Let’s not fool ourselves. You don’t go through a decade+ of awful football without making some miserable mistakes.
As we’ve come to learn as faithful members of Raider Nation mistakes come in all forms.
So in lieu of the release of Rolando McClain and the hopes of Reggie McKenzie righting this ship here is a breakdown of a decade+ filled with some horrible first round picks.
2000 – Sebastian Janikowski, K, Florida State (17th overall)
Next Pick – QB Chad Pennington (New York Jets 18th overall)
Comments: Ironically on draft day the Seabass selection was mocked yet he stands out as the best first round pick the Raiders have made in the last 13 years. He’s the all-time leading scorer in franchise history, has booted historically long kicks and is one of the best weapons in all of football. He’s also one of only two first round picks still in Oakland.
2001 – Derrick Gibson, S, Florida State (28th overall)
Next Pick – DT Ryan Pickett (St. Louis 29th overall)
Comments: Gibson was your typical Al Davis selection. A DB with athletic ability yet questionable talent. He was out of the league within five years starting just 32 games and registering 3 interceptions. He only played for the Silver and Black never suiting up for another team once his rookie deal expired. Sadly the Raiders missed out on both Reggie Wayne (30th overall) and Todd Heap (31st overall) at the end of round one of this draft. I’m guessing those guys could have helped the cause a lot more than Gibson.
2002 – Phillip Buchanon, CB, Miami (17th overall); Napoleon Harris, LB, Northwestern (23rd overall)
Next Picks – RB T.J. Duckett (Atlanta 18th overall); S Ed Reed (Baltimore 24th overall)
Comments: Harris proved to be the better of Oakland’s two first rounders in ’02 as he became a rookie starting for a defense that made it to the Super Bowl. However his most memorable accomplishment might be becoming a chip cashed in for the Randy Moss trade. As for Buchanon, his mouth made more headlines than his play. He couldn’t cover but did have a knack for making big plays. It’s hard to ignore missing out on future Hall of Famer Ed Reed but it’s almost comical that two receivers drafted between the Buchanon and Harris selections (Ashley Lelie and Javon Walker) both became Raiders eventually any way.
2003 – Nnamdi Asomugha, S, Cal (31st overall); Tyler Brayton, DE, Colorado (32nd overall)
Comments: If you’re keeping score the Asomugha selection made it three years running that the Raiders picked a DB in the first round. However unlike those other guys Nnamdi became a stud during his time in Oakland earning the richest contract for a defensive back in league history. Brayton on the other hand never settled in but did go on have a career playing pro ball stepping away from the game after the 2011 season. Of course Brayton is best known as the guy who kneed Mr. Hope Solo in the groin on Monday Night Football. Here is a fun fact for the ’03 draft. Carson Palmer was the top pick. We know where he was playing the last two years…