Sorry, Trey, we’re homies, but I have to defend my team. Minutes after you gave my Raiders a D in your AFC West draft grade, I immediately felt that was wrong. Especially at how well all the Raiders picks last year turned out. I felt the need to explain the picks myself.
With Henry Ruggs III at 12, it supplies the Raiders with a deep threat and speed option that we obviously lacked last year. Hunter Renfrow is a small white guy who’s not going to get down the field and Tyrell Williams doesn’t have the speed for it. Sure, even I felt like that Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb were better WRs on the board, but Henry Ruggs III wasn’t far off. He was the fastest WR in the draft and will be able to stretch the field in Gruden’s offense.
At 19, Damon Arnette was a reach, but not due to physical capabilities but because of the attitude problem you mentioned. Damon Arnette has great college tape and NFL coaches loved his ability, just not his attitude. Jeffery Okudah also was surprised that even Mel Kiper Jr, didn’t have Arnette higher. He’s a ballhawk, and frankly a dawg. Sure, the Raiders may have reached, but if the Raiders want someone, they get him, just like Clelin Ferrell.
Wide Receiver Issues?
Next, we talk about how the Raiders took 3 WRs in the draft. While Bowden was listed at WR, he could have been listed at RB or QB. I like this pick because he is versatile, a trait that Gruden and Mayock both love. Bryan Edwards is a big physical TD threat for the Raiders. WR was a need for the Raiders and you’re punishing them for fulfilling that need? Odd.
Before we get into the other picks, let’s think. The Raiders took 3 WRs, was there anything that they could do to stop Kansas City’s offense on defense? There was no one that we could have taken that would have said, “yeah they can handle Kansas City now,” Nothing. The only way to beat the Chiefs is in a shootout. That’s what the Raiders plan to do and now have the pieces to at least attempt to do so. Plus, now Derek Carr has the weapons he needs to succeed and if he doesn’t, it’s time to give him the boot. They are setting themselves up for a new QB IF Carr doesn’t work out. Can’t see how that is “D” worthy.
I can admit the Raiders love Clemson players, but giving their history of producing great players and being one of the best teams every year…is that bad? Tanner Muse is versatile, once again, a thing that Gruden and Mayock love. He’s a rookie, not much rookies are starters anyway, especially when you addressed the defense during Free Agency. They can mold him into a player that they can use on defense. So what, if he starts out on special teams…isn’t that normal?
Going back to Clemson, we drafted a Guard there, even Gruden admitted they have a pipeline to Clemson, not necessarily a bad thing. Dabo is a great coach and Clemson is a great program, I fail to see the issue. It seemed like most of the reason you graded the Raiders draft grade a D because of Clemson. You said you didn’t mind the Amik Robertson pick, so I won’t touch on that too much. People thought he was a steal, so it’s hard to question that one.
This whole, who has all the power thing between Mayock and Gruden is dumb. GM is in charge but is it so bad that they work closely together on who to pick and make decisions? Being on the same page with your co-workers has never been a bad thing. WR was a need, the Raiders addressed it fully. Last year, people rated the Raiders having one of the best drafts. You don’t have to love it, but it was a great draft. Ferrell does his job even though it isn’t on the stat sheet. Maxx Crosby was a beast and had a statistical season as good as Nick Bosa, DROY. Josh Jacobs should have been OROY and you even admitted you were wrong about him. I saw a game of Jonathan Abrams at the pro level and I was sold. He plays hard and will be a great player for the Raiders.
This whole Khalil Mack thing is stupid. Raiders couldn’t afford him, therefore, they traded him. Chicago has way worse problems than we have. We used that money to sign notable free agents. They have no offense and lost defensive pieces, but they still have Khalil Mack. The foundation is solid in Las Vegas. Especially since Raiders’ fans are seeing stability for the first time in a decade or so. This draft was all about offense and CB and we addressed it. Raiders will try not to have a stagnant offense in the second half of games with the new WRs they drafted. I guess what I’m trying to say Trey is: The Raiders draft grade is a little unfair. Don’t be so hard on my Raiders man, the team is better than you think.