Oakland Raiders 2017 NFL Draft produced Conley, Lee and little else
By Brad Weiss
The Oakland Raiders had nine selections in the 2017 NFL Draft, and of those nine, only two figure to play a huge role for the team in 2019.
In the last NFL Draft with Jack Del Rio as the head coach, the Oakland Raiders held nine selections, with nearly half of them coming in the seventh round. With their first round selection, the Raiders, coming off a 12-4 season, picked later in round one than in recent years, and picked a guy who should have been selected much higher than No. 24 overall.
That player was Gareon Conley, who was accused of rape prior to the NFL Draft, and saw his draft stock plummet. Conley stated his innocence, and the Raiders did their due diligence, and selected a player that many felt was the best overall cornerback in the draft class.
After struggling with injuries as a rookie, and getting off to a slow start in year No. 2 in 2018, Conley stepped up in a big way for the Raiders down the stretch. In fact, based on the statistics, Conley was actually one of the better cover corners in the NFL over the second half of the season, and has the talent to be one of the best in the game.
He will step in and lead a revamped cornerback group in 2019, one that includes second round draft pick Trayvon Mullen, and fourth rounder Isaiah Johnson. In addition, Oakland also added Los Angeles Rams safety Lamarcus Joyner, who figures to play the nickel corner spot with the Raiders this upcoming season.
In round two, Oakland selected Obi Melifonwu, who never could stay healthy enough to make an impact for the Raiders. The safety from UConn was released by the Raiders in October of 2018, latched on with the New England Patriots, and ended up winning a Super Bowl ring.