With the draft in the books time to go back and do a wrap up of how teams made out. I might be a bit of a harsh critic to the top 3 round picks, but that is where you need to hit in the draft to be successful. Sure most of the league is 4th rounders and later, but any that turn into Pro Bowlers or All-Pro players is mostly out of luck. So without further adieu, let's check out the Oakl....I mean Las Vegas first class in their new city.
1 (12) - Henry Ruggs III WR Alabama - F
1 (19) - Damon Arnette CB Ohio St - F
3 (16) - Lynn Bowden Jr WR Kentucky - A
3 (17) - Bryan Edwards WR South Carolina - B+
3 (36) - Tanner Muse S Clemson - C-
What a terrible terrible Day 1 for the Raiders. Same as last year by the way with Mike Mayock in charge. I did not think taking Clelin Ferrell, Jonathan Abram, and Josh Jacobs in last year's first round either. No matter how good Jacobs is, the verdict is out and running backs are not valuable first round or even second round picks in most cases anymore. Ruggs being taken before either CeeDee Lamb or Jerry Jeudy is mind boggling to me and it feels like the ghost of Al Davis has taken over in Las Vegas. The reason why Ruggs looked amazing at Alabama is a thanks to having guys like Jeudy and another two top first rounder next year in DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle who helped get him open. He is a one trick speed receiver who will be pushed around in the NFL before he can get to his top speed off the line. Then not only did they reach on Ruggs, much like the Ferrell pick they took Arnette who would have been a 3rd round pick at best. Mayock loves to harp on mature, and high character guys, but why take in a guy like Arnette. The coaching staff at Ohio State never spoke highly of him and was often seen as a head case by many. Even on the field he is very good in coverage, but often caught making dumb mistakes and penalties. This was a major reach and one that has me reminded of D.J. Hayden and Gareon Conley in the recent past. Meanwhile, I loved their 3rd round selections of Bowden Jr and Edwards who are both going to be able to make impacts their rookie seasons. If they had taken say Kinlaw over Ruggs then this draft would have been amazing in my opinion despite the Arnette reach. Bowden Jr needs more time than Edwards having been going back and forth as a receiver and quarterback during his time at Kentucky. Edwards is a pure outside option with length, great hands, and body positioning. I would not be shocked if he is one of Mayock's better finds where he tends to do better in the later rounds during his young GM tenure. Same goes for Muse who has a very high floor as an experienced defender. I am just curious why the need for another safety after Abram last year, along with their veteran free agent pick ups of Lamarcus Joyner, Jeff Heath, and Damarious Randall. A new edge rusher or another corner to me seemed like a bigger need. Muse also has a very low floor as a lesser athlete and might not stick too long if he cannot over come those issues.
4 (3) - John Simpson OG Clemson - B
4 (33) - Amik Robertson CB Louisiana Tech - B
Wow I think Mike Mayock should just trade out of the first round from here on out. He sucks on Day 1 reaching on players and going full Raider in my opinion. However, on Day 2 and 3 he really hits it out of the park in my opinion. Simpson has starting caliber talent and will fit the road grader type offense that Jon Gruden wants to implement. Of course, his presence will come at the cost of either Gabe Jackson's job more than likely, but at least they will get a few good picks from trading him. Robertson is a tad undersized at corner where I personally prefer the taller athlete, but he comes with great instincts and ferocity. His ability to create turnovers and willingly attack the run game shall have him become a favorite of the coaching staff. Unfortunately, their lack of picks after the 3rd round limited them to being able to really maximize this draft. This really could have been one of the best draft classes of the year had they not reached on Ruggs and Arnette in the first round. Just those two picks alone make this a bad class. Since the likelihood of any 3rd round or later prospect no matter how much I like them is very low with how unpredictable the draft can be. If Mayock continues to reach and miss on the blue chip talent in the first round it will come to bite him in a few years when the fan base grows restless. Overall, I would give this draft a C and it could have very easily been an A had they taken Kinlaw, Jeudy, or Lamb with their first pick. You cannot live off making a roster with just solid guys from 3rd rounders and beyond if you ask me.