The Raiders got a stark reminder of a lack of value from early drafting this week when Karl Joseph quietly left the organization on a one-year deal with Cleveland.
In the end, Joseph, a safety taken with the No. 14 overall pick in 2016, is another in a long line of first-round picks who have left the organization.
That’s why we’re focused on left tackle Kolton Miller.
He has a chance to become the first Raiders’ player that the team utilize the fifth-year option on, which started in 2011.
Miller, the 15th overall pick out of UCLA in 2018, has had a solid first two seasons. If he has a strong 2020, the Raiders will likely exercise the fifth-year option.
The Raiders gave options to Khalil Mack (2014) and Amari Cooper(2015), but traded both players before exercising the option.
The Raiders didn’t give the option to Joseph, who was oft injured and didn’t make much of overall impact in four seasons.
The Raiders didn’t have first-round picks in 2011 and 2012. They took cornerback D.J Hayden in 2013, then Mack, Cooper and Joseph. Their 2017 first-round pick, cornerback Gareon Conley was traded to Houston in his third season.
Yes, the Raiders got draft-pick ammo from the Mack, Cooper and Conley trades. And they got promising first rounders in the form of Clelin Ferrell, Josh Jacobs (Mack trade) and Johnathan Abram (Cooper trade). Perhaps all the of those players will receive the fifth-year option, although I see Jacobs getting a contract extension earlier.
Starting with 2018 with Miller, the Raiders may be changing a troubling trend.
That’s the reason why teams take players in the first round — for the chance to become stars and extend them.
Hopefully, for the team’s sake, Joseph’s departure ends a bad trend.