Its been a while since the Oakland Raiders had a solid draft across the board. I would say going into Week 13, Raiders could have the best draft and rookie class of 2019, by far. They have produced solid starters for the most part. That is even when you look at the undrafted rookie class.
Lets take a look:
Rd 1, 4th overall Clelin Ferrell, Clemson, DE, 6-foot-4, 255 pounds
Ferrell has played in 10 games this season and in those matches, he has made 15 tackles, four for a losses and 12 assists. When it comes to getting at the quarterback, he has 3.5 sacks, six QB hits and has five pass deflections. Ferrell has been a hit or miss so far. He has been shuffled around the line and missed snaps due to health issues. Coming alive the past few weeks, he seems to be progressing well and I am still excited about this pick.
Rd 1, 24th overall Josh Jacobs, Alabama, RB, 5-foot-10, 220 pounds
Jacobs has played in 11 games and has been an absolute beast. On 201 attempts, he has 957 yards and averages 4.8 yards per carry. Also, add seven touchdowns, 44 first downs and just one fumble. On the passing side, he has been targeted 23 times and caught 18 of them for 146 yards. His run style and humbleness has been a real treat for Raider Nation and has become a fan favorite. Barring any setbacks, he will easily coast to over 1,000 yards and possibly receive OROY honors.
Rd 1, 27th overall Johnathan Abram, Mississippi St., S, 6-foot, 205 pounds
Abram unfortunately only got to play in one game due to injury. In the season opener against the Broncos, he made one tackle, 4 assisted tackles, and one pass deflection. It was only a small sample, but it seemed like he was by the ball on every play. We saw the hits, we saw the fire, and we loved the personality, even if he can’t pronounce salmon right, Raider Nation has a reason to be excited.
Rd 2, 40th overall Trayvon Mullen, Clemson, CB 6-foot-2, 200 pounds
Mullen has played in 11 games and has been mostly under the radar. He has made 22 tackles with five assistances, has one interception and five pass deflections. While he is getting better every week, it is far too early to consider him a shutdown corner. He is holding his own for the most part and has the potential to be that shutdown corner Oakland needs. The rest of the season will be a good gauge for his development.
Rd 4, 106th overall Maxx Crosby, E. Michigan, DE, 6-foot-5, 255 pounds
Crosby has appeared in all 11 games and has been getting better every week. With 23 tackles, 10 for losses, nine assisted, and three forced fumbles, he has been a beast on the line. As far as getting to the QB, he has 7.5 sacks and 12 quarterback hits. With those numbers, he is a strong candidate for DPOY. He has a unique knack for getting through and disrupting opposing offenses.
Rd 4, 129th overall Isaiah Johnson, Houston, CB, 6-foot-2, 210 pounds
Johnson has been injured most of the season but showed promise on off-season workouts. He has only played in three games and has one assisted tackle to show for it. Expect him to be more of a special teams gunner type, the way he was in college, until he develops more.
Rd 4 137, Foster Moreau, LSU, TE, 6-foot-4, 250 pounds
Foster has played in all 11 games and been a solid TE so far. He has been targeted 21 times and has caught 17 passes for 145 yards. That is a solid catch rate, and to add to that, four of those catches were touchdowns and 11 were first downs. He has been a great weapon to move the chains and in the red zone. Darren Waller may be the main man, but the rookie is impressing and has earned his playing time.
Rd 5 149, Hunter Renfrow, Clemson, WR, 5-foot-10, 185 pounds
Renfrow played in 11 games and was a consistent target for Carr until he broke a rib and puncture his lung against the Jets. He was targeted 53 times and came down with 36 of them for 396 yards. With an average of 11.0 yards per catch, two touchdowns, 23 first downs, and zero fumbles, he became another solid weapon to throw too. Moreover, he earned the nickname of “3rd and Renfrow” because he is becoming a nice security blanket for Carr.
Rd 7, 230 Quinton Bell, Prairie View A&M, DE, 6-foot-4, 253 pounds
Quinton Bell is the only member of the draft class to not make the team, he was cut from the practice squad on October 15. He is still in the league, as he is on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers roster.
Some undrafted rookies have also been solid contributors worthy of an honorable mention
Alec Ingold has been a great fullback blocking for Jacobs and getting those short first downs. Keisean Nixon has been a decent rotational player.
All these guys have seen time on the field, some even in significant starter capacity. Yes, the Raiders deserve that A+ grade they have right now as people are talking about them having the best draft class of 2019 so far.