It can be fun to consider which among the players chosen in the draft were an absolute steal at that position. We may not know for a few years which players actually should have been taken much higher than they were, but ESPN spoke to four talent evaluators from various NFL teams to get their perspective as of right now.
What they did was go through and put together a list of which players are the biggest steals in each round.
None of the Raiders picks were considered the biggest steal in their respective rounds. Likewise none received votes as steals in the first six rounds. But then there was the seventh round, where the Raiders had four picks after trading out of the 6th round to pick up two early 7th round picks.
Vikings wide receiver Stacy Coley was deemed the biggest steal of the 7th round, but three other players also received votes from evaluators. Two of them were Raiders picks — running back Elijah Hood and defensive tackle Treyvon Hester.
If Hood, Hester prove to be the steal the evaluators think they will be, it would be the second year in a row the Raiders were able to nab a 7th round steal.
Last year, with their final pick in the draft in the 7th round they selected LSU offensive lineman Vadal Alexander who by many accounts figured to have been selected in the first two days of the draft. Some believe he fell due to poor workout times. But why wouldn’t any team throw workout numbers out the window in favor of game tape in the seventh round? You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
Hood being available may have had to do with a lackluster 40 time (4.63) as well as a loaded running back class. Academics kept Hester from attending a power five program and a shoulder injury kept him from performing at events this offseason including the Shrine Game, scouting combine and the Toledo pro day. He too was the Raiders’ final pick of the draft, just as Alexander was in 2016.