We can finally start talking draft around Raider Nation. As many had speculated for months the Oakland Raiders today received three compensatory draft picks one of which is the highest possible allowable.
The Raiders will officially be on the clock in the third round of the 2012 draft with the 95th pick overall. That might not seem like much but given the fact that prior to today all the Raiders had were 5th and 6th round picks to play with the 3rd rounder might as well be a top 10 pick.
In addition Oakland also gained a 4th round pick (130th overall) and another 5th rounder (168th overall).
Compensatory picks (not to be confused with supplemental picks) are decided based on a supposedly complex formula that examines a team’s losses in free agency relative to players they sign off the street. Losing Nnamdi Asomugha, Zach Miller and Robert Gallery apparently meant Oakland lost the most and got the least in return. Never mind all the money Al Davis sunk back into his roster. Since he didn’t spend on the open market then the Raiders were deemed to be worthy of the highest compensatory pick. I won’t pretend any of that makes sense but whatever it took to get this team a few more tickets in the football lottery is just fine by me.
In all the Raiders now have five picks total for the 2012 draft all of which will be sorely needed to fill out the roster.
Now you won’t hear Mel Kiper gushing about the names that will be on Oakland’s radar. I mean why would a draft guru like Kiper waste his time discussing scrubs that are pegged to be picked in the 3rd round and later? You know, scrubs like Jared Veldheer and Matt Shaughnessy who were a 3rd round picks. Or nobodies like Jacoby Ford and Tyvon Branch who the Raiders unearthed in the 4th round. You certainly won’t see ESPN’s draft analysts wasting their time on 5th round talent like Denarius Moore. Having to actually evaluate talent instead of talking up the big names would just make for boring television.
I guess what I’m getting at is there isn’t going to be a lot of sexy draft talk in the coming weeks for the Raiders. Instead this is going to be exactly what Reggie McKenzie likes. He and his scouts can do what they do best while avoiding all the primetime discussion that comes with those bigger names. If McKenzie is going to announce his arrival as one of the best minds in the game then this is precisely the challenge he’s got to enjoy taking on.