In a draft top heavy with elite defensive talent and the Raiders needs mostly on the defensive side of the ball, they, of course, went in a completely different direction.
The pick was expected to be Notre Dame OT Mike McGlinchey, but the 49ers used their 9th overall pick which they won in a coin toss with the Raiders, to take their guy.
But there was still several top defensive talents on the board at 10 including Minkah Fitzpatrick, Vita Vea, Derwin James, and Tremaine Edmunds and the Raiders opted to trade down, making a deal with the Cardinals to move to 15 overall, picking up a third and fifth round pick.
There were still some great defensive prospects on the board including Derwin James and Tremaine Edmunds they went offense, taking tackle Kolton Miller out of UCLA.
“It was a lot happening, that’s for sure,” McKenzie said of the draft room. “There were a lot of calls. Moving up, moving back, everybody wanted… It seemed like our pick was pretty favorable. After sorting it through, we just went ahead and pulled the trigger.”
A short time after acquiring the 79 and 152 picks from the Cardinals to make that trade down to 15, they immediately shipped that 79th pick (third round) to Pittsburgh for trouble wide receiver Martavis Bryant.
Not that offensive tackle and wide receiver weren’t needs. They both were. Offensive tackle is arguably their biggest need. And they may have reached in order to fill that need.
The 6-9, 309-pound tackle had a great season at UCLA last year and an outstanding scouting combine. But before that, there isn’t much. He played just five games at right tackle his junior season with a leg injury.
McKenzie said the Raiders didn’t evaluate Miller on his combine, but his tape only. Well, that and their discussions, or as Miller says their discussion (singular) which he said was 15 minutes at the combine.
“He’s a big man that can move his feet,” McKenzie said of Miller. “He’s played left tackle and right tackle. He’s been an offensive lineman pretty much his whole life. He understands the game. He’s an excellent athlete who has great potential, so we feel really good about adding him to the Raider roster.”
Tom Cable played a major role in the selection of Miller, seeing great potential in him.
“I mean he’s got the length, he’s got the great feet and when you’re talking about playing at the second level, pulling. I mean, this guy has a lot of talent and we think if we can get him on scheme and get coach Cabes [Tom Cable] working with him, he’s going to flourish.”
Best Available Players
- Harold Landry, DE, Boston College
- Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
- Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
- Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
- Will Hernandez, G, UTEP
- Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
- Connor Williams, OT, Texas
- Harrison Phillips, DT, Stanford
- Mark Andrews, TE, Oklahoma
- James Daniels, C, Iowa
The Raiders next pick comes at 41 overall in the second round. They still have picks in every round with a total of 11 still remaining, one in rounds 2-4 and multiple picks in rounds five and six. Here is their draft order as of now:
Round 1, pick 15 (From ARI) — Kolton Miller, OT, UCLA
Round 2, pick 41
Round 3, pick 75
Round 4, pick 110
Round 5, pick 152 (from ARI)
Round 5, pick 159 (from NE)
Round 5, pick 173 (from DAL)
Round 6, pick 185
Round 6, pick 212 (Comp)
Round 6, pick 216 (Comp)
Round 6, pick 217 (Comp)
Round 7, pick 228