Oakland Raiders: Revisiting Reggie McKenzie’s laughable NFL Draft history

Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images
Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images /
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Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images /

2017 – Gareon Conley, Obi Melifonwu, Eddie Vanderdoes, David Sharpe, Marquel Lee, Shalom Luani, Jylan Ware, Elijah Hood, Treyvon Hester

The 2017 draft class may turn out to be marginally better than the 2016 class. There are still a lot of pieces up in the air though.

After an injury marred rookie year, Gareon Conley is starting to round into form and is looking like he very well could be the CB1 McKenzie thought him to be when he spent a first-round pick on him. Conley is playing at an elite level and looks to be a great selection.

Once you get beyond Conley though, there really isn’t much to write home about with many of the players selected no longer with the team. Anytime you have a majority of your previous year’s draft class no longer with the team, you’d have to be hard pressed to call it a successful draft class.

But that’s the case with McKenzie’s 2017 draft class – Melifonwu, Luani, Ware, Hood, and Hester all gone. And though some are adding value to their current teams, all are merely depth players, rather than building blocks.

Of this entire class, only Conley can be considered a successful pick. We don’t know if Vanderdoes will be effective when he returns – or if he’ll even be on the roster next season — and Lee has improved his play, but he’s still not a three-down linebacker. He’s a rotational piece only.

No, by most any metric you can think of, the 2017 draft class is an abject failure. And yet, it still seems to be slightly better than the 2016 class, which says a lot, and none of it good.