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NFL executives give mixed reviews of Raiders draft, Mark Davis reportedly not happy about compensation in first round trade

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Oakland Raiders Introduce Jon Gruden Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Reports from unnamed executives and scouts are emerging on how the Raiders performed in the draft. Both ESPN and The Athletic collected some opinions from around the league on the Raiders selections.

Executives ESPN spoke with liked the Kolton Miller pick, saying ”Give Kolton Miller a year, and he is going to be good,”

The only thing negative comes from Raiders owner Mark Davis according to the Athletic. Davis is said to be unhappy about the compensation the Raiders received in a trade down.

He shares mine and others’ sentiment that the Raiders got fleeced in the deal. The feeling is that they shouldn’t have accepted anything less than a second round pick for the Cardinals desperate to trade up to get Josh Rosen who was the last of the top QB prospects in this draft. The Raiders got a 3rd and a 5th round pick.

Those who spoke with both publications think PJ Hall could be a good player, but that his selection was a reach in the second round, an executive told the Athletic.

“We had a sixth-round grade after the season. Once workouts happened and he tested well, we moved him up closer to the fourth round. He didn’t get a Senior Bowl invite, and didn’t go to the combine, so it’s safe to say the Raiders reached on this guy by at least a round.”

After that there were reservations about the health and character of many of the Raiders picks from executives who spoke with ESPN.

“Looking at the class overall, it’s as though the Raiders don’t care about the health of these picks. They took three guys [Brandon Parker, Nick Nelson and Hurst] that medically we and other teams had off the board. You have to take risks sometimes, but three? And then [third-rounder] Arden Key will be a suspension risk.”

One scout liked Brandon Parker’s potential, but again said the Raiders reached for him in the top of the third.

“I loved the upside on Parker. He went a little higher than expected but I totally understand it. Our OL coach was very high on him. He has a lot of raw talent, with a ton of upside.”

Arden Key, who seemed to border on delusion in his conference call during the draft, saying he was a “Top five pick. Automatic” without the character questions, was avoided completely by many team for his character concerns one executive told The Athletic.

“He was off our board. We wouldn’t have touched him. Clearly has talent, but you were not going to find many people at LSU vouching for him.”

This suggests that nowhere near the level of research was done on Key as the Raiders claimed to have done on Gareon Conley prior to last year’s draft. Then again Conley was a first round pick, while Key a late third rounder.

As noted above, one of the executives mentioned Nick Nelson as a player they removed from their boards due to medical concerns. He is referring to Nelson having torn his meniscus in a private workout with the Lions in the weeks leading up to the draft. He is expected to miss the team’s entire offseason program rehabbing the injury but expects to be back for training camp.

Speaking of serious injury concerns: Maurice Hurst.

It’s no surprise what other team execs and scouts would say about him and his heart condition. They all passed on the top ten talent through four rounds of the draft. They used words like “scary” and “a big risk”, while noting that it’s possible Hurst could be fine and if so, the Raiders got a major talent on day three.

You won’t find much with regard to opinions about those players drafted after the fifth round. Though 6th round pick Azeem Victor would also fit into the complaint about the Raiders drafting people with character problems as he was suspended twice last season due to a failed drug test and a DUI.