ESPN analyst slams Raiders for drafting Brock Bowers

We shouldn't be too surprised...
Las Vegas Raiders, Brock Bowers
Las Vegas Raiders, Brock Bowers / Candice Ward-USA TODAY Sports

For a couple of weeks now, the Las Vegas Raiders have seen and heard mixed reviews in regards to their 2024 NFL Draft haul.

Specifically, their first-round selection of tight end Brock Bowers has been often criticized, with many questioning just what exactly the Raiders were doing when they could have traded back and come up with talent at more pressing positions of need.

In a recent article put together by several ESPN analysts and experts, Liz Loza gave her two cents on the Raiders' drafting of Bowers, and it wasn't a pleasant take:

"I was stupefied by the Raiders' selection of Bowers, and it's not because of his talent level. He's a potential generational talent with a do-it-all skill set who was expected to come off the board before the first half of the first round. However, Las Vegas spent an early second-round pick on Michael Mayer just a year ago and entered the draft with holes all along the offensive line. In the end, I suppose, the value Bowers presented was too great to pass on."

Critics need to stop playing fantasy football and start looking at the realities of Vegas drafting Brock Bowers

One of the main reasons why Loza, along with other skeptics, could be critical of the Bowers pick is due to the fact that people tend to look at these first-round selections through the fantasy football lens.

Loza is a fantasy and betting analyst, herself, which helps make a lot more sense of her take. She was quick to talk about Michael Mayer, whom the Raiders spent a second-round pick on last year.

However, do we forget some of the better tight end tandems in the league also helped teams win games? Think back to the New England Patriots, with Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, regardless of how the latter name makes you feel. The fact is, they were a fantastic duo on the field.

Even Mark Andrews and Hayden Hurst helped the Baltimore Ravens offense take a step forward when that team had been searching for answers at wide receiver, just a few years back.

There are several examples of teams that deploy two talented tight ends, and let's not forget the fact that Bowers can line up as a wide receiver as well. He isn't purely a tight end, but can run routes and function just as a larger wide receiver could.

So, if we stop looking at these things through the fantasy lens, then maybe we'll be able to see that the Raiders simply took the best player on their board. Should they really be slammed for doing the very thing so many teams get slammed for not doing, year-in and year-out?

Hello, Atlanta Falcons?