Draft Grader: Oakland Raiders
In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve been going back over the 2008, 2009, and 2010 draft class of each franchise and assigning each pick a grade. Up next? Well, that’s the Oakland Raiders.
Each pick between the 2008 and 2010 draft classes has earned a grade between +2.0 and -2.0 (in 0.5 increments) that depends upon:
• Where they were drafted
• Their performance
• Their contribution (how many snaps their team got out of them)
• Other factors, such as unforeseen injuries and conditions that could not have been accounted for
Let’s take a look at how the Raiders drafted.
+2.0: You’ve just found Tom Brady in the 6th round
If they had, they wouldn’t have given up the first and conditional second for Carson Palmer.
+1.5: Getting much more than you bargained for!
+1.0: The scouts nailed it!
Tyvon Branch, S (100th overall pick in 2008): The versatile Branch got his opportunity to start in 2009 and hasn’t looked back. One of a new breed of safeties you can let play man coverage with any tight end, he’s a building block of that secondary.
Lamarr Houston, DE (44th overall pick in 2010): Great work in the second round to find a player like Houston, plug him in at DLE and watch him wreak havoc. While he may not be a stud pass rusher, his work in run defense is stellar (he’s earned a +36.0 grade for this in three years).
Jared Veldheer, T (69th overall pick in 2010): A tough rookie year (which involved playing at center at points) made way for two fine years, with Veldheer potentially being worth a higher grade going forward. Our ninth-ranked left tackle in the league last year has proved a big hit.
+0.5: Never hurts to find a solid contributor
Trevor Scott, DE (169th overall pick in 2008): After a five-sack rookie year, there was understandable excitement about Scott, though wise folks would have recognized that with just nine further hurries he wasn’t exactly generating an awful lot of pressure. Still, Scott went on to get more pressure over the next two years and was actually at his most destructive when he put in a one-sack 2010 that (because of his three hits and 19 hurries) earned him a positive grade. Coming back from injury in 2011, he didn’t look like the same player, but considering the production the Raiders got out of him, this was a win for them.
Chaz Schilens, WR (226th overall pick in 2008): Getting 1,386 snaps out of a seventh-round pick over four years isn’t bad value. It’s just something of a shame Schillens always seemed to be battling injuries, but they got something from him.
Matt Shaughnessy, DE (71st overall pick in 2009): After a good rookie year, Shaughnessy really broke out with an extremely impressive 2010 campaign. Since then he’s delivered in the run game as you’d expect, but has really found it hard going impacting the quarterback. No longer with the team, he’s still a hit.
Jacoby Ford, WR (108th overall pick in 2010): Despite missing all of 2012, the game-changing ability of Ford makes this a win for the Raiders. Still, more is expected.
Brandon Myers, TE (202nd overall pick in 2009): While Myers can’t block for toffee, even getting one year out of a seventh-round tight end where he finishes sixth among his peers in receiving yardage is some good work.
0.0: It could have been worse
Louis Murphy, WR (124th overall pick in2009): You can’t say Murphy hasn’t been given the opportunity to succeed, but he just hasn’t done a great job of taking it with both hands. No longer with the team.
Walter McFadden, CB (138th overall pick in 2010): Looked lost on the field as a rookie (in just 50 snaps) and was then cut a year after being drafted.
Travis Goethel, LB (190th overall pick in 2010): Had an encouraging 90-snap rookie season, but missed all of 2011 after tearing a knee ligament. Another bad injury meant just 13 defensive snaps in 2012.
Jeremy Ware, CB (215th overall pick in 2010): Got on the field for 118 snaps as a rookie before being cut.
Stevie Brown, S (251st overall pick in 2010): Just 13 special teams tackles (as well as playing on defense) wasn’t enough to ensure Brown remained on the roster a year later.
-0.5: That pick was not put to good use
Darren McFadden, RB (4th overall pick in 2008): At times McFadden has looked talented, but he’s had problems getting on the field and handling the kind of workload a fourth-overall pick should. The move to a zone blocking scheme didn’t help him, but he needs to shoulder some of the blame. Not lived up to expectations.
Arman Shields, WR (125th overall pick in 2008): After injury problems in college, the Raiders took a flyer on him on the back of a strong combine, but all they got was a season on Injured Reserve before cutting him.
Michael Mitchell, S (47th overall pick in 2009): Some players look better the more they play, some don’t. Mitchell was viewed as a massive reach at the time and, after surprising everyone with an effective 217-snap contribution as a rookie (where we gave him a +9.3 grade), he’s been exposed the more he played. This culminated with a -11.0 the past two years, and he’s no longer with the team.
Slade Norris, DE (126th overall pick in 2009): A former fourth-round pick, he ended up making it onto the Raiders’ practice squad as a rookie after being cut and passing through waivers. You expect more than a tackle (and two assists) on special teams for a guy drafted where he was.
Stryker Sulak, DE (199th overall pick in 2009): Being the owner of a cool name doesn’t get him a bump on his grade, in the same way it didn’t stop the Raiders not signing this sixth-round pick.
Bruce Campbell, T (106th overall pick in 2010): No longer with the team after being traded away, we wonder if Campbell will remember his 10 snaps on offense in Oakland fondly.
-1.0: What a waste!
Darrius Heyward-Bey, WR (7th overall pick in 2009): Viewed as a reach at the time, DHB had two terrible years as he struggled to cope with life in the NFL. Took a step forward in his last two years with the team but struggled to get in behind defenses and catch balls coming his way. Just not very good at all.
Rolando McClain, LB (8th overall pick in 2010): What a disappointment. He has talent and was highly coveted heading into the draft. However, he never looked comfortable as an every-down player, and needed blocks to be eaten up to make an impact. Then there were the off-the-field problems. Yep, this was a swing and a miss.
-1.5: The scouts/ coaches failed, big time!
-2.0: You just drafted the love child of Jamarcus Russell and Ryan Leaf!
The Raiders didn’t land themselves anything resembling Russell since they actually drafted Russell.
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