Oakland Raiders: overall draft grades

Now that the rush of the NFL Draft has subsided, the Oakland Raiders can start looking to finalizing the roster. They used the draft to load up on depth and get quality starters. However, there were some mistakes. Let’s go back and grade each pick.

Mack had 10.5 sacks, 19 tackles for a loss, five forced fumbles and three interceptions, two of which he ran back for TDs. Mack is the NCAA leader in career forced fumbles AND career tackles-for-loss

Mack had 10.5 sacks, 19 tackles for a loss, five forced fumbles and three interceptions, two of which he ran back for TDs. Mack is the NCAA leader in career forced fumbles AND career tackles-for-loss

5th overall pick: Khalil Mack/Edge Rusher/Buffalo:. Heralded as the second best defensive player behind Clowney, Mack is the crown jewel. He can move all around the formation and be a dominant pass rusher. He is exactly what the Raiders need to bring their defense up a few levels. Grade: A

Derek Carr: future franchise QB for Oakland?

Derek Carr: future franchise QB for Oakland?

36th pick: Derek Carr/QB/Fresno State: It was pretty lucky the Raiders could get Carr. If the Texans went QB with their second round pick, he was gone. He is a strong-armed QB, with great intangibles. While he probably won’t start as a rookie, he could eventually become the QB of the future. Grade: A

Gabe Jackson

Gabe Jackson

81st pick: Gabe Jackson/OG/Mississippi State: A giant man who stops defensive lineman in their tracks. Although he has menacing size, he does not display a nasty streak you might think he has. Jackson could easily slide in at left guard. Grade: A-

NCAA Football: Louisiana Tech at Florida International

Justin Ellis (#70)

107th pick: Justin Ellis/DT/Louisiana Tech: Another massive body, Ellis is actually quick for his size, but likely wont contribute in the passing game. His massive frame will best be served to take up space and block rushing lanes. A prototypical run stopping nose tackle, Ellis is a great foundational pick. Grade: A


Keith McGill (#1)

116th pick: Keith McGill/CB/Utah: With not many options behind DJ Hayden, Tarell Brown, and Carlos Rogers, McGill makes a lot of sense. He is a giant corner who excels in press-man and can shadow receivers up and down the field. He does have many injury concerns and only played one full season at corner. He could be a dominant corner, but the injury bug has not been kind to Oakland. Grade: B


Travis Carrie

219th pick: Travis Carrie/CB/Ohio: He has decent size for the position, with great speed. He has a knack for being the ball with nine career interceptions. However with so much depth in front of him, he will be stuck as the 5th corner likely. Luckily he does have great experience as a returner, which could get him on the active roster. Grade: B


Shelby Harris

235th pick: Shelby Harris/DE/Illinois State: Quite possibly the worst pick in an outstanding draft. Harris has been out of football for the past year after being kicked out of Illinois State, and was kicked out of Wisconsin after his freshman year as well. He currently weighs somewhere in the 280s range, which is a bit heavy for a defensive end. He has been noted as a player who is around the football, but that was when his playing weight was around 250. Between the work eithic, and the suspensions, Harris won’t make the roster. Grade: F

Jonathan Dowling #1

Jonathan Dowling #1

257th pick: Jonathan Dowling/S/Western Kentucky: Although he has some early off the field issues, Dowling is an intriguing prospect who was a turnover machine. Might never compete for defensive snaps, but likely a good ticket for special teams ace. Grade: C

The first four picks of this draft class make it spectacular. Luckily, most 4th round and later draft picks are not expected to contribute much outside of special teams and role positions. Although the team did not address offensive tackle, in case Menelik Watson does not work out, they otherwise addressed every other need they had going into the draft.

The overall grade for this draft is a B+

  • netraider

    Good analysis. A few comments:

    Mack was at the top of my draft board with Clowney #2. The only other play here would have been to trade back to around the 10th pick for an additional 2nd round pick and taking Aaron Donald who was my third target.

    QB Carr in round 2- While I don’t have a problem rating him an A or B selection I didn’t see QB as a 2nd round priority in this draft. The pick should have been for the best available CB or WR if a value CB was not available.

    I did like Carr over the other options. His accuracy alone separates him from the pack. And Gruden’s recommendation has high value to me.

    QB is not as bad as some are making out. I think McGloin is being overlooked and gives the Raiders the best chance for winning in 2014. He has shown tremendous potential and is better than anyone in this draft. He is cool in the pocket, goes through his reads and is accurate. He is a rookie who has never been through a proper camp. As a fourth string walk-on I am sure he did not receive much attention. He was probably viewed as nothing more than a camp arm which is understandable. His decision making will improve with good coaching and made easier with an improved defense. I have to assume that his play would have been noticeably better had he had the attention of a probable starter in the off season, at camp and through the pre-season. Play calling and late defense collapses put him in risky situations, especially deep at our own end. A stable, upgraded OL will also help. He is ACCURATE which is essential. Even on deep throws. He has completed more third-and-longs than any QB since Gannon. If fact, many of those conversions remind me of Stabler. Exciting. He led the NFL in plays >25 yards. With McGloin you have a reasonable expectation of first downs and moving the chains. The D will appreciate this.

    I am not sold on Schaub. I do not see him magically remaking himself. I hope that I am wrong but history is not on our side. I see McGloin replacing him by week 7 at the latest. McGloin is fun to watch and will perform better than the rookie. He has the discipline, intelligence, accuracy, vision, athletic ability and poise that is required to be successful at this level. Keep in mind that McGloin’s stats were as good if not slightly better than Peyton’s his first year. Remember that Peyton was groomed from the draft, through camp and the pre-season to be the starter. This kid has earned an opportunity to compete after a complete off-season. If Schaub performs like he did last year, please do not waste the season by hesitating to bench him and give McGloin a real chance. I predict that McGloin can win and with the better D to help avoid desperate situations he will. If the Matts do not perform then Carr will be up. I would have waited until the 2015 draft to see how this plays out and used the pick where it would have a real 2014 impact.

    CBs McGill & Carrie- I thought that McGill was often out of position last year and gave up big gains. I would have given him a C+. The Raiders are hurting at CB so I hope he pans out. I see Carrie ahead of McGill on the depth chart. My big concern at this position is Hayden. I see him as a probable bust. He looks lost, chases plays and is a horrible tackler. None of that is injury related. When he is on the field opposing QBs had a sure 3rd down conversion against him. He gave up a big play nearly every time he was targeted. I don’t see him making it in the NFL. McGill can at least tackle.

    Harris- Agree 100%. What where they thinking? Why take that much risk with not much upside? Mindboggling.

    Dowling- Without the off-field issues I would rate him a B in the 7th. No too bad of reach for the last pick.