The moment I saw the headline on NFL.com, I wondered; would the Raiders’ outstanding 2014 draft class make this list? I got to the page and started scrolling. And just when I started thinking it didn’t make the cut, there it was at number 10.
10) 2014 Oakland Raiders
Notable picks: LB Khalil Mack, QB Derek Carr, OG Gabe Jackson, DT Justin Ellis, CB T.J. Carrie.
If it’s premature to pick a class from the past few seasons, Oakland’s crew from 2014 looms as an exception. Mack is a raging star -- and worth every bit of the mega-bucks extension he’s about to sign with the Silver and Black. Carr wasn’t himself in 2017, but he’s one year removed from a legitimate run at MVP and now finds himself under the watch of Jon Gruden. Jackson and Ellis have been constant fixtures in the lineup, while Carrie gave the team 36 starts before moving on to the Browns. Gruden would be wise to keep general manager Reggie McKenzie in house for years to come.
This draft stands as almost an anomaly amidst the every other draft class the Raiders have had in recent memory. It’s made all the better by the additions of Denico Autry and Seth Roberts as undrafted free agents that year.
This draft class is the only thing holding together the Reggie McKenzie era. The team doesn’t have a single player on the roster from his two drafts before, and his three drafts since have also been mostly duds.
Finding a franchise quarterback, Defensive Player of the Year, and borderline Pro Bowl guard in one draft goes a long way.