The Raiders made UCLA OT Kolton Miller their selection at 15 overall after a trade down from their original pick at 10. Here is how the S&BP staff instant reactions to the selection:
BD Williams (@bdwilliams18)
Kolton Miller tested off the charts at the combine and this is a big part of why he was selected here. At 6’9 310 running a sub 5.0 40 yard dash, Miller’s upside is unfathomable. The Raiders did a great job trading down and still getting the guy they wanted. Other players were available at 10 that maybe fans wanted more but Gruden realizes the AFC West is an arms race to protect the QB. Miller still needs to improve and he’ll likely start on the right side as a rookie before taking over when Donald Penn retires.
Tyler Green (TylerGreenSB)
With Mike McGlinchey already off the board, Jon Gruden took who he believed to be the next best offensive tackle in UCLA’s Kolton Miller. In such a weak offensive tackle class, both McGlinchey and Miller were taken earlier than their talent warrants. The former Bruin is very athletic, but has raw technique and will need to be coached up well by offensive line coach Tom Cable.
Ultimately, Miller will instantly become the Raiders starting right tackle filling arguably their biggest need entering the draft. But there were far better players available including Derwin James, Maurice Hurst, Josh Jackson, and Derrius Guice.
Ryan Lipton (@rytime98):
Drafting Kolton Miller does not excite me one bit especially with the super talented Derwin James on the board. However, the selection makes sense for two reasons.
One, the Raiders obviously wanted to take a tackle and were able to get the same tackle at No. 15 as they would have at No. 10 while adding a few picks to their arsenal.
Second, the Denver Broncos now have a scary tandem in Von Miller and Bradley Chubb. As such, Oakland needed to upgrade the tackle position to prepare for Denver and for the fact that Donald Penn is coming off an injury, due a lot of money and is 35 years old.
My immediate reaction to this pick is a visceral disgust and hatred. I want to throw up and throw things. With generational defensive prospects on the board and a team in severe need of defense, the Raiders take a mediocre offensive tackle who, despite being taller than Lane Johnson, has shorter arms? I spit on this pick. ptooey.
The bright side of the pick is this: The Raiders’ right tackle situation for the last several years has been dismal, and Miller is probably better than any of our RT options right now. So he could fill in there and maybe down the road slot in at LT, if he’s good enough. Furthermore, the Raiders used one of the picks they got from trading down to get WR Martavis Bryant from the Steelers, a guy I like a lot. So this is not a total disaster.
Levi Damien (@LeviDamien)
It seems clear now the Raiders were set on drafting a tackle. Whether that be Mike McGlinchey or Kolton Miller. For that reason, this looks like a reach. Miller is not a top of the first round player. Some don’t believe he’s a first round talent. The Raiders passed on Derwin James who was surprisingly available at 15 overall.
On the other hand, they traded down, so at least they didn’t take Miller at 10. And Miller is an imposing figure who played a lot of snaps last season at a high level and who has played both right and left tackle so he can start on the right side for now and more to the left side next season if need be.