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With the release of Jonathan Abram, the Las Vegas Raiders officially ended a stretch of historically poor drafting.
From 2019-21, the Las Vegas Raiders selected several of what they believed at the time were franchise-changing quality college football players.
They were quality players, again, for the college level. Still, in the pros, it was a different game, and now, with the release of safety Jonathan Abram, the five key players from the 2019-2021 draft for the Raiders are either off the team or not receiving another contract.
2019 was bad. The club selected defensive end Clelin Ferrell No. 4 overall, one spot ahead of linebacker Devin White. Although White has been terrible recently, he is still a very good player and made an interception in the Super Bowl helping out a guy named Brady.
The new two picks were courtesy of trades with the Bears and Cowboys for Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper. The Raiders stuff running backs Josh Jacobs and Abram. Jacobs had his moments, but he’s plateaued.
2020 was more than scary – wide receiver Henry Ruggs III and cornerback Damon Arnette. The former is in prison. The last? Who knows where he is now? Long story short, eh. 2021 wasn’t such a scary blow, but a massive mistake by offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood. The right idea to protect your quarterback and get him help, but the wrong player at the wrong time. Now Leatherwood is trying to work with Chicago.
The Las Vegas Raiders had a terribly bad draft stretch
What is the common denominator? If you study closely, most of these guys came from Alabama. A Clemson, an Ohio State and then Mississippi State. All came from prominent college programs and were expected to bring this level of success to the Raiders. It did not succeed. The Raiders also drafted Trayvon Mullen out of Clemson in 2019, but he has been sent to Arizona for a late pick.
There is reason to believe that former head coach Jon Gruden and former general manager Mike Mayock had a fetish for Alabama and Clemson players during their tenures. On the bright side, that fetish was justified because there was reason to be optimistic.
This is in contrast to the fetish that Rex Ryan has. Whoa, I can’t say that. Might as well stick a foot in my mouth to do it.
But back to the story. The Raiders screwed the pooch many times, and even with the new regime, things don’t look good. The silver in silver and black dulls with each wrong decision, and at this point it may take a miracle to clean up this mess.