While the furor over the Oakland Raiders shipping their scouts off before the draft, look at why. First, Reggie McKenzie assembled that scouting department. As a result, these are not Gruden or Mayock staff. Under those circumstances, their impending dismissal makes sense. Speaking of Reggie McKenzie, his fingerprints still exist on this team. With that said, FPC Raiders writers Ray Aspuria and Terrance Biggs sit down and discus the former general manager.
Which two Reggie McKenzie era draft picks will endure the Raiders drafting their replacements?
The two obvious choices are: Derek Carr and Gabe Jackson.
Carr will get one more year to display his talent and if he’s truly a QB Gruden can ride to a championship. He’ll have no dead money after this season so if he doesn’t exceed expectations, the Raiders could be fielding a new QB in Las Vegas.
Jackson has been nicked up more these past two years, but when he’s healthy, there aren’t many guards better at their craft than big Gabe. He’s an anchor type lineman and the Raiders don’t have better options.
As Ray said, Carr and Jackson should survive. If you look deeper, Arden Key and Brandon Parker should enjoy a decent run with the Raiders. In Key, you have an edge rusher, which the team will probably attack with a vengeance during the draft. Therefore, Key could see the field in solely for passing downs. If he succeeds, the Raiders deepen their roster of suitable pass rushers. On the other hand, Brandon Parker slipped down the depth chart into a swing tackle role. While not ideal Parker could improve his worth in the long run.
What post-round one draft pick from 2018 will the Raiders replace first and why?
Nick Nelson. He’s already been replaced by the addition of Lamarcus Joyner. Drafted to learn under and eventually take over for Leon Hall at nickel corner, Joyner brings the versatility of dropping down from safety into the slot.
I came very close to picking Johnny Townsend. He had a very poor rookie season punting the ball and the Raiders signed former Chargers specialist Drew Kaser to a reserve contract early in the off season.
When the Raiders drafted Johnny Townsend, the thought centered on his directional punting. Meanwhile, the former Gator finished 30th in kicks inside the 20. Additionally, Townsend tallied a last-place 43.2 yards per punt. Yet, Gruden kept him around all 2018. However, watch for the Raiders to attack the UDFA route to find a booming leg that will not cost the team.