With Tom Telesco hired as the Las Vegas Raiders general manager on Tuesday, the shift goes from finding a GM, to the GM finding his coordinators. From there, it will be all eyes on the offseason, as the Raiders look to stack talent in free agency, and the NFL Draft.
The NFL Draft is a scary scenario for most Raiders fans, as the team has swung and missed way too many times, especially on Day 1. While Telesco has his faults, his overall body of work in the first round is something to look forward to this April.
Telesco served as the general manager of the Chargers franchise from 2013 to 2023, getting fired during Los Angeles's 5-12 2023 NFL season. In that time, he had many hits and misses in the NFL Draft, but there is no denying that he has a keep eye for first round talent, as many of his picks have gone on to become Pro Bowl players in the NFL.
The list is a strong one, as Telesco drafted stars like Justin Herbert, Derwin James, and Rashawn Slater. He also drafted Melvin Gordon, Jason Vernett, and Joey Bosa, all of whom have enjoyed success at the NFL level, making the Pro Bowl as well.
The biggest makes were Bosa and Herbert, two of the best in the game at their position group, and guys who could end up being enshrined in Canton in the Pro Football Hall of Fame one day.
Raiders have mostly failed in the first round in that time frame
Since 2013, through the 2023 NFL Draft, the same kind of success count not be claimed for the Silver and Black. Some of the picks have been solid, like Josh Jacobs, but the selections have also included guys who are not even in the NFL anymore.
Henry Ruggs III looked to be on his way to a solid career before the incident in Las Vegas, while Damon Arnette and Alex Leatherwood were complete misses. Kolton Miller has been solid, and Amari Cooper has been a top-tier wide receiver for some time, but outside of Miller, Cooper, and Jacobs, it has been a rough road for Raiders fans on Day 1.
The arrival of Telesco was met with skepticism by many in Raider Nation, but you cannot argue with his results on Day 1. He has had his misses, like DJ Fluker, Jerry Tillery, and Quentin Johnston, but for the most part, there is a lot to be excited about Day 1 of the 2024 NFL Draft.