The offseason and the draft for the Oakland Raiders have given their fanbase some excitement, but there was also so head-scratching. After a stellar 2016 season, the Raiders fell hard last season and missed the playoffs. The result of their shortcomings warranted some change throughout the organization.
For many Raiders fans out in the Bay, the hiring of Jon Gruden was the jolt of energy the team needed. However, the draft caught some these same fans off-guard and left them wondering what exactly is going on?
Sure on the surface, Oakland’s draft wasn’t the best to many experts around the sports universe, but throw those opinions out. One thing that has been proven throughout the life of football is that high pick players aren’t always guaranteed to excel in the NFL (Cough, Cough, Tom Brady).
Two of these head-shaking moves was their 1st round pick, OT Kolton Miller, and 2nd round pick, DT P.J. Hall. Experts saw Miller as a solid 3rd-rounder and the Raiders had an opportunity to pick up DB Derwin James or LB Tremaine Edmunds along with other mid 1st round talents.
Been some time since I’ve tweeted but what better time than now! So hyped to join #RaiderNation @Raiders. Check out my first @NFL trading card with #PaniniInstant #NFLDraft https://t.co/fBNCGtOWZb pic.twitter.com/bsHNGCI3Xd
— Kolton Miller (@kolton_miller) April 27, 2018
In Hall’s case, he is a small school talent that many believed could have gone later in the second day of the draft, or possibly the final day. That being said, Gruden knows what he’s doing and see something in these two players that warranted their early selections. This can be said for all of Oakland’s picks.
Also, there is some humor about how many people have focused on what they believe is a poor draft. The humor comes from how unnoticed the Raiders additional player personnel has been dismissed.
During the offseason, Oakland added Doug Martin to the backfield and recently added Derrick Johnson to the linebacker core. These two players have seen a decline in their production in the past few seasons and are looking for a place to continue and revamp their careers. Martin is only 29 years old and has had some issues on-and-off the field, but he’s in a backfield that features Marshawn Lynch.
— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) May 7, 2018
Johnson is in his 14th season in the league and provides some much-needed experience to the linebackers. He also spent his 13 seasons in the AFC West and is very familiar with their divisional foes.
Finally, the team was able to give quarterback Derek Carr some help from the draft. They traded for Martavis Bryant, who felt he was underused in Pittsburgh last season. Bryant can bring that additional firepower to an offense that was lackluster at the receiver position last season and open things up for the other receivers.
A preview of things to come.
The newest wide receiver in Silver and Black does things like this. 👀 pic.twitter.com/aaiJrENs80
— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) April 27, 2018
In general, not every draft pick, free agent or trade will work out for Oakland. Also, not every career in the league plays out like a player hopes for. So don’t write off the Raiders draft and offseason as a poor one until the results are in. Gruden is a proven coach with a Super Bowl ring and he already has some critical personnel to make this Oakland team relevant again before their move to Las Vegas.