2013 NFL Draft: Grading the Oakland Raiders’ First Four Picks


Apr 26, 2013; Alameda, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders first round selection D.J. Hayden and general manager Reggie McKenzie hold up a jersey at the press conference at Oakland Raiders headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

As the dust finally settled with the 2013 NFL Draft, people have now entered the realm of dealing out draft grades. And while the Oakland Raiders held a top pick in the first-round ( No. 3) before striking a trade with the Miami Dolphins, one must ask themselves, was this the best move for the organization? Below is a full breakdown of the Raiders draft, with an in-depth analysis of each pick.

1. CB D.J. Hayden– First-Round (No.12) via Miami Dolphins

With the Raiders on the clock, the team literally had their pick of the litter. They could have solidified the interior of the defensive line with DT Star Lotuleilei or added that young studded CB Dee Milliner. However, instead of filling a dire need with a top prospect, GM Reggie McKenzie instead opted to trade down with the Miami Dolphins, in an effort to gain a second-round pick. The move seemed like a smart one at the time, but the selection the Raiders made at (No. 12) was a head scratcher.

I am 100 percent in agreement with trying to stockpile picks, the Raiders have numerous needs and there were not enough selections to fill all of them. With that said, the Raiders did not have to reach for a cornerback, that was sky rocketing up draft boards due to his measurables. There were other prospects on the board worth drafting such as Lotuleilei, DT Sheldon Richardson, and OLB Jarvis Jones, so the fact the Raiders decided to gamble on Hayden was odd. However, the decision was made and the Raider Nation will have to see how he transitions at the next level.

Grade: C+

September 29, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Rashad Greene (80) is congratulated by offensive linesman Menelik Watson (71) after they scored a touchdown against the South Florida Bulls during the first quarter at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

2. OT Menelik Watson– Second-Round (No.42) via Miami Dolphins

The Raiders absolutely nailed this pick! They needed an offensive tackle and selected the best one available. Like Hayden, Watson was quickly rising up draft boards and was pegged by many to be worthy of a first-round selection. With Watson now in the mix, look for the Raiders to have a solid young pair of bookends for the next five years.

Grade: A

3. OLB Sio Moore– Third-Round (No. 66)

This pick was a little bit of a disappointment. I was hoping the Raiders would take a risk on CB Tyrann Mathieu, and with the Raiders already signing LB Kaluka Maiavia, Nick Roach, and Kevin Burnett, the selection of Moore was a bit of a “need” selection rather than picking the best player available.

Grade: B-

Jan 23, 2013; Mobile AL, USA; Senior Bowl south squad quarterback Tyler Wilson of Arkansas (8) during the Senior Bowl south squad practice at Ladd-Peebles Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

4. QB Tyler Wilson– Fourth Round (No. 112) via Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Raiders already invested in QB Matt Flynn and have a young promising quarterback in QB Terrelle Pryor, so at best Wilson will be fighting for a backup position. With other solid players such as LB Sean Porter, LB Gerald Hodges, and DE William Gholston still on board, it was a questionable selection.

Grade: D