The Oakland Raiders 2018 NFL rookie class had some bright spots, but not enough apparently in a recent ranking of all 32 teams’ classes.
The Oakland Raiders shocked people on draft day in 2018, selecting UCLA offensive tackle Kolton Miller with their first round pick. In the third round, they doubled down, selecting another offensive tackle in Brandon Parker from North Carolina A&T, and both players ended up with starting roles in 2018.
In the second round, Oakland selected P.J. Hall from Sam Houston State, a defensive tackle with incredible athleticism. Holding two third round picks, the Raiders rolled the dice on edge rusher Arden Key, who looked good as a rookie, and should be a solid NFL player down the line.
In the final four rounds, Oakland added cornerback Nick Nelson in round four, both Maurice Hurst and Johnny Townsend in round five, Azeem Victor in the sixth, and Marcell Ateman to close out their draft. Everyone, outside of Victor, played a role for the team in 2018, with Victor not even making the 53-man roster.
Jeremy Bergman and Nick Shook from NFL.com recently rated all 32 rookie classes from 2018, and the Raiders group fell towards the bottom. In fact, the pair had the Raiders class rated as the No. 31-ranked class in the NFL, beating out only the Los Angeles Rams, who did not have a first or second round pick.
Overall, the Raiders 2018 NFL rookie class was given a grade of C by the writers, due to the fact that guys like Miller, Key, and Hurst all played well. They included Daniel Carlson in the grade, and for good measure, as he was the Raiders kicker for most of the season after being released by the Minnesota Vikings.
While the rookie class did not dominate, they were way better than the second-worst in the league. Miller played most of the season hurt, and guys like Hurst, Hall, and Key are going to be cornerstones of this defense moving forward. The Raiders have a bunch of draft capital in 2019 and 2020, and should have a solid nucleus of young talent moving forward, led by some of the key pieces of this past draft class.