The Oakland Raiders are in pure rebuilding mode after giving head coach Jon Gruden a 10-year contract last season. Gruden is now beginning to mold the team into how he wants the Raiders to play. Let’s see if Oakland will be able to set a foundation before the team leaves for Las Vegas by checking out what they did in the NFL Draft.
Round 1, Pick 4: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson. 6’4″, 264 lbs. Ferrell is able to get past his blocker to make plays behind the line of scrimmage. He is able to bring impact on run plays and on pass plays, so he should be ready to start immediately (19.5 tackles for loss, 11 sacks).
Round 1, Pick 24: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama. 5’10”, 220 lbs. Jacobs will definitely be in the rotation at running back because he is a sound runner and receiver. However, he will have to prove his durability since he did not start at Alabama. He is also a strong kick returner as well.
Round 1, Pick 27: Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State. 5’11”, 205 lbs. Abram will look to start at strong safety because he makes plays all over the field and because he is a strong tackler.
Round 2, Pick 8: Trayvon Mullen, CB, Clemson. 6’1″, 199 lbs. Mullen has the height at corner to defend against taller receivers in the NFL. He will definitely be in the cornerback rotation and has a chance to start at corner.
Round 4, Pick 4: Maxx Crosby, DE, Eastern Michigan. 6’5″, 255 lbs. Crosby will more than likely be used as a third-down rusher due to his above-average pass-rushing ability.
Round 4, Pick 27: Isaiah Johnson, CB, Houston. 6’2″, 208 lbs. Johnson has the height at corner to also play in this pressure defense. Johnson definitely adds depth to the secondary.
Round 4, Pick 35: Foster Moreau, TE, LSU. 6’4″, 253 lbs. Moreau will add stability to the offensive line as a blocking tight end.
Round 5, Pick 11: Hunter Renfrow, WR, Clemson. 5’10”, 184 lbs. Renfrow is able to find openings as a slot receiver. He should get some time when the Raiders go to three and four wide receiver sets.
Round 7, Pick 16: Quinton Bell, DE, Prairie View A&M. 6’4″, 219 lbs. Bell will have a chance to make the practice squad as he needs to gain more weight. The Raiders gave Bell a chance because he is a natural pass rusher, but he needs to increase his technique.
Grade: Picking up four potential starters right out the gate is impressive. I will give them a B+.