3,543

What they’re saying: Evaluating Raiders’ draft class

Share
The Raiders received grades mostly in the B range for their draft that opened with the selection of safety Karl Joseph. (West Virginia athletics photo)

The Raiders received grades mostly in the B range for their draft that opened with the selection of safety Karl Joseph. (West Virginia athletics photo)

The Raiders drafted seven players — one in each round after dealing their own fifth-round pick — over the three days of this weekend’s NFL Draft.

It started with safety Karl Joseph on Thursday, continued with DE Jihad Ward, LB Shilique Calhoun, QB Connor Cook, RB DeAndre Washington, LB Cory James and OL Vadal Alexander over the next two days.

The draft addressed two of the most pressing needs by grabbing a starting safety and a change of pace running back. The Ward pick will have to be evaluated later to see if he can make an immediate impact — you need that from a second round pick. Calhoun seems like a nice addition as an extra pass rusher. Cook could give you a decent backup quarterback and somebody to step in if something were to happen to Derek Carr, James is probably going to be a special teams player who may see the field on defense if he develops quickly and Alexander is good value in the seventh round. That’s my view, but let’s take a look at what the national media is saying.

ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr. gave the Raiders a B+ overall for their draft. He wrote that “Reggie McKenzie is on a roll” mentioning his free agency pick ups and had good things to say about each of the first five selections, mentioning that Ward has first round talent.

CBS’s Pete Prisco also graded the draft a B+, with him calling Joseph their best pick. He questions the Cook move, mostly because they traded up to get a guy they hope will only be a backup who doesn’t see the field. But in addition to Joseph, he loves the Ward and Calhoun picks and says the “Raiders continued their recent success of having good drafts.”

Sports Illustrated’s Chris Burke and Doug Farrar chimed in with another B+. They write that the Cook move was a surprise, but ultimately a good move, and that Joseph went higher than he may have deserved but upgrades the secondary. They also call Washington a younger, better version of disappointing Roy Helu Jr., but do mention that McKenzie’s “lone regret may be failing to address the cornerback spot.”

Pro Football Focus gives the Raiders a B overall. As for the Day 3 picks, they considered Cook a good value and evaluated Washington as the third-most elusive back in the draft and noting that “he forced 67 missed tackles on 271 touches.”

USA Today gave the Raiders a B-.  It called the Cook pick a good “long-game move for the Raiders” and complimented the Joseph pick because he was the best safety in the draft for a team that needed secondary help.

Wrapping it up, the Washington Post gave the Raiders a C+. It mentions that many scouts like Joseph but said “few safeties are worth the 14th overall choice in a draft.”

Share

Jimmy Durkin

Sports writer for the Bay Area News Group, covering the Raiders.

  • If placed in the right orifice…yes…

  • rml

    Has anybody seen a scouting report on McCaffrey? I found some things about his pro day but that’s it. 6’2″ 196 4.43

  • He has been ‘uninvited’…so no choice…

  • Kenny Stapler
  • Born With a Patch

    I didn’t know he was changing that too. RRS said he would. I was gonna Reggie him up

  • DutchRaid

    McKenzie could not believe his luck when he saw that LSU’s mammoth Vadal Alexander, who was ranked as the No. 2 guard in the class by the Pro Football Draft Guide, was still there in the seventh round.
    ________________________________________________________________

    Wonder what his issue was? Could be a great pick…

  • Kenny Stapler
  • nolarick

    I want anyone named McCaffrey dead.

  • rifflicks

    you can’t see the outrageously ridiculous humor in her as governor…….second only to the nitwit serving as attorney general Kamala Harris

  • Kenny Stapler

    classic

  • SB3

    To be honest, never heard about the kid until this weekend. I thought Christian was the only one lol.

  • nolarick

    Hells yeah. Vadel is a beast. GEAUX TIGERS!

  • Kenny Stapler
  • rml

    Thank you

  • nolarick

    Made my day.

  • winter wind

    new post

  • Ronin559

    That hit he laid vs Texas WR Goodwin was beastly, and that was just the 2nd game when he was just a true freshmen.

  • rml

    unless he just distroys the Bronks

  • BABY AL

    This post is for all those that like to rag on Mark for not keeping the team. Oakland/Alameda is not cooperating. Like I mentioned before

  • SB3

    SB bet with Rob, I was going for Car, he wanted Den to win. If he lost he had to rock a Manning forehead pic. I lost, so I had to rock a Cam, capri pic.

  • BLAH BLAH BLAH……here is the -real- summary….

    Raiders president Marc Badain, meanwhile, issued the following statement: “We have made no progress” with Oakland for a new East Bay stadium since the Los Angeles vote in January.

  • Kenny Stapler

    ahhh lol. for how long?

  • winter wind

    people can run around him and tackle the qb because he is very slow… maybe if he gets in shape

  • LB Raider (TUCK YOU)

    In my book Henry was the concensus 2nd rd pick

  • Kenny Stapler
  • rifflicks

    Lip Service…..Absolutely NOTHING of Substance.
    Kiss the Raiders Good Bye Oakland

  • nolarick

    Watch the tape, sunshine. Vadel is a road grader.

  • Born With a Patch

    Draft is a dangerous place to make a bet, so much going on behind the scenes

  • she is clearly using this Raider deal as a way to ‘seem strong’ to the voters…..unfortunately for her and the local fans it has BACKFIRE written all over it.

    p00r libby…

  • LB Raider (TUCK YOU)

    Slow 40 time

  • SB3

    It was until draft day. I canned mine last week thank god.

  • Ronin559

    I liked KJ too, but, being 100% honest. I though he would have been there in the 20’s. I know it is not always easy to trade back so at 14 he is still a good pickup. Also I wonder where Atlanta had him rated, KJ might have been snatched up instead of Neal if they had the choice.

  • nolarick

    Be better with Kwame Harris as attorney general.

  • Yep.

    SHLAYTOR…..

    Vegas 1:2
    LA 3:1
    Field (minus 0akland) 10:1
    Oakland 0:0

  • rifflicks

    only slightly ……I think this nitwit is related to the mayor of Baltimore

  • 40 time is a key metric for a 300lb+ guard operating in a phone booth?

  • R8drTahoe in SF

    I know. Some folks in here don’t look at actual history, just what they’ve made up in their head to be true.

  • Ronin559

    You had to pick Denver in the Superbowl? sounds like a lose-lose situation to me.

  • not by a long shot.

  • Rik-Da-Specialist-

    Okay then

  • Relativicus

    If you have one pick in the first round, and it’s not a top 10 pick, then I am lost as to the significance of Joseph being picked at 14 instead of, say, 24. The complaint is further complicated by a lack of information as to what the Raiders were supposed to do if they dropped back to a “more appropriate” position in which to draft a safety, and found Joseph was already taken. My guess is most of the concern regarding his draft position comes from people who entered some kind of draft pool.

    The Cook matter will be resolved once he’s safely in the number 3 slot behind McGloin (who has an amazing story that doesn’t get half the press it deserves, and is a strong back-up imo). Still, how about a little commentary from the Punditariat regarding the 21st Century’s “Quarterback U,” Michigan State? Seriously, how many more pro QB’s do they have to produce before anyone notices? Or is it just that we grant names like that anymore?

  • I made no claim , nice try

  • Raider O