My thoughts/grades on the draft

This was a bit of an odd draft, with some ups and downs, more than I expected after last year's studious effort. That isn't saying that this draft was a dud, or bad, but it wasn't what I expected either; sometimes that isn't a bad thing.

Despite knowing that it is almost impossible to truly grade a draft immediately, that is exactly what I am going to do. Yes, I know that it will take until the players hit the field to actually be able to put a realistic grade on this, but it is what we do as people, step in with immediate judgments.

So, here is my take on how the players look to me right now...

DB D.J. Hayden: A

Considered one of, possibly the, best cover corner in the draft prior to his injury. That injury was a freak incident, and while nothing can be guaranteed, it is probably less likely that something like that could happen again than one of us winning the lottery. Given that DB is absolutely a question mark for the team, despite FA signings, a very solid pick, although there is a question as to whether or not he could be had later in the first, should Reggie had been able to trade down. Although I admit that I wanted Lotulelei, it is hard to argue against this pick. Despite whatever happens with the FA's brought in, at worst there should only be an actual need to re-sign or draft one, rather than two.

OT Menelik Watson: A-

While some may think that this was a reach, I see it as another solid pick. While it is true that Watson does not have a lot of experience playing football, what he has accomplished in those few years indicates that his ceiling is quite high. Even as raw as he is, he can come in and challenge Khalif Barnes at RT immediately. He may not win the competition this year, but I project that he will be the starter within a year; if he wins it now, he will be no worse than Barnes, younger, and with a tremendous upside that Barnes lacks.

OLB Sio Moore: B-

This was obviously a BPA pick by Reggie, but I felt that while Moore can be a solid player, there were other players with similar upside in positions of need. I would have preferred a solid DT or DE pick, like Bennie Logan, Brandon Williams, Corey Lemonier, or Sam Montgomery, as I am still not entirely happy with the potential defenisve line. It may be that Reggie is waiting, expecting, cuts soon to shore up the DL, but I would have liked to see some action towards addressing it before that. Not a knock on Moore, but more of a statement on the roster.

QB Tyler Wilson: A

Although I didn't expect to see a QB taken in the draft, I wasn't going to be surprised if it happened, especially after the first round trade, which gave Oakland the ability to address the position in the fourth and fifth rounds. Wilson showed some talent, but struggled with the wheels coming off the team in his senior year. He may not challenge for playing time right away, but he certainly has the tools to. If he returns to the form that he displayed two years ago, this is a great value pick. Even if he isn't able to return to that form, he should be able to hold down a job as a capable backup. Win-win...

TE Nick Kasa: C

Although I like the fact that Kasa has such an upside, it is more difficult to envision than I would like, especially since the team drafting him has so many immediate holes in the roster; it is just that most picks for the Raiders need to be able to contribute immediately, rather than at some point down the line.

RB Latavius Murray: B

I liked this pick, and not just because I called it in my mock. A strong runner, with good hands and a knowledge of blocking, productive in college, although with a little less wiggle than one might like. Still, with McFadden having been injured every year, and without a RB that has proven able to carry the load, this was a BPA pick that dovetailed nicely with need.

TE Mychal Rivera: C-

Hard to believe that another TE was really BPA, but it is certainly possible. I just think that Rivera is more of a tweener, that he may not have a real position. Maybe I'm wrong, but while there is/was need at the position, there were other players/positions that could have been addressed here, with players that look more likely to have an impact, such as FS Bacarri Rambo or DE Mike Catapano.

DT Stacy McGee: D

Although McGee has measurables, he has exhibited a real inability to put football first, and not act at least somewhat like a knucklehead. He is the type of player that Reggie has said that he wanted to avoid, more or less, and I just don't see his measurables as being so high that it is/was worth the risk. i would much rather have seen another DT taken here, like Kwame Geathers.

WR Brice Butler: C

Not a bad pick, based on his speed and good hands, as well as the WR corps needing some new blood and a shakeup; I don't expect that much from picks in this area, and taking a flyer on potential here is not necessarily a bad thing. I would have liked to have seen more production when he stepped down to a smaller school, but this is a pick that I can live with.

DE David Bass: B

Nice pick of a small school player that looks like he has the drive, fire, and physical abilities to make the transition to the next level. Even if he is more or less just a situational pass rusher, to find an effective player this late in the draft is a good move. If he lives up to what appears to be his potential, could be a nasty pairing with Houston on passing downs.


A pretty solid beginning was affected by some third-day questionable picks; maybe Reggie wasn't trying to overthink, and out-thought himself. The only pick that I saw as being a clunker was McGee, and that was due less to his ability than to his mentality. If he is able to overcome that, then I will be wrong, and Reggie right; time will tell. Still, a lot of solid picks that will either contribute right away, or provide much-needed depth at a number of positions.

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