Grades for the draft are typically reserved for thought on individual picks and the draft as a whole. SB Nation’s resident draft guru took a different approach today, but finding one thing each did in the draft that will have the most positive affect on them.
His move for the Raiders?
What was Oakland’s identity before the draft? They didn’t really have one. Defensive end Clelin Ferrell isn’t a finesse speed player. He’s a grinder who can stuff the run just as well as he can get to the quarterback. Running back Josh Jacobs runs hard. Johnathan Abram is the hardest-hitting safety in the draft. Defensive end Maxx Crosby is hustle and determination. Wide receiver Hunter Renfrow is stereotypical high-effort grit in the slot. General manager Mike Mayock drafted types over traits, and that’s what the Raiders needed.
This is an interesting way to take a positive overall angle on the Raiders’ draft. A premium was being placed on character and part of that is characteristics like grit and work ethic. Mayock talked about finding foundation pieces and getting hard working, strong character guys is a big part of that.
Some of the picks were criticized for being reaches, and I get that. Clelin Ferrell being the one big shocker for many draft analysts who had him ranked in the teens or even 20s. But there’s no questioning his toughness and character. Not to mention his production and bonafides. He’s the son of two military parents and he’s battle tested at the college level.
Jacobs and Abram will run through your face and Crosby and Renfrow are two guys who check the Gruden Grinder boxes who the team picked up on the third day.