Since Jon Gruden returned to the Raiders franchise in 2018, the team has had its fair share of questionable draft picks, especially in the first round. The Raiders have become known for reaching in the first round, and with six first-round picks in the last three drafts, there have been a lot of surprises.
The team surely has improved since Gruden’s first season in 2018, but not all of the draft picks have worked out how everyone had hoped. Let’s take a look at each player that the Raiders have drafted in the last three seasons, and grade the picks based on where they were selected, who the Raiders missed out on, and the production that the player has put on the field.
Raiders 2018 Draft Class, Round 1
Round 1 Pick 15- Kolton Miller-LT (Had the 10th pick)
- Next four picks (from 10)- Minkah Fitzpatrick, Vita Vea, Daron Payne, Marcus Davenport
- Next five picks (from 15)- Tremaine Edmunds, Derwin James, Jaire Alexander, Leighton Vander Esch, Frank Ragnow
Kolton Miller has improved tremendously over the last couple of years and has become a staple of the Raiders’ offensive line. Miller struggled badly in his first season, but since then has done a great job of protecting Derek Carr’s blindside.
When Miller was drafted, he was considered a reach by most, but out of all Gruden’s first-round picks, Miller may be the best.
Unfortunately, it is hard to give this pick too high of a grade considering who the next players selected were. The Raiders missed out on top-tier talent such as Minkah Fitzpatrick, Vita Vea, Tremaine Edmunds, Derwin James, and Jaire Alexander. Not only were these players available and better options, but they all are at positions which the Raiders badly needed at the time, and still badly need.
Pick Grade: B