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If Raiders look to draft wide receiver hopefully Jon Gruden leans on his staff because his track record is...yikes

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Raiders better hope Gruden recognizes his shortcomings when judging wide receiver talent and lets someone else handle it.

Seattle Seahawks v Tampa Bay Buccaneers

An overview of Jon Gruden’s draft track record during his time in Tampa doesn’t yield a lot of hope should he be given free rein to make his picks. The reason I said Tampa and didn’t include the Raiders is because in most cases, we don’t really know which picks during his tenure in Oakland were his choices or Al Davis’s.

In Gruden’s time in Tampa, no position received more draft selections than the wide receiver position. And yet can you think of a single receiver he drafted that went on to have success in the NFL? I can’t. And for good reason.

In total, the Bucs drafted nine wide receivers in his 7 years in Tampa. That’s a pick in the 1st round, 2nd round, two in the third, one in the fifth, and four in the 7th.

His lone first round pick was Michael Clayton in 2004. He was selected at 15 overall and after a solid rookie season in which he caught 80 passes for 1193 yards with 7 TD’s, he completely flamed out. In 7 more NFL seasons, he never broke 500 yards again, averaged 252 yards a season, and had three touchdowns COMBINED.

Gruden’s only second round pick wide receiver was Dexter Jackson in 2008. He played in a grand total of 7 career NFL games.

His two third round picks were Marquis Walker in 2002 (his first ever draft pick as Bucs head coach) and Maurice Stoval in 2006. Walker never appeared in an NFL game while Stoval had 12 career NFL starts with a combined career total of 668 yards and 3 TD’s over 7 seasons with three teams.

Gruden’s remaining picks in rounds 5-7 were Aaron Lockett (D7-02), Mark Jones (D7-04), Larry Brackins (D5-05), Paris Warren (D7-05), and JR Russell (D7-05). Of those, only Jones and Warren ever even suited up for an NFL team. Warren played one NFL season recording 5 catches. Jones had a decent career as a punt returner, never playing a snap at receiver for the Buccaneers.

Here’s the math on this: 9 wide receivers drafted, 27 combined starts (2 players), 5 never suited up at wide receiver.

If you include his Oakland years, the best receiver ever drafted by a Gruden led team was Jerry Porter in the second round in 2000. And Gruden was on record as having wanted Chiefs bust Sylvester Morris in the first round instead of Sebastian Janikowski.

That is one hell of a terrible track record of drafting wide receivers during Gruden’s 11 years as a head coach. Hopefully if the Raiders are looking to add a wide receiver in this draft he will defer to his staff and the scouts for their expertise. Like, for instance, wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett who, during his time in Green Bay as wide receivers coach and then offensive coordinator, the Packers drafted the likes of Randall Cobb (D2-11), Davante Adams (D2-14), and Ty Montgomery (D3-15).

This isn’t a particularly strong draft for wide receivers, making it that much more difficult to find solid talent, but you can bet someone will. Hard to trust Gruden to be one of them based on what he’s done in the past.