Below is a collection of all my post-draft work on the Raiders picks. I will update if I do breakdowns of late round draft picks and UDFA.
The Draft is over and reactions to the Raiders draft haul have been all over the place. I believe internally the Raiders feel great about their draft because they were able to acquire the number one corner on their board, as well as a safety that they graded highly enough to take in the first round.
A big knock that many critics have on the Raiders draft is that the Raiders did not address the middle linebacker position with a high draft pick but Rueben Foster’s medical was simply too significant to ignore. Three concussions and lingering shoulder issues are especially difficult for middle linebackers to deal with. Jarrad Davis was selected ahead of the Raiders pick and the only linebacker available to the Raiders that might have warranted a high draft pick was Zach Cunningham and the Raiders were never high on him. I also had a low grade on Cunningham because of his issues tackling.
Reggie Mckenzie didn’t address the position until the fifth round of the draft when he selected Marquel Lee from Wake Forest. Lee was targeted by the Raiders and they knew that they could wait until the fifth to get him.
The Raiders addressed the defensive and offensive line with boom or bust type of project players that Mckenzie has become known for taking. Whether you agree with the philosophy or not, it is one that the Seahawks have also employed. It is risky, but it shows that Mckenzie would rather take chances on adding blue-chip players to the roster rather than getting a bunch of average players.
Overall, I thought the Raiders successfully executed their draft plan and stayed true to their board. They took calculated risks but the gambles could pay off big time this year and in the coming years. With that said, here is a collection of my work on the Raiders draft picks.
Round 1- Gareon Conley
Round 2- Obi Melifonwu
Round 3- Eddie Vanderdoes
Round 4- David Sharpe & Round 7- Jylan Ware
Round 5- Marquel Lee
Round 7- Shalom Luani
Prediction: Luani is sort of the opposite of Melifonwu. He will go for big hits but will miss tackles. Could make the team because of the need for safety depth, but will depend on how will he learns the scheme in camp. Could make a big impact on special teams if he improves his tackling technique.
Round 7- Elijah Hood
Prediction: Big back with some talent that has battled weight issues. Can’t see the team carrying four backs into games, so he’ll likely be signed to the practice squad.
Round 7- Treyvon Hester
Prediciton: Hester has to have a very strong camp to make the team. He’ll have a chance to get some repetitions in OTAs while Vanderdoes is for-filling his academic requirements but barring any injury Hester might just end up being on the practice squad.