The Las Vegas Raiders’ draft misses have a new regime behind Silver and Black eight ball

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HENDERSON, Nev. – Consider it one of the biggest challenges facing the Las Vegas Raiders’ new regime. And it’s not just an isolated problem.

For while general manager Dave Ziegler and coach Josh McDaniels need to clean up what can only be considered draft misses (messes?) By former staffs, they also need to show that they have learned from those mistakes and avoid making the same ones going forward. .

Consider: The Raiders have given their second contract in a row to six of their 68 picks following Al Davis’ draft from 2012 to 2019.

Only one was a first-rounder (left tackle Kolton Miller, who was drafted by Jon Gruden and Reggie McKenzie in 2018), and one was taken in the second round (quarterback Derek Carr, who has signed on a couple of extensions after being chosen by McKenzie and Dennis Allen in 2014).

Two third-round picks (guard Gabe Jackson scored 81)st collected in 2014 and the offensive tackle Brandon Parker got 65th in 2018) and a couple of quarterbacks (defensive tackle Justin Ellis was No. 107 in 2014, while defensive Maxx Crosby was taken as No. 106 overall by Gruden and Mike Mayock in 2019) rounds the list.

Only the New York Giants have signed fewer of their draft picks over the same time frame for second contract (two), while the Jacksonville Jaguars have extended 10 of their 59 picks from 2012 to ’19.

And when you throw in the fact that three of the Raiders’ 15 eligible first-round draft picks since 2005 have signed another deal with the team – Miller, running back Darren McFadden (drafted in 2007) and 2006 first-round defensive back Michael Huff (Las Vegas also re-signed 2016 first-round safety Karl Joseph in 2021 after Joseph spent a year with the Cleveland Browns) – it’s easier to see how the team has only been to the playoffs twice and lost both postseason games since appearing in the Super Bowl XXXVII … in January 2003.

Still, as Carr said last week at the press conference announcing his $ 121.5 million three-year extension – he previously signed a $ 125 million five-year extension in 2017 – he wanted to make sure there was money left on the table. care of teammates in need of, well, another contract.

“Guy hopefully likes Hunter [Renfrow] and Foster [Moreau]”Carr said of his slot receiver, who was a fifth-round pick in 2019, and his backup tight-end, a fourth-rounder the same year.” And [hopefully] those guys can stay here that we structured [my extension].

“I went through a heartache already the last time I signed my contract, my best friend [Khalil Mack] went and I did not want it to ever happen again. And so, this was an opportunity for me to give the team, to the organization, to our fans, that the way we have to structure this is so we can keep everyone together and really, really have real continuity, really have something to build on. And so for me it was like, how do we do that? “

The Raiders will also get about $ 20 million in salary cap after June 1, thanks to the releases of defensive end Carl Nassib and linebackers Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski.

Plus, the Raiders will have to make decisions on whether or not to apply fifth-year options in their 2019 first-round pick – defensive end Clelin Ferrell, running back Josh Jacobs and safety Johnathan Abram.

“Usually in these negotiations, ‘How much money can we get?'” Carr said. “And then they are, ‘How much can we save?’ And this was just different. There was a learning curve over it. Like, how do we make it happen where I feel good and where the team feels great, like, ‘Man, we can still build a championship team around you. “So that was what was important to us. And hopefully this contract proves it.”

However, the evidence remains in the draft and the regime’s forthcoming selection technique.

It’s the lifeblood of any organization, and with Raiders owner Mark Davis bringing a pair of lifelong New England Patriots into the Ziegler and McDaniels to steer the football side of things, you can expect big changes.

Such as the current, yes, draft philosophy. The Raiders have no first- or second-round picks, thanks to the Davante Adams trade, and are not scheduled to make the first of their five picks before the third round, as No. 86 overall.

“We will try to pull the best players [available]”McDaniels said at the NFL owners’ meetings.” I mean, if we draft three in the same position in a row because they’re clearly the top three players when it’s our turn to draft, I mean you’re making a stronger force.

“For me, the best way to improve your team is to keep taking the right guy. No, ‘Oh, man, we have a hole in the list, let’s take this guy just because his name says what position besides ham. ‘”

And maybe, just maybe, the Raiders will find some guys worthy of another contract that way.

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