While the Raiders currently sit with the 24th pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, questions arise about the quality of the slot. With that said, that selection number presents an interest mix of players. Whether it’s offense or defense where the Raiders choose, this selection joined a collection of diverse players. Here are two groups of players chosen with the 24th pick.
Hall of Famers: Since 1980, two future Hall of Famers fell to the twenty-fourth spot. Former Ravens safety Ed Reed heard his name in 2002. Reed is just waiting for the call from Canton. His stats dwarf many of his peers, except for Charles Woodson. Coupled with Ray Lewis, Ed Reed functioned as the heart and soul of one of the most consistently dominant defenses of this era.
Similarly, the other all-time great to slide down the draft boards in Aaron Rodgers. Experts pegged the former Cal star QB as a Top 10 talent. Yet, waiting for hours in the green room to hear and celebrate his selection. Names like Troy Williamson (Vikings), Mike Williams (Lions), and Matt Jones (Jaguars) took pictures on that stage before Rodgers. Matt Jones is famous for running fast for a QB (4.37) and having a cocaine arrest. While Rodgers is the best quarterback in the past decade, few can claim that title. Considering what his receiving corps looks like from year to year, and plays like this:
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Raider Busts: Unfortunately, this pick haunts Oakland. In their storied history, two of the worst first round picks were 24th overall. One is widely known, while the other isn’t. Their troubled histories off the field overshadow whatever they did on the field.
In 1986, the Raiders selected Pitt DE Bob Buczowski with the 24th overall pick. Why doesn’t that name sound familiar? Buczowski played two whole games for the Raiders before bouncing between Phoenix and Cleveland. Over a 21-game career, Buczowski tallied 1.5 sacks. Additionally, he is more famous for his life off the field. Notably, running a prostitution ring and a drug arrest. Drug arrests leads us to the other Raiders’ 24th choice.
If you are old enough to remember, the name Todd Marinovich should ring a bell. If not, here’s a little reminder. Todd Marinovich is the son of former Raiders guard Marv Marinovich. Marv wanted to groom Todd into the perfect quarterback. While growing up, Marv forced his son into weird diets (no junk food, hot dogs, burgers, etc), constant workouts and a sole focus. As a result, Todd seemingly lost his way. USC suspended him multiple times. Also, he was arrested for cocaine possession during his time at SC. Yet, the Raiders drafted Marinovich in 1991. After a 395-yard performance versus the Browns, Marinovich’s substance abuse continued. Using everything from amphetamines to cocaine to LSD, his play deteriorated. After multiple stints in rehab, numerous failed drug tests and interventions, the Raiders cut him before the 1993 season.
Given these points, whoever the Raiders choose in the position is neither a guaranteed success nor phenomenal failure. For every Dez Bryant (2010) and Cameron Jordan (2011), the risk of a Darqueze Dennard (2014) or Bjoern Warner (2013) lurking out there. This is where Reggie McKenzie earns his money.