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Community pulse: Keys to a strong draft class

Our users chime in

Indianapolis Colts v Las Vegas Raiders
Dave Ziegler
Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

We dug into some football philosophy in our Tuesday community question this week.

The premise was simple. We asked what makes a good draft class?

How many starters does it take to make a draft class a success? We had some really good answers and it’s certainly a good topic for this community. We all know the recent struggles the Las Vegas Raiders have had with their draft classes.

This year’s Raiders’ draft class, which was picked by general manager Dave Ziegler, has been slow to develop. But i’s early.

Here are some of your responses:

Mighty_Mouse5k
I agree with many of the responses already listed and would add one major point that gets missed a lot: Drafted players getting a 2nd contract!
And not just the highly drafted players but mid-to-late rounders. This to me means that the team has a level of continuity and competency from the top down, understands the players that fit their identity and are being developed to that identity.
This team has failed in many of these areas for the past 20 years and is why we are in the position we are in now.
Indy!
Guess the first part is to define "good". "Good" for us would be not whiffing on every pick. What do I personally consider good? In the 1-2 years after the draft 2-3 picks become solid starters and 2-3 solid contributors. A great draft would be 4 guys starting and a couple contributing.
As I've said many times, our biggest problem is ego. Reggie, Gruden and McZ all had (have) the same issue - believing they are the smartest guys in the room and trying to out think everyone else. It's easy to make the case that Gruden's and Reggie's best picks were the no brainers - the times they picked the obvious players to fill an obvious need - when they didn't freelance or try to get cute...
Reggie: Mack, Carr, Amari
Gruden: Miller, JJ, Ruggs
They both got lucky here and there with their own picks (Reggie: Gabe, Gruden: Maxx) - but the proof is in the pudding. When they picked the solid guys everyone agreed were solid choices - we got players we could build around (Ruggs being the exception who blew his career off the field).
raider paul
The problem with the Raiders is that they've been drafting for needs and not drafting the best player available. They drafted Alex Leatherwood when Christian Barmore was still on the board
DaysofOld
An organization built deep & wide around winning in many different facets not just on the surface (and everything else hidden in a black box). It just doesn’t work that way…unless you’re trying to hide something like incompetence, lack of leadership/vision (in over your head falls into most of this) or no money because everyone else is getting paid off (don’t get me started there).
10silver
I'd say if 50% of your picks becomes and remains starters after 3 years, that's a good draft.
Mark Davis' hair
The first 2 rounds should be starters unless one is a qb learning the ropes. You also need contributions from a late round pick of two in order for it to be successful
Sacalicious
An impact player first round, a couple/few starters in rounds 2-4, developmental/special teams players in the rest. minimal drafted players that don't make the roster/practice squad.
Darrrkness
A GOOD DRAFT CLASS!!!!!!!!!
Dont try to out think everybody else!!!!!!!
If the best player at his position falls to you and it fills a major need....DRAFT HIM....dont listen to the bleeding hearts talking about public perception because people forget and forgive when you are winning. Ask Micheal Vick, Ray Lewis.(Im not saying we should draft an ax murderer so calm down drama queens)...If you get 3 starters in your draft, its a good one. if you fget 4 starters that show they can form a major foundation of your team, its a great draft.
People say its a crap shoot. its not for the people that get paid to know how to draft.

Thanks for all the thoughtful answers.

Head to the comments section to share your thoughts and join the conversation. You can sign up for a commenting account below and we have full-time moderators to enforce the Community Guidelines and we have another community question for you Tuesday.

Cheers and happy weekend.