Contributors for the Raider Ramble got together and discussed their Raiders draft duds.
A funny pick that I was crushed by was defensive end Khalil Mack, fifth overall in 2014. I wanted wide receiver Mike Evans desperately and I had visions of the Raiders taking Evans in the first round and coming back for quarterback Derek Carr in the second. I was at a concert at that moment and I literally said, “Oh great, we just drafted Aaron Curry 2.0.” I was a little inebriated at the time, but it still goes down as the dumbest thing I’ve ever said.
This year, I’d be pretty crushed if we took quarterback Kyler Murray; I actually wrote a piece for the Ramble about why I think we should pass on him, but to sum it up, I want to see what Carr can do with a second year in the offense and weapons around him. I’d hate to see Gruden pass on someone like defensive end Quinnen Williams or linebacker Josh Allen for a player at a position we don’t even need.
Two of the most disappointing draft picks as a Raiders fan have to easily be cornerback D.J. Hayden and wide receiver Darrius Hayward-Bey. Hayward-Bey was a speedy wide receiver that ran a blistering 4.30 forty yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine while the more decorated receiver in 2009 was Texas Tech’s Michael Crabtree.
The late Al Davis always wanted the next Cliff Branch and Heyward-Bey was supposed to be that guy. He never played up to his draft billing and essentially kicked me in the gut for the rest of that weekend.
Hayden was a cornerback that was showing potential until an injury at University of Houston nearly killed him. I remember reading about the doctor that saved his life talking about how operating his internal organs was like trying to put wet toilet paper together and make it stick. Former Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie traded down from fourth overall in the 2013 NFL Draft to 12th overall with Miami, getting Oakland a second round pick (which turned into offensive lineman Menelik Watson and that’s a whole other story). The Raiders were kind of like how they are now in 2019, lots of holes everywhere. I was hoping they would draft other cornerbacks such as Desmond Trufant or Xavier Rhodes, but they decided to take the guy that just got away from Paul Bearer and took him 12th overall. Sick to my stomach just remembering this.
I was pissed when the Raiders drafted Jihad Ward in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft because wide receiver Michael Thomas and running back Derrick Henry were still on the board. This year, I’d be mad if we took receiver D.K. Metcalf too early. I wouldn’t mind seeing Allen in Silver & Black though.
Allen has tenacity and can be deployed along the line. His footwork and speed off the edge are already excellent, so it’s exciting to picture just how much he can still grow in these areas in the pros.
Ray Leonard Aspuria
I did not like when the Raiders took defensive end Tyler Brayton 32nd overall in 2003. The player picked after cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha (one of the bounty of picks from the Gruden trade), Brayton never developed into anything more than a run plug defensive end.
Turns out, Brayton would be a perfect strong side defensive end for current Oakland’s defensive coordinator Paul Guenther.
Another misfire for the Raiders was linebacker Napoleon Harris. Do you want to know why the Raiders don’t draft off-ball linebackers anymore? Harris and linebacker Rolando McClain. Harris was supposed to be a sideline-to-sideline defender, but is now an Illinois senator instead.
Top prospect in this year’s draft that can turn into a bust? Give me defensive end Rashan Gary. He’supremely athletic and a pure specimen, but didn’t have the production to match then uncanny physical attributes. I would have the same reaction if he were drafted.
There are two Raiders first round picks I literally yelled, “Noooo!!!!” at.Darren McFadden fourth overall in 2008, and Kolton Miller 15th last year.
Defensive tackle Glen Dorsey was still on the board when the Raiders picked running back Derren Mcfadden. Oakland’s run defense was about as good as a pair of tightie whities after you shit yourself.
This year, the biggest mistake would be to NOT draft Montez Sweat. Give me the irregular heartbeat brothers! Defensive tackle Maurice Hurst beside Sweat would be a 911 on your d-line (for better or for worse).