Raiders Notes: Darren Waller trade and Mac Jones QB1?

We Tried To Warn You: The Raiders’ BPA Differs From Your Best Player Available

When the Las Vegas Raiders swapped second-round picks with the Indianapolis Colts (No. 38 to No. 35) and snagged Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer, that was a definite best player available scenario.

I’m sure the Silver and Black weren’t the only team shocked to see the Fighting Irish’s record-setting tight end still available, but it was the Raiders who made the move to get Mayer. Ranked as TE1 and/or TE2 on several rankings, there was no question that the 6-foot-5, 249-pound Mayer was BPA on more than one draft board. He was most definitely seen as a top prospect in Las Vegas.

“So, talked about it a lot last night and talked about it a lot today, and the fact that he was still there was a very exciting moment for us. He was one of the top-15 players on our board just in totality,” Raiders general manager Dave Ziegler admitted in the post-Day 2 press conference.

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room here: Can we dispense with the whole notion of BPA being a consensus thing? Like for real.

Dave Ziegler And The Raiders Did It “Their Way”

New regime, new philosophy, but same Raiders mentality of the Silver and Black definition of BPA being vastly different from what most think. That’s not something that’s exclusive to the Raiders, mind you. The other 31 teams in the league have draft boards where their best player available at any given pick has a different prospect there. So, when Ziegler says he’s going BPA, he’s not being facetious. He’s being true to his word by going with his best player available.

“I’m not going to get into the specifics of how we had each individual guy ranked, but yeah, we felt like we were able to get good value with the picks based on where those players were on the board,” Ziegler said.

Which brings us to the pair of third-round selections…

On name recognition alone, Bryce Young and Tre Tucker don’t excite. For casuals, the Alabama defensive tackle and the Cincinnati wide receiver, respectively, are unknown. And it’s very easy to denote the Raiders got extreme value in their first- and second-round picks in Texas Tech edge rusher Tyree Wilson and Mayer, respectively, while Young and Tucker represent the competition and depth portions of the Raiders’ picks.

Where I come out of it: Young and Tucker don’t excite by name alone. And it’s easy to empathize with Raider Nation, which gave Las Vegas high marks for picks No. 7 and 38 and then felt miffed with picks 70 and 100.

But both Young and Tucker offer Las Vegas something valuable. Young gives the Raiders a run-stuffing defensive lineman, while Tucker is an electric special teamer who can grow into a receiver role.

A closer look at the Raiders’ newest additions…

While Young has plenty to be desired as a quarterback hunter, he has long arms, a massive wingspan, and a high football IQ to diagnose and drop ball carriers in the backfield. He’s also versatile and can line up all along the defensive front. Sure, he doesn’t offer much as a change-of-direction type tackle on the inside, but he’s a good technician that can fight his way through traffic. He also has a non-stop motor and doesn’t give up on plays. He’s a rotational lineman who can keep the interior group fresh by subbing in and out.

Tucker, meanwhile, is a sleight-of-frame wideout. He brings tremendous speed to the table (4.37 timed speed at his pro day, 4.40 at the NFL Combine). He may be on the small side at 5-foot-9, but he does have a wrestling background. That, of course, speaks to his toughness. Where he’ll contribute in Year 1 is on special teams as a return man and gunner. Look, Las Vegas hasn’t had a dynamic return man since Jacoby Ford (kickoff) and Johnnie Lee Higgins (punts) were housing opportunities. Tucker has speed to burn and will leave a lot of NFL defenders in the dust.

But on the real: I’m sure not many folks had Young and Tucker as BPA at picks 70 and 100, respectively. Which again beckons to the fact that BPA is a relative term.

*Top Photo: Raiders YouTube Channel

Interesting Who Might’ve Been The Pick For The Raiders With A Trade Back

Join The Ramble Email List

error: Nice Try!
Subscribe to RaiderRamble

Get updates from RaiderRamble via email:

Join 6,170 other subscribers