The Raiders aren’t scheduled to make their first selection in this year’s NFL draft until the final pick of the third round, at No. 95 overall. In total, they have five picks as of now, including three compensatory selections.
That got us thinking, how did the teams fare last year with the comparable selections that the Raiders have this year. In short, the only player selected at the draft spots the Raiders hold right now that did anything of note was Raiders wide receiver Denarius Moore.
Moore was selected in the fifth round, at No. 148. Coincidentally, that’s one of the spots the Raiders pick this year, too. Here’s the breakdown of the players selected last year at the draft spots the Raiders have this year:
95 – Curtis Brown, defensive back, Texas, Steelers
128 – Julius Thomas, tight end, Portland State, Broncos
148 – Denarius Moore, wide receiver, Tennessee, Raiders
168 – Demarcus Love, offensive line, Arkansas, Vikings
189 – Mike Mohamed, linebacker, Cal, Broncos
Brown played in 12 games for the Steelers. During those games, he posted 14 tackles and forced one fumble.
Thomas appeared in five games for the Broncos last season. He caught one pass for 5 yards.
Love didn’t appear in any games for the Vikings.
Mohamed played in two games for the Broncos, but he didn’t make any tackles or post any stats.
Moore burst onto the scene right away, securing meaningful playing time from the outset of the season. He started 10 of the 13 games he played and caught 33 passes for 618 yards and five touchdowns.
So, an unscientific look at where the Raiders pick this year shows that there are quality players available, even if the hit rate isn’t anywhere near as high as in the earlier rounds.
The key is, identifying those players and hoping they are available when the Raiders pick.