Raiders make questionable choices in ESPN’s 4-round NFL re-draft

Raiders (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Raiders (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Las Vegas Raiders made some questionable choices in ESPN’s four-round NFL re-draft.

The Las Vegas Raiders and the rest of the NFL teams were recently subject to an interesting project over on ESPN. The network decided to take all 32 NFL teams and do a four-round re-draft of the entire NFL team.

An ambitious project, and one that may not have worked out in the Raiders’ favor. But we’ll get to that.

First for the rules. Each team’s ESPN beat reporter was tasked with playing the role of “general manager” meaning that Paul Gutierrez was tasked with making the Raiders’ selections.

All NFL players would be eligible and salary cap implications were irrelevant. Each team was required to select one quarterback, one non-QB offensive player, and one defensive player with their fourth selection being a “wild-card” pick.

Moreover, the remainder of the roster would be filled with players considered to be “league average” and the GM’s were simply given the task of winning a Super Bowl within five years.

How did Gutierrez and the Raiders fare? Let’s take a look.

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Raiders’ re-draft results

  • Round 1 (12th overall): Aaron Rodgers, QB
  • Round 2 (53rd overall): Von Miller, OLB
  • Round 3 (76th overall): Josh Jacobs, RB
  • Round 4 (117th overall): Henry Ruggs, WR

Gutierrez opted to roll with two aging (but still incredibly talented) veterans with his first two picks. At No. 12 overall, Aaron Rodgers was the seventh quarterback taken which seems like a steal despite his age.

Meanwhile, Von Miller in the second round is an excellent pick as well as the 31-year-old is still playing at a very high level regardless of his age.

With his first two selections, Gutierrez made sure to take care of arguably the most important position on each side of the ball and do so in a big way landing two surefire future Hall of Famers.

There really aren’t any glaring issues there, it’s with his other two picks that many have taken issue.

Gutierrez opted to stick with two young building blocks of the raiders taking both Josh Jacobs and Henry Ruggs with his final two picks. This likely wasn’t the best decision.

Jacobs is a fantastic player, no doubt. But positional value needs to be taken into account here. You know who else was still on the board at pick No. 76? Quenton Nelson, Chris Jones, Keenan Allen, and Mitchell Schwartz all would have been much better selections at this spot.

And the list goes on too.

Jacobs is great, but you can make a pretty strong argument that he shouldn’t even have been selected in the entire four-round draft. At the very least, picking him over someone like Quenton Nelson feels like a massive mistake.

Meanwhile, the selection of Ruggs in the fourth round is equally as puzzling. Players like Marshon Lattimore, Zack Martin, and Patrick Peterson were still on the board at that spot.

But once again, rather than bolstering the offensive line with one of the best interior linemen in the NFL, Gutierrez opted for an unproven receiver who undoubtedly has a high ceiling, but is far from the best value pick at this spot.

Even so, other receivers such as Jarvis Landry, Allen Robinson, and D.J. Moore — who were still on the board at this time — make a lot more sense.

Gutierrez is clearly trusting the evaluations of Mike Mayock and company, but he did so to a fault. This isn’t to say that Ruggs can’t be good, but is there really an argument to take him over any of the receivers above?

Or Zack Martin for that matter?

ESPN analysts Mike Clay understandably graded the Raiders’ draft in his lowest tier of drafts questioning both the Jacobs and Ruggs picks as well. And it’s pretty hard to blame him.

The Raiders did a good job with their first two picks, but Gutierrez made some questionable decisions in the third and fourth rounds that ended up flunking this four-round re-draft.

Next. Raiders: All eyes will be on a revamped defense in 2020. dark

At the very least, they were given a chance to re-write history and draft Aaron Rodgers after all. That’s one positive takeaway from this fantasy scenario.