We continue to traverse through the draft, picking out the best players taken in given rounds. We started with the top 5 picks taken in the top 15, then the best player in the bottom of the first, and the best player in the second round. Now we continue to the third round.
The Raiders didn’t have a pick in the third round of this year’s draft. They traded it along with a 5th round pick to acquire Antonio Brown. I’d say that’s pretty good value for a third round pick. Especially if you consider the Raiders haven’t gotten a lot of value from the round of late.
We talked about how bad the second round had been the past few years. The third round was just as bad. And again, the lone exception was that stellar 2014 draft. That’s when they landed Gabe Jackson in the third round. Other than him, though? Ugh.
Last year’s third round picks Brandon Parker and Arden Key have a lot of work to do to prove they are viable. Parker was a disaster at right tackle and Arden Key mustered up just one sack despite starting most of the season at defensive end. Though it’s way too soon to use that as a way to judge how they may develop as a player.
Prior to that it was quite ugly including Eddie Vanderdoes (2017), Shilique Calhoun (2016), Clive Walford (2015), Sio Moore (2013), and Tony Bergstrom (2012).
Unlike the second round, there isn’t a long list of great talents from the third round. Though the round featured one of the greatest NFL players of all time who stands well above the rest.
Art Shell (1968)
Fifteen year NFL career. Eight Pro Bowls including 7 straight (1972-78). Two All Pros. Two Super Bowl rings. Hall of Famer. Member of the All 1970s first team. Shell became the Raiders’ full time starting left tackle in 1970 and didn’t miss a start the next nine years. He protected the left side for Ken Stabler all the way to the Raiders’ first Super Bowl win in 1976 and then did the same for Jim Plunkett in their second Super Bowl win in 1980.
In total, Shell started 169 regular season games and 23 playoff games.
Shell retired following the 1982 season and take over as Raiders as offensive line coach, where he would get a third Super Bowl ring. He would spend six years in the position.
In 1989, he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Come the season, he was named interim head coach, replacing Mike Shanahan who Al Davis fired four games into the season.
The newly minted Hall of Famer would have the interim tag removed and be the Raiders head coach for six years, boasting winning records in all but one of those seasons and an overall record of 54-38. Al Davis later said he regretted firing Shell, and 12 years later, welcomed him back as head coach. That would lead to the disastrous 2006 season.
All told Shell spent 28 years with the Raiders, first as a player and then as a coach. Pretty good value for a third round pick out of Mid-Eastern Shore College. Oddly enough, two years later, the Raiders would again pull a talented player in the third round from that same college in Gerald Irons.
Gabe Jackson (2014)
Jared Veldheer (2010)
Kirk Morrison (2005)
Vann McElroy (1982)
Mark van Eeghen (1974)
Gerald Irons (1970)
Bob Svihus (1965)