While most fans question the logic of the free agency moves by the Raiders, the draft should clear up confusion. If you look at the impending draft, Reggie McKenzie will have the overwhelming voice in the room. With Jon Gruden designing the roster to his preferences, McKenzie will be the one with the final say. For RaiderNation, this is the best possible outcome. Looking at the Gruden/Tampa years, his draft history does not paint the best picture. Remember, after the Super Bowl season, the architect, Rich McKay left the Bucs for Atlanta. Gruden brought in Bruce Allen. However, Gruden fully controlled the football side.
WR Michael Clayton
Picked ahead of Steven Jackson
In typical Gruden fashion, Clayton fit the mold of the classic Gruden wideout: big, route-runner with discipline. Despite these attributes, Clayton struggled mightily on the field, catching only 10 touchdowns However, he thrived at the bank, collecting 16 million dollars and a championship with the Giants.
Weird Fact: Clayton scored 70 percent of his touchdown in his first season.
Picked ahead of Aaron Rodgers
Granted, Williams entered the league with a fair amount of hype. However, Gruden had a chance at a future legendary passer in Rodgers. Like Michael Clayton before him, Clayton excelled in his first year. After the wheels fell off. During his career, Williams tallied only one-thousand yard season. In addition, he only started
G Davin Joseph
Picked ahead of Nick Mangold
At this point in Gruden’s tenure, the Bucs slipped to 4-12. Needing to rebuild the offensive line, Gruden and Allen selected Joseph. While a good player (two-time Pro Bowler), Joseph never reached the levels of success that you would think. At the same time, Mangold, regarded as one of the league’s elite centers, played in seven Pro Bowl, and garnered three All-Pro awards.
Armed with that contract, Gruden’s particular vision of the roster reflect his specifics. Everyone knows that Gruden’s forte is not the younger players, especially the draft. He values veteran players, instead of molding younger talent. For the same reason, Reggie McKenzie values draft picks and roster development.
In reality, the Gruden/McKenzie partnership fits. As mentioned, Gruden’s draft reputation allows Reggie McKenzie to overlook the process.