Raiders Draft Picks: Where are they now? (The Dave Ziegler Period)

Although the Ziegler and McDaniels era was deemed a failure, some of the pieces they provided through the draft could be huge for the Antonio Pierce-led Raiders.
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders
Denver Broncos v Las Vegas Raiders / Candice Ward/GettyImages

Dave Ziegler's run with as GM of the Las Vegas Raiders was shortlived. It is difficult to judge either of his two classes fairly at this point because so little time has passed, and some of these players have not played their best football yet. However, based on current projections and what we have seen so far, history could look back kindly on the two sets of selections that former GM Dave Ziegler made.


Dylan Parham (3rd/90th Overall)

Parham has been a staple on the offensive line since he joined the Raiders. He has started every game in each of the last two seasons and led the team both years in snaps played among offensive linemen. Parham will start again this year at either guard spot.  

Zamir White (4th/122nd Overall)

If Zamir White can blossom into a full-time starter, that will certainly help how this class grades out, and it would be a major benefit to the Raiders this season. Despite his lack of playing time as he sat behind one of the league’s best, White has been effective in his opportunities. He started the last 4 games of the 2023 campaign and totaled 397 yards on 4.7 YPC, and added a touchdown. He will be the starter this year. 

Neil Farrell (4th/126th Overall)

Farrell was never a major component of the Raiders' defense, and he was traded to the Chiefs for a sixth-rounder before his second season after only nine appearances. Farrell only played in three games for the Chiefs last season, but he had a tackle and pass deflected in the Super Bowl and remains in Kansas City for this upcoming season. 

Matthew Butler (5th/175th Overall)

Despite being healthy for his first two seasons, Butler has only appeared in eight games as a Raider. While he is still on the team this year, he projects to play even less this season with the addition of Christian Wilkins. 

Thayer Munford (7th/238th Overall)

Munford’s role grew last season, although it was in response to injury. Still, he has played 32 games in two seasons and is solidly in the mix for the starting RT job this year. If he can win the job and produce for Las Vegas, then this draft class will see its rating rise. 

Brittain Brown (7th/250th Overall)

It is impossible to know what to make of Brittain Brown because we have not seen him. Outside of some special teams snaps his rookie year, he has made no strides in terms of playing time. He spent all of last season injured and I would be shocked if he was on the final roster this year.

TakeawaysIt may be too early to tell, but right now, this class gets a C-. It is difficult to not have a first or second-round pick but drafting a Day 1 starter in the third round is difficult to do. If Zamir White can continue his pace from the end of last season and Thayer Munford turns into a solid starter, this group will definitely be graded higher, but the jury is still out on both of those. 3 of these players have made no impact on the Raiders, so it is hard to grade the class any higher than this. 


Tyree Wilson (1st/7th Overall)

Although he did not have the rookie season many expected, neither did Khalil Mack, and we all know what kind of player he turned into. 2.5 of his 3.5 sacks came after AP took over, and with a full offseason this year, he has the opportunity to be one of the best young edge rushers in the league. 

Michael Mayer (2nd/35th Overall)

Mayer had a solid rookie season although he missed a few games. Ideally, with more consistent quarterback play, the entire offense is elevated and even with the presence of Brock Bowers, his numbers improve. He will start if the team begins the game in 12 personnel, but he will likely be a “backup” to Bowers - though he will see significant playing time. 

Byron Young (3rd/70th Overall)

For a third-rounder, you hope that a player makes at least a solid impact, but for Byron Young, this was not the case. He only made four tackles in his six appearances last season and again, with the signing of Christian Wilkins, he figures to play less this season. 

Tre Tucker (3rd/100th Overall)

Tucker played limited snaps last season but put together 19 catches for 331 yards and two touchdowns. The team desperately needs speed on the field, so if he can clean up some of the rookie mistakes he made last season and become the team’s third receiver, he will provide tremendous value. 

Jakorian Bennett (4th/104th Overall)

Bennett began the year as a starting corner, but his role dropped off dramatically as the season progressed. He too went through growing pains as a rookie, but he could find himself in the mix for playing time in the cornerback room once again if he can have a similar offseason to last year. 

Aidan O’Connell (4th/135th Overall)

If O’Connell becomes the Raiders' starting quarterback this year and can put together similar numbers to what he did in the final four games of 2023, then this pick is an absolute home run. If he is the backup, it puts a damper on things for this class, because as we know, starting quarterback is the most important position in the NFL. 

Christopher Smith (5th/170th Overall)

When you appear in 12 games but only make a single tackle, it is hard to act like you had a successful rookie campaign. The starting safety jobs are definitely locked in, but there is room for depth pieces to emerge among the group. My gut tells me that Pola-Mao and Trey Taylor have a better chance of playing than Smith does, which would make this pick a whiff. 

Amari Burney (6th/203rd Overall)

Burney was a solid contributor on special teams but never made an impact on defense. With the entire LB group back and Tommy Eichenberg joining the mix, I find it difficult to see Burney’s role growing this season. 

Nesta Jade Silvera (7th/231st Overall)

NJS is a member of a very crowded defensive tackle room, and he was unable to bust through last year. He only appeared in two games, and I find it unlikely that, given the Wilkins signing, he plays any more this year.

Takeaways: If rating the last class was too early, then rating this class definitely is. Right now, this draft feels like a C+ or B-, but it could easily be an A level draft if these players emerge in the ways they are projected to. There could be four starters drafted among this group and one of them being a quarterback definitely helps.