The Las Vegas Raiders have struggled in the first round in a big way across their last few NFL Drafts, but can David Ziegler buck that trend in 2023?
When the Raiders franchise brought back Jon Gruden after the 2017 NFL season, it was supposed to be the beginning of a re-birth for the franchise. Gruden was seen as the coach that got away by team owner Mark Davis, as his father traded him to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the early-2000s.
Instead, the Gruden regime, coupled with the addition of general manager Mike Mayock, did not bring the kind of success anybody was hoping for. Gruden quickly traded away stars like Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper for draft picks, a haul that should have brought back a collection of players to take the Raiders from being perennial doormats, to perennial contenders.
Instead, Mayock and Gruden completely fumbled the first round every years, even though they had five first-round picks across the 2019 and 2020 NFL Drafts. All told, the only real contributor Mayock and company brought in was Josh Jacobs, who has since become one of the best young running backs in the NFL.
For new general manager David Ziegler, avoiding the same kind of fate as Mayock is the only way he can stick around for the long-term.