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Las Vegas Raiders Draft Grade

This is the third year in a row that I feel like the Raiders have really reached big time for a player in the first round, taking an Alex Leatherwood the offensive tackle from Alabama. He's 6'5 and 312 pounds. He has a lot of big time experience in the SEC. Leatherwood is a solid run blocker, he's not bad in pass protection. He's a pretty good player, don't get me wrong, I think he's a guy that they can play in this league, but if you look at where he struggled in college, he really struggled against the faster edge rushers. The twitchy athletes that could really bend and get around the corner gave him problems, because he doesn't have quick feet and he doesn't have quick reaction time, and for me that's just something you can't coach. If he had maybe some technical issues I wouldn't be as critical of this pick but for me, quickness and reaction time is a hard thing to teach, and so I am really down on this guy as far as being the number 17 pick. I just thought it was a big reach because he's not consistent enough when you watch his tape, and that's why a lot of draft analysts, myself included, think that he's better suited to probably play guard at the next level. I understand why they took him, because they needed offensive line help, but taking a guy who probably can't play tackle at the next level at 17 overall, was a big reach and a player that most had ranked as a second or third rounder potentially. I think it might have been the worst pick in the first round.

The Raiders did recover in the second round. This was the one pick of theirs that I really liked in this draft. They took Trevon Moehrig the safety from TCU. He was the 20th ranked prospect on my big board so I think they got great value by taking him there in the second round. I think he's a day one starter, but then you look at the rest of this draft, and the Raiders take two more safeties in Divine Deablo and Tyree Gillespie. These are both guys that I thought were also a big reaches, and they were guys that most people had ranked later in this draft for where they took them. The Raiders selected three safeties; I didn't understand the mentality going with three safeties. I know the secondary needed help, I understand that, but to overload at one position when you've got other holes that they could have filled felt like the Raiders had a lack of direction and a clear game plan when it came to this draft. I know they needed to O-line help in a major way, because they lost three offensive linemen that were starters from last year's team, but they really didn't do much to address that need. Alex Leatherwood is a nice player, but I think they really missed in this draft overall and I think it's one of the worst drafts in the league, and that's why I'm giving them a "D" grade.

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