFadden as much as they were expressing their disappointment that the Raiders took the former Arkansas running back before the Jets could.

“He should have been ours,” said John Werner, an 18-year-old Queens resident dressed in a white Jets jersey and matching fire fighter’s helmet. “Al Davis robbed us.”

Jets fans arrived at the draft on Saturday morning hoping McFadden would still be available when the Jets made their first selection with the sixth pick. But the Raiders made sure to spoil some fans’ day by taking McFadden with the No. 4 pick.

“That is our running back,” Werner said, clearly annoyed. “We were supposed to have him.”

Radio City Music Hall erupted in deafening boos as soon as NFL commissioner Roger Goodell announced the Raiders’ selection of McFadden. And the frustration didn’t subside for some fans even after the Jets selected former Ohio State defensive end Vernon Gholston with the sixth pick.

“Absolutely bummed out,” said Lucas Schulman, a 14-year-old Long Island native. “McFadden’s a game changer.”

The Jets were one of the four teams McFadden visited in the weeks leading up to the draft, and there was plenty of speculation that he would end up in the Big Apple.

Jets fans had made no secret that they wanted the two-time Heisman Trophy runner-up to add a spark to an offense that lacks star power and an explosive runner.

Trevor Gill, 14, showed up at Radio City Music Hall at 5 a.m. Saturday wearing a green wig and the No. 20 jersey of Jets running back Thomas Jones.

But Gill had altered the jersey some, pasting a cutout of McFadden’s face over Jones’ number on the front and replacing Jones’ name on the back with McFadden’s.

Gill made it clear he wanted to see Arkansas’ all-time leading rusher in a Jets jersey next season.

“I’ll be very bummed out (if he’s not) just because he’s the best, and I always want the best for the Jets,” said Gill, a native of Westchester County in New York.

It wasn’t a surprise that the overwhelmingly pro-Jets crowd booed the Raiders’ pick of McFadden. In fact, it was expected. But the jeers didn’t stop after the Little Rock native was taken.

The fans booed again nearly three hours later when the Jets traded back into the first round to take former Purdue tight end Dustin Keller.


Related Stories
Round 1: Oakland Selects RB Darren McFadden
 -by ScoutNFLNetwork.com  Apr 26, 2008
Choose Your Destiny: Darren McFadden
 -by WarpaintIllustrated.com  Apr 13, 2008
Why Not McFadden?
 -by WarpaintIllustrated.com  Feb 27, 2008

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