Say what you want about the Oakland Raiders, just don’t call them predictable. While many read the smokescreens and wondered about Jon Gruden and Co. taking a quarterback, they didn’t. They were, for the most part, restrained.
The Raiders looked poised to possible jump up or jump all in at the fourth selection and replace Derek Carr. They didn’t. They went defense. While you can be critical of the pick, you can’t be critical of the plan. Sure, Gruden and General Manager Mike Mayock may have laid the groundwork for a QB coup in this lame-duck season in Oakland, but they didn’t.
1. Oakland Drafted Need, Not Hype
With one season left in the East Bay, the Oakland Raiders drafted to a smart plan. If Gruden is truly disenchanted with Carr, it didn’t show in the draft. When the fourth pick came along, Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins was there for the taking.
They didn’t bite.
Granted, they drafted Clelin Ferrell out of Clemson earlier than needed, but that’s ultimately who Gruden and Mayock wanted, so they took him.
The conventional wisdom is Ferrell would have likely been available later in the draft. Most importantly, for Raider Fan, it was a sign the organization was planning on staying the course, not giving in to a whim.
2. Derek Carr Looks To Be The Guy – For Now
The quarterback position in Oakland looks to be settled, at least for another season. Perhaps that’s a direct result of newly acquired Antonio Brown. Gruden, who’s not afraid to keep his QB’s ”unsettled”, looks to be settling into a second season looking to see how good Carr can be.
That’s a net positive, especially if AB and Carr can find the kind of connection that can light up a scoreboard.
Give Gruden credit. For as much as the NFL media loved to sell the Raiders dipping into a lukewarm QB pool in the 2019 NFL Draft, they didn’t. The plan to address absolute need overruled the vanity talking heads like to sell when talking about Gruden.
3. The Raiders Won’t Sell Oakland A Bad Bill Of Goods for 2019
On the way out the door, the Oakland Raiders will be competitive. They won’t win the AFC West, and they won’t likely make the playoffs. But they will be better than 4-12.
At least they should be.
With Las Vegas still a season away, fans of the Silver and Black should have something good to watch in the East Bay. For those who thought Gruden would completely dismantle the team before heading out of town, you were wrong.
Make no bones about it. The betting money is that the Raiders will be better in the coming years. But that isn’t an unreasonable proposition given he plan after Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper. For all those who lined up to bash Oakland in 2018, it’s a different tune heading into 2019.
The single biggest takeaway from the 2019 NFL Draft is that the Raiders did a pretty good job. They filled needs, stayed away from excess, and are in the process of having a good opening day roster for this coming season.
Sorry haters. Gruden did a good job. Which may be the biggest surprise of all.