In most preseason games, depth evaluation plays an important role. For the Raiders, that becomes of utmost importance. While the team rebuilt a flawed roster, several questions about quality depth still exist. Due to the Raiders exercising questionable draft strategy, the team still searches for talent. To that end, FPC writers Aspuria, Biggs and Zaragoza detail how the team
Questionable coaching and equally concerning scouting. I say coaching because that is a major part of the gig — player development. The previous coaching staffs have done a haphazard job of building upside developmental picks. I say scouting because the player may check off all the boxes, yet the team did not put it into context. Meaning, the team should have done a sound job-comparing prospect to compatibility with the coaching staff. 4. With the Lions coming to town, what second/third teamed do you want to see shine and why?
For every Khalil Mack and Derek Carr, a DJ Hayden and Jihad Ward exist for Oakland. Granted, no team hits on all picks. Yet, the Raiders seem rather peculiar in their drafts. That falls directly upon the shoulders of Reggie McKenzie. The Raiders whiffed on so many picks that one begins to wonder if McKenzie will bring along another draft expert. While an imperfect science, the Raiders did not capitalize on prime opportunities. Whether they win now or not, the draft should provide a young foundation to build upon.
Injuries. Those darn annoying injuries have been frustrating for the Raiders recent high draft picks. The teams first and second round picks last season, Gareon Conley and Obi Melifonwu, played a combined seven games in 2017 (Conley is dinged up once again this offseason). The second round pick in 2016, Jihad Ward, played only five games last season and is no longer on the team. In addition, the list goes on and on. It is hard to see what type of player McKenzie is drafting when the people who are selected in the first couple of rounds are on the sideline. It is frustrating and a big disappointment to this team that needs these players to perform.