The waiving of defensive tackle Christo Bilukidi is yet another black mark on some shoddy drafting by the Raiders new regime. The Reggie McKenzie era of the Raiders is now two drafts in and the results are not pretty. Of their 16 draft picks over the past two seasons, only this year's first and third round picks D.J. Hayden, Sio Moore, and sixth round pick Mychal Rivera have started even a single game this season and/or seen significant playing time.
Three of 16 picks making an impact this season is a terrible average by any standard. It is made all the more glaring because this rebuilding team was to rely heavily on their draft picks to be the foundation of the rebuild effort.
Last year's draft has a worse record overall but considering the team had no picks until the compensatory portion of the third round, this year's draft doesn't really look any better.
Here is last year's draft:
3. Tony Bergstrom, T, Utah - Didn't hardly see the field as a rookie. Had been beaten out for the starting job this season by undrafted free agent Lucas Nix. Then placed on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.
4. Miles Burris, LB, San Diego State - Started all last season by default. Had surgery on his knee in January, was placed on the PUP list and still is not ready to return.
5a. Jack Crawford, DE, Penn State - Has been inactive for 13 of 22 games since last season. Has a total of 9 tackles in those games as a reserve.
5b. Juron Criner, WR, Arizona - Has been inactive all this season and hanging onto a roster spot by a thread.
6. Christo Bilukidi, DT, Georgia State - Looked like he might show some promise last season. Was waived Wednesday.
7. Nathan Stupar, LB, Penn State - Didn't make the roster out of rookie camp.
That's six draft picks and only one - Jack Crawford - who is currently active on game days.
It's too early to tell if many of this year's rookies will become special but the early returns are not positive.
1. DJ Hayden, CB, Houston - Has started one game this season. Is the team's third corner and sees significant time in nickel packages.
2. Menelik Watson, T, Flordia State - Hasn't seen the field yet. Suffered a calf injury in the off-season that has come back twice. Also had a knee injury in between.
3. Sio Moore, LB, Connecticut - Has started four games this season with limited impact. Has just four tackles and 1.0 sack on the season.
4. Tyler Wilson, QB, Arkansas - Didn't make the final roster, went unclaimed on waivers, and was placed on the practice squad.
6a. Nick Kasa, TE, Colorado - Hasn't recorded a single catch this season.
6b. Latavius Murray, RB, Central Florida - Was injured in camp and placed on injured reserve.
6c. Mychal Rivera, TE, Tennessee - Has shared reps with journeyman Jeron Mastrud since David Ausberry was lost for the season with a shoulder injury. Has 12 catches for 138 yards and a TD with one start.
6d. Stacy McGee, DT Oklahoma - Has four tackles in five games active.
7a. Brice Butler, WR, San Diego State - Has nine catches for 103 yards this season.
That's exactly half the Raiders draft (5 of 10) that are either not on the team or haven't recorded a single stat this season. And the other five has a total of six starts between them (Moore 4, Hayden 1, Rivera 1).
Those who would ague against the notion the regime's poor drafting returns this far like to point to the undrafted free agents who have played well. Players like Rod Streater and... um... there has to be someone else considering the UDFA hype that I've witnessed. Sure, some UDFA's have made the team but that's mostly for lack of better options.
The argument against the idea that UDFA's somehow make up for poor drafting is there is no reason the team can't have BOTH. Imagine having both Rod Streater AND Juron Criner playing well. One does not make up for the other. It's a wasted draft pick, plain and simple. And as I mentioned, draft picks are valuable things, especially for a rebuilding team.
Many also choose to look at the ‘bright side'. That being the Raiders willingness to cut bait instead of keeping draft picks to save face - Something Raiders fans know of all too well. That is good, sure. But still better to not have to keep cutting these picks.