A look back: Grading Raiders' 2010 draft

Kirby Lee-US PRESSWIRE

Raiders record yet another first-round flop, but recover nicely in the second and third rounds by adding a pair of impact players.

With two years down, it's time to move to the third installment of our look back at Raiders' drafts from the past five years.

If you missed either of the last two pieces, you can check out 2008 and 2009.

After yet another disappointing 5-11 season, Oakland once again attempted to do that which had eluded them in previous years: draft successfully.

Unfortunately, the 2010 draft followed the same disappointing trajectory the Black Hole had come to expect from Al Davis and company.

Overall grade: C

With their first full set of picks since 2007, Oakland possessed nine picks throughout all seven rounds.

While the draft produced some memorable names in Oakland history, the group was similar to that of earlier years: a lot of hype without a lot of production.

At the top of the class is headcase Rolando McClain, and promising young players Lamarr Houston and Jared Veldheer.

The good news for Oakland is that four of the players from this draft class still remain on the roster — which is four more than are present from the 2009 class.

First round, eighth overall — Rolando McClain (D)

One of the few "sure-things" in the 2010 draft, McClain was a pleasantly conventional pick after the Darrius Heyward-Bey and Mike Mitchell debacle just 12 months earlier.

Coming out of Alabama, McClain was highly touted as a safe pick — and one Oakland needed to get right in order to pave the way for a promising future.

In three seasons as the starting middle linebacker in Oakland, however, McClain failed to record 100 tackles in a season a single time — averaging just under 82 tackles per season in 41 total games.

Also overshadowing his disappointing production on the field was his bizarrely irrational behavior off the field.

Things hit a climax in 2011 when McClain was arrested for firing a gun directly beside the head of another man while home in Alabama, which produced this unforgettable image of his arrest.

After one more tumultuous season in Oakland as well as a second arrest, McClain was cut and promptly signed by the Baltimore Ravens.

After his second arrest in 2013, McClain announced his retirement from the NFL.

If only to rub salt in the wound, the list of guys Oakland passed on to grab McClain include CJ Spiller (9th), Ryan Matthews (12th), Earl Thomas (14th), Jason Pierre-Paul (15th) and Dez Bryant (24th), among others.

Second round, 44th overall — Lamarr Houston (B)

The good news for Houston is that three years into his career, he remains one of the centerpieces of the Oakland defense — something you optimistically hope for from a second-round pick.

The bad news is that on most teams in the league, his production thus far wouldn't necessarily justify it.

While Houston has immense talent, he seems to have been buried on the depth chart in recent years — leaving him without ample opportunities to break out into the star many believe he could be.

In three seasons, Houston has yet to miss a game, tallying 159 tackles and 10 sacks while playing both inside and outside on the defensive line.

2013 will be a big year for Houston, as he's expected to start and get every opportunity possible to prove he was worth the high selection Oakland offered him four years earlier.

Third round, 69th overall — Jared Veldheer (A-)

In the 2013 NFL Draft, three of the top four picks were used to select what teams hope will become their franchise left tackle.

To get that kind of value in the third round is pretty remarkable, and that's exactly what Oakland appears to have done with Veldheer.

The massive lineman from Hillsdale College was a bit unknown at the time of the draft, but with his size and athleticism, Oakland took a chance that there could be a diamond in the rough.

After a slightly rocky rookie season, Veldheer has anchored the offensive line the past two seasons at left tackle — starting 43 of 48 games played as a pro.

Oh, and he has a lot of muscles too.

Fourth round, 106th overall — Bruce Campbell (D)

Long projected as a guy Oakland might take as high as the first round, Campbell was a welcomed value in the fourth round.

The typical Al Davis pick, Campbell was a combine warrior that lacked much evidence proving he could actually play the sport.

Sure enough, Campbell has yet to start a game in the pros — playing in just 19 games since coming into the league.

After two seasons in Oakland, Campbell was eventually traded to Carolina for running back Mike Goodson.

Fourth round, 108th overall — Jacoby Ford (B-)

In their second Al-Davis-esque pick in three selections, Ford was the fastest guy in the draft, inevitably ending up in Oakland.

Fortunately, this one worked out better than Campbell.

If not for severe injuries that have cost Ford 24 games in three seasons, this grade might be a lot higher due to the explosiveness he has displayed.

In 16 games as a rookie, Ford had 470 yards receiving with two touchdowns — but also added three touchdowns as a kickoff returner.

Unfortunately, Ford played in just eight games in 2011 before sitting out the entire 2012 season with injuries.

If Ford can return to full strength and display the durability he is currently lacking, I think Ford could move this grade as high as a B+ alongside Denarius Moore.

If he's unable to stay healthy, however, the promise he has flashed will quickly fade away.

Fifth round, 138th overall — Walter McFadden (D-)

As the lesser-known McFadden on the roster, Walter really didn't stand a chance in Oakland.

Despite the need at corner, McFadden was never able to stick — playing in just four games in 2010 before being released.

Since being released, McFadden has played on the practice squad of the Jacksonville Jaguars, Cincinnati Bengals and Pittsburgh Steelers (current).

Sixth round, 190th overall — Travis Goethel (C-)

While unfortunately being known as the linebacker who can't long-snap, the fact that Goethel remains on the roster says something about what Oakland thinks they found in their sixth-round pick.

Now, that's not to say he's ever going to be a star (or even a starter), but a team needs to fill out their roster with somebody, so it might as well be somebody they've drafted.

In three seasons, Goethel played in just 16 games (he missed all of the 2011 season), recording just 11 total tackles as a backup linebacker.

Seventh round, 215th overall — Jeremy Ware (D-)

Ware earns a grade one step above failing simply by playing a few snaps in the NFL.

In one season with Oakland, Ware played in eight games — recording one tackle and one interception — before suffering a season-ending injury.

Ware was cut following the season and was unable to stick with any other franchise.

Seventh round, 251st overall — Stevie Brown (C-)

Brown is a tough guy to grade because the score ultimately depends on if his career with Oakland or his career as a whole is in question.

In one season in Oakland, Brown played in 15 games and recorded 30 tackles and two passes defended before being released.

After a forgettable year in Indianapolis, Brown was signed by the New York Giants before the 2012 season.

In 16 games in New York, Brown notched 76 tackles and two interceptions along with 11 passes defended.

To get that sort of production from a seventh rounder is fairly impressive — unfortunately, it was just for the wrong team.

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