Ranking Raiders last 10 first-round draft picks from bust to best

NFL Draft
NFL Draft / Andy Lyons/GettyImages
2 of 6

8. Alex Leatherwood (Drafted 17th overall in 2021)

You're probably sensing a theme with these picks so far. They've all been pretty surprising picks and that was the norm during the Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock era. The final first-round pick they made during their Raiders tenure together was Alex Leatherwood, who was not projected to be a first-round pick by anyone.

The Raiders tried to start Leatherwood at right guard and at right tackle during his rookie season, neither of which worked. He allowed eight sacks that year, the second-most allowed in the league in 2021, and was flagged 14 times, good for third-most in the league. PFF gave him an overall grade of 45.0 in 1,104 snaps so it wasn't a small sample size.

When Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels came in, they didn't hesitate to cut Leatherwood lose. He was claimed on waivers by the Chicago Bears where he played just 32 snaps. The Cleveland Browns signed him to their practice squad in 2023 but they let his contract expire and he's yet to sign with anyone else.

7. Clelin Ferrell (Drafted 4th overall in 2019)

It's a pretty great gift to have three first-round draft picks and that's exactly the situation that Gruden and Mayock found themselves in heading into the 2019 NFL Draft. The first pick the Raiders held in the 2019 draft was fourth overall, which they opted to spend on Clelin Ferrell.

This was an odd pick because while the Raiders needed a pass-rusher, they went in a weird direction. Josh Allen was still on the board when the Raiders were on the clock but they passed on him to take Ferrell. Ferrell recorded just 10 sacks in four seasons while Allen had 10.5 sacks in his rookie season alone.

Ferrell was not re-signed once his rookie deal came to an end (and it wasn't a surprise when the Raiders didn't pick up his fifth-year option) and signed with the San Francisco 49ers where he had 3.5 sacks. He signed with the Washington Commanders in the 2024 offseason. Ferrell was a massive disappointment for being the fourth overall pick so the fact that he isn't at the bottom of this list shows how bad the Raiders have been at drafting.