Quick Slants: It’s Miller Time in Oakland

Unbridled fury. That best describes the visceral anger that spread like wildfire amongst Raider Nation when Oakland selected Kolton Miller with the 15th overall pick (after a trade) in the NFL draft on Thursday night.

Throughout the day, any mention of an offensive lineman when it came to the Raiders’ first-round pick was met with ridicule, disgust, and threats of throwing away fandom by fans. Well, I’ll put it bluntly: Head coach Jon Gruden gives zero ducks about your feels. He wants to protect his franchise quarterback Derek Carr. By. Any. Means. And yes, I imagine you know what letter replaces the ‘d’ in ducks, right?

For better or worse, Oakland had to make an addition to a rocky offensive tackle position. Considering the question mark at right tackle and the uncertainty of Donald Penn’s longevity at left tackle combined with the Denver Broncos having stud prospect Bradley Chubb falling in their lap at No. 5, Miller’s selection makes sense.

The former UCLA Bruin is a behemoth (6-foot-9 and 309 pounds) who is lean, long and athletic. He’s not a dominant run blocker and can be too tall at tackle, however, the respected film junkie and former scout Gil Brandt compares Miller to Nate Solder. NFL draft analyst Lance Zierlein also had the same comp. That’s a solid comparison. He profiles as either a left or right tackle. Raiders offensive line boss Tom Cable has work to do to turn Miller into stalwart protector for Carr.

Remember when Gruden said the team needs to cater more to Carr? That’s what Miller Time is. Now, if Gruden can give Khalil Mack some love, the Raiders are in business.

Let’s run those Quick Slants:

  • Oakland and Arizona swapped first round picks and the Raiders got the 15th spot, a third rounder (79th overall) and a fifth rounder (152nd).
  • And the Raider sent the 79th pick to the Steelers for wide receiver Martavis Bryant. So in essence, Oakland got an OT and WR after moving back five spots while picking up an extra fifth. Not bad.
  • Bryant is on an expiring deal, but he, along with Jordy Nelson and Amari Cooper, give Oakland a lethal trio of wide-outs. Rotate the three in the slot to keep teams guessing.
  • The Browns sent shock waves in the draft by taking Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward at No. 4.
  • San Francisco took the Raiders’ reported guy at No. 9 in Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey. You have to believe that led to the trade and the Miller pick for Oakland.
  • Derwin James to San Diego is going to be a headache for the AFC West. He can cover, he can tackle and he can blitz. The Bolts got an electric defender.
  • LSU running back Derrius Guice is still on the board. I thought he’d be a second-round prospect.
  • What I didn’t expect: San Diego State’s Rashaad Penny going to Seattle in the first. He’s got the talent profile but it still was eyebrow-raising.
  • Whether they work out or not, teams picking their guy regardless of the spot is always good to see.

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3 thoughts on “Quick Slants: It’s Miller Time in Oakland”

  1. Hey Coach Gruden, an OT is always welcome. Can’t be mad at that. But while the author of this piece may think you give “zero ducks” about fan opinion we know you can’t hide from the truth. Raiders defense has ranked 22nd and below for the last 5 years. QBs can ride a top defense to a Super Bowl, but it won’t happen the other way around. Let’s also be clear about the message you’re sending to Pro Bowler Khali Mack, who has valiantly endured double teams game after game for 3 years. He needs help. Fix what you can fix in Rounds 2-7 and let’s see what kind of team you put on the field in September……

    1. Ray Leonard Aspuria

      Draft over and Hall, Key and Hurst were all taken to help Mack. Gruden catered to both Carr and Mack this draft.

  2. I’m not mad at the Miller pick, what drives me crazy is that they got almost nothing for giving Arizona what will be their Franchise QB. I get trading down to get Miller if that was the guy but trade down again or at the very least they could have gotten a 1st rounder next year as the Packers did from the Saints. Looking at all the trades this had to have been the worst one of the day. They also could have traded down again to get more picks and still get Miller. He wasn’t going till the first couple of picks in the second round anyway. Miller is a great needed addition but still a little too high in the 1st and for only a turkey sandwich and chips! I don’t claim to be an expert or some draft guru, I just know marketing, sales, promotions and negotiating value. Just wish the did a better job to Negotiate better value for what they gave… Your Welcome Arizona!!

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