Grading the Oakland Raiders 2013 Draft

By Matthew Erickson on Saturday, May 4th 2013
Grading the Oakland Raiders 2013 Draft


1st Round, 12th Overall: D.J. Hayden - Cornerback, Houston

This pick was one of the biggest head-scratchers of the first round, though multiple leaks pointed to Hayden as the Raiders’ target for days leading up the draft. Personally, this was a bit rich for my blood. On talent, I perceived him to be a solid second-round prospect, but the Raiders even said they would’ve taken him with the third overall pick, so they clearly feel he’ll be a star in the NFL. Reggie McKenzie is from the Ted Thompson/Ron Wolf heritage in Green Bay, so I’m inclined to trust his ability to scout talent. With their need at defensive tackle and the positional availability at this point, though, I think they could’ve filled a bigger need. They picked up a second-round pick from Miami by trading down, and they did fill a need. Grade: B


2nd Round, 42th Overall: Menelik Watson - Offensive Tackle, FSU

With the pick they received from Miami, the Raiders took the best offensive tackle available. On talent and athleticism, Watson was easily a first-round caliber prospect, and many projected him to be drafted by the early 20’s. He’s also incredibly raw and has only played football for two years. But he has enough talent to start at left tackle for Florida State despite his inexperience. These are the types of players to take in the second round. Grade: A


3rd Round, 66th Overall: Sio Moore - Outside Linebacker, Connecticut

Coming into the draft, the Raiders’ roster was nearly devoid of quality young talent, so they were free to target the best player available at almost any position at any given point in the draft. McKenzie was able to fill most of their defensive needs with capable veteran stopgaps, but Moore was too good of a talent to pass up in the third round. He’s a very good coverage linebacker who can rush the passer, and he’ll pair with Miles Burris to form a quality linebacker corps for years. Grade: A


4th Round, 112th Overall: Tyler Wilson - Quarterback, Arkansas

Some people had Wilson as the best quarterback in the draft and worthy of a first-round pick, but I wasn’t nearly as high on him. I thought he’d be a good for a flyer in the fourth or fifth round, because while he has the tools to be a starting NFL quarterback, he’s very far from a finished product. They were able to trade back from their native slot before taking him (picking up another sixth-round pick), but Matt Barkley and Ryan Nassib were drafted before they picked, so the quality at the position dropped off a lot and left Oakland without many options. Grade: B-


6th Round, 172nd Overall: Nick Kasa - Tight End, Colorado

When the Raiders smartly let Brandon Myers walk over the offseason, they left themselves with a gaping hole at tight end. Kasa is an aggressive blocker, and he has surprising speed and quickness for a man of his size. If they’d taken Kasa instead of Wilson with their previous pick, I would’ve given them an A. Grade: A+


6th Round, 181st Overall: Latavius Murray - Running Back, Central Florida

For a team in such grave need of talent, the Raiders actually brought a remarkably talented running back corps into the draft. All of their running backs have big question marks, though, so adding the absurdly athletic Murray made a ton of sense. He has the talent to take the starting job after McFadden leaves. Grade: A


6th Round, 184th Overall: Mychal Rivera - Tight End, Tennessee

After adding the huge, tenacious Kasa a few picks back, Oakland doubled up on tight ends and brought in an underrated “move” tight end. Rivera is more “big wide receiver” than tight end, and he’s had some injury issues, so his stock ended up right where it belonged. Grade: B


6th Round, 205th Overall: Stacy McGee - Defensive Tackle, Oklahoma

I felt like defensive tackle was a significant need for Oakland--perhaps their most urgent--but they waited until the sixth round to address it, and then they targeted a raw player with injury and character issues. While I respect McKenzie’s background, he hasn’t had a chance to earn my full trust in his drafting acumen, so I’ll dislike this pick until proven wrong. Grade: D


7th Round, 209th Overall: Brice Butler - Wide Receiver, San Diego State

As usual, the seventh round is about athletes and underrated small-school players. Butler qualifies on both accounts. He may have the craziest athletic numbers in the entire draft. If the Raiders are going to keep targeting these types of players, this is the range for it. Grade: A


7th Round, 233rd Overall: David Bass - Defensive End, Missouri Western State

Bass was extremely productive at the small-school level, but there are questions about whether he’ll be a defensive end or outside linebacker in the NFL. In an age of hybrid defenses, he has a good chance to make the roster. Another quality value pick. Grade: A


Oakland entered the draft with six draft picks. They left with 11 new players, among them a starting cornerback, a starting outside linebacker, a starting tight end, a future left tackle, and a quality quarterback prospect. There is a direct correlation between teams that draft more than seven times each year and teams that compete deep into the playoffs on a regular basis. So for the Raiders to turn six picks into 11 pushes them into upper B-grade range by itself. A couple of their picks were head-scratchers, but I’m inclined to give the Green Bay front office tree the benefit of the doubt. Grade: A


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