The Autumn wind is a raider...

Oakland Raiders 2018 Draft Grade: C-

The ghost of Big Al appears to have returned along with Jon Gruden.  This was a bizarro draft reminiscent of the Raiders of old.  Lots of impressive 40 times, not a lot of impressive film.  First round tackle Kolton Miller needs to add functional strength to hold up in the NFL.  If he does he's a potential star, but he didn't during his years at UCLA.  NFL weight rooms can produce some interesting results and they will need to do that with Miller. Sam Houston State defensive tackle P.J, Hall is an developmental prospect and the second round was a bit early.  Arden Key has off-field issues. Maurice Hurst is a high level talent with a high level injury question mark.  3rd round tackle Brandon Parker needs lots of work to get to even average starter ability.

Oakland Raiders 2017 Draft Grade: B

The Raiders needed help in the secondary and on the defensive line and they used their first three picks on those positions.  CB Gareon Conley should see significant playing time as a rookie and S Obi Melifonwu has as much upside as any player in this draft.  He has a body like Rod Woodson who will be his secondary coach. DT Eddie Vanderdoes has been an underacheiver since an injury sidetracked him, but he has upside and at worst should be a competent interior player.  They drafted some big bodies late in tackles David Sharpe and Jylan Ware.  We thought sixth round RB Elijah Hood was a first round talent after his sophomore year, but he took a step back in 2016.

Oakland Raiders 2016 Draft Grade: B-

It was an uneven draft for the Raiders, though they improved at some positions of need.  S Karl Joseph is coming off of an injury but he was one of the best players in this draft.   Second round DE Jihad Ward was a dud pick.  He's a Tarzan/Jane prospect. DE Shilique Calhoun has tremendous upside as a pass rusher but he needs to show more fire in the run game.  We didn't have a problem with Connor Cook in the fourth, but we didn't like trading up to get him and Black Prescott would have been a better selection.  RB Deandre Washington is a great third down back prospect and G Vadal Alexander provides nice depth in the offensive interior.

Oakland Raiders 2015 Draft Grade: C+

The Raiders added significant help in the passing game by adding first round wide receiver Amari Cooper and third round tight end Clive Walford.  They also drafted a number of linebackers in the mid-rounds including Ben Heeney, Max Valles and Neiron Ball.  They are hoping that one of them can become a starter.  We aren't fans of their second round pick Mario Edwards, Jr., who was generally unproductive at Florida State.  Andre Debose could develop into an above average return man.  Overall, we wanted to see a premier corner/safety or running back join the fold and we don't see that.

UDFA most likely to make the team: Cody Fajardo- QB Nevada.  He's better than several of the tossers drafted this year.

Oakland Raiders 2014 Draft Grade: A-

It has been many an Autumn wind since we gave the Raiders a draft grade approaching an "A", but Reggie McKenzie and company did well with this one.  First round LB/DE Khalil Mack reminds us of Ray LewisSecond round guard Gabe Jackson was one of our top 40 rated players.   4th round corner Keith McGill meets the profile of the new prototype at 6'3", 211 and DT Justin Ellis is a mountain and an underrated prospect.  Keep an eye on 7th round corner Jonathan Dowling from Western Kentucky.  We really like him.  The only issue we had with their draft was taking Derek Carr over Jimmy Garoppolo or even Aaron Murray.  The good news is that Carr will probably get one year to watch, a luxury his brother never had.  Overall, the Raiders drafted for good value with nearly every pick.

UDFA most likely to make the team:  George Atkinson- RB, Notre Dame