Let’s look at how the Las Vegas Raiders’ rookie class performed in a 27-14 Week 18 home win against the Denver Broncos.
Two of the team’s nine draft picks were inactive for the game. They were second-round pick Michael Mayer (he had a toe injury that has kept him out of the last three games) and defensive tackle, third-round pick Byron Young, who hasn’t played since October. The Raiders waived defensive tackle, seventh-round pick Nesta Jade Silvera in December. He is now on the Las Vegas practice squad.
The No. 7 overall draft pick finished the season strong after an uneven season. He had a sack (he finished with 3.5 sacks) and had three quarterback hits. Wilson played 41 percent of the snaps, which is a little lower than his season average.
The speedster third-round pick from Cincinnati had a team-high five catches for 79 yards (both season highs), including a big 47-yard pass play. He added a rush for 11 yards. He was on the field for 64 percent of the snaps after playing a season-high 69 percent of the snaps last week in Indianapolis.
The fourth-round pick from Maryland didn’t play any defensive snaps for the third straight game. He did play three snaps on special teams. So, the season ended on a tough note for the early-season starter.
O’Connell had a solid day as he completed 20 of 31 passes for 244 yards and two touchdowns. He didn’t throw an interception in the final four games. He wasn’t perfect, but he didn’t embarrass himself down the stretch.
In Week 15, the fifth-round pick from Georgia played 22 snaps at safety, his first action on defense. Smith played no defensive snaps in the final three games. He was on the field for 14 snaps on special teams against Denver.
Burney was active for the fourth straight game. He had no defensive snaps and played 14 snaps on special teams. The sixth-round pick from Miami has been active in six games and it was the third straight game he didn’t play on defense.
Wilson, Tucker and O’Connell all had nice endings to the season. Now, it’s onto preparing for their second seasons.