Jon Gruden has had his fair share of first round picks with the Raiders, as well as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Here is a look at how those picks have gone.
The NFL Draft sits just under three weeks away and the Las Vegas Raiders are expected to be heavily involved on day one as they’re slotted to have two first-round selections. So over the years, how has Jon Gruden drafted in round one?
Jon Gruden was hired to be the Raiders’ next head coach at the age of 35 and soon thereafter he entered his first draft day experience at the top of the totem pole in 1998. While Gruden was the young hotshot head coach with much intrigue, his drafts were in large part altered by Raiders’ owner Al Davis who ultimately called the shots on draft day.
Gruden’s draft picks from 1998 to 2001 have to be taken with a grain of salt due to the fact that Davis was going to take who he wanted.
Oakland Raiders First-Round Picks (1998-2001)
- 1998: DB Charles Woodson (No.4 overall), OG Mo Collins (No.23 overall)
- 1999: OG Matt Stinchcomb (No.18 overall)
- 2000: PK Sebastian Janikowski (No.17 overall)
- 2001: DB Derrick Gibson (No. 28)
Ultimately, the Raiders hit on some key players such as future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson and Sebastion Janikowski. However, using the No.17 overall pick to select a kicker isn’t ideal for obvious reasons, but Janikowski did provide immense production for a kicker. Outside of those two picks, the other three first-rounders were nothing but marginal players at best.
When Davis traded Gruden to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2002, Gruden instantly became the decision-maker of the team, including all draft circumstances. At that time, Bruce Allen sat alongside Gruden as the Buccaneers’ general manager but it was well established that Gruden had the final say over things.
So how did he draft in Tampa Bay?