As Raider Nation struggles to wrap their heads around the fact that sports media is actually praising Reggie McKenzie and what he did for the Oakland Raiders in the 2014 draft, pundits all across the board are putting together grades for the drafts by all 32 teams. So how does the Raiders’ draft stack up in the AFC West? In this series, we take a look at how the other teams in the AFC West fared during the draft. Taking a look at the Yahoo Sports grades that were given this week, the Raiders were given an A.
Let’s see how that stacked up against AFC West rival, the San Diego Chargers. The Chargers have got to be my least favorite team in the AFC West. They had six picks in this year’s draft and have reportedly signed about 15 undrafted free agents once the draft ended. They had the 25th pick overall in the first round and the Chargers selected cornerback Jason Verrett out of Texas Christian University. Verrett joins a team that is lacking a lead cornerback.
In the second, round, the Chargers traded with the Miami Dolphins and selected 50th overall, taking Jeremiah Attaochu, defensive end out of Georgia Tech. The third round saw the Chargers selecting offensive guard Chriss Watt out of Notre Dame and the fifth round saw Ryan Carrethers, defensive tackle from Arkansas State being selected. The Chargers then went on to select Marion Grice, a running back out of Arizona State University and in the final round of the draft, they selected Tevin Reese, a wide receiver out of Baylor.
So, according to Yahoo! Sports, the Raiders receive an A in their draft and the Chargers come oh so close, but ultimately receive a B-. This is quite the change from past years when the Raiders’ drafts would draw extreme criticism and sometimes mocking from those in the sports media world.
Raider Nation is headed into territory that they’ve been unfamiliar with for at least a decade. The Raiders drafted well and the Chargers didn’t draft nearly as well. The Raiders are, by far, receiving much more praise than the Chargers are with regard to drafting abilities. The Chargers stepped up to fill holes, but by and large, the Raiders had the winning draft in not only filling holes, but also getting value out of their selections. The Raiders didn’t even stop at the draft. McKenzie went on to scoop up players as undrafted free agents in somewhat of a frenzy.
The fan base for the Raiders is holding their breath, waiting to see all these new players in motion together. This has got to be one of the first years in decades that Raider Nation has been counting down the minutes to he training camp.