NFL Draft: How Raiders draft selections compared to industry consensus

Let’s be clear right off the top here; the consensus is the the be-all end-all authority on where a prospect should be selected. And NFL teams employ folks who see and hear things from these prospects that very few of those who project these things from the outside are privy to.

That being said, it can be worth a look to see how the Raiders draft board may or may not compare to the industry as a whole.

For that we go to Arif Hasan’s annual consensus Draft board which sets a draft ranking and therefore a draft position projection for every player based on Draft analysts opinions worldwide.

According to Hasan:

This method has historically done a fantastic job at predicting where players will go in the draft, telling which players are the most polarizing, explaining how different kinds of experts evaluate different types of prospects, and anchoring our discussions on the NFL draft.

So, going by that measuring stick, let’s see how the Raiders selections compare.

Tyree Wilson, ED, Texas Tech

Apr 27, 2023; Kansas City, MO, USA; Texas Tech defensive end Tyree Wilson hugs NFL commissioner Roger Goodell after being selected by the Las Vegas Raiders seventh overall in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft at Union Station. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Drafted: No. 7 (ED2)

Consensus ranking: 6 (ED2)

Variance: 1 (0)

This is right about where Tyree Wilson was expected to go in this year’s draft. He might have gone at six, before the Raiders could pick him, had the Cardinals not traded ahead of the Raiders to take Paris Johnson Jr, leaving Wilson as the top player on their board.

Michael Mayer, TE, Notre Dame

Mar 3, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer (TE10) speaks to the press at the NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

Drafted: No. 35 (TE3)

Consensus ranking: 19 (TE1)

Variance: -16 (-2)

Many are calling this one of the best picks in this draft. Rated as the top tight end in this draft, but ultimately falls out of the second round and becomes the third tight end taken. The Raiders jumped at the chance to get him, moving up from 38 to 35.

Byron Young, DT, Alabama

Feb 2, 2023; Mobile, AL, USA; American defensive lineman Byron Young of Alabama (47) practices with American offensive lineman John Michael Schmitz of Minnesota (74) during the third day of Senior Bowl week at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Drafted: No. 70 (DT8)

Consensus ranking: 133 (DT15)

Variance: 63 (7)

It wasn’t an exciting pick when it was made. And the consensus numbers back that up. The Raiders needed some pass rush from the interior and Young hasn’t shown up much in that area. The Raiders seem to think he has it in him, hence them seemingly overdrafting him.

Tre Tucker, WR, Cincinnati

Mar 4, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Cincinnati wide receiver Tre Tucker (WO48) participates in the 40-yard dash at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Drafted: No. 100 (WR14)

Consensus ranking: 211 (WR28)

Variance: 111 (14)

Easily the loudest “HUH?” pick by the team for many reasons. Firstly because they don’t have a glaring need for a kick returning slot receiver. Secondly because of the above numbers that suggest if they really wanted him, they probably could have waited until later in the draft.

Jakorian Bennett, CB, Maryland

Jan 31, 2023; Mobile, AL, USA; National wide receiver Elijah Higgins of Stanford (85) practices with National defensive back Jakorian Bennett of Maryland (4) during the first day of Senior Bowl week at Hancock Whitney Stadium in Mobile. Mandatory Credit: Vasha Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

Drafted: No. 104 (CB15)

Consensus ranking: 119 (CB18)

Variance: 15 (3)

This looks to be right about where Bennett was expected to go. The fastest cornerback in this draft, the Raiders obviously wanted to make sure they got him here. They had the late picks to play with to make the move up five spots to ensure they got him. You can’t fault them for being aggressive.

Aidan O'Connell, QB, Purdue

Mar 4, 2023; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Purdue quarterback Aidan O’Connell (QB10) participates in drills at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Drafted: No. 135 (QB8)

Consensus ranking: 184 (QB10)

Variance: 29 (2)

A run on quarterbacks has begun in the fourth round, so the Raiders made a move to ensure they got one they liked.

Christopher Smith II, S, Georgia

Jan 9, 2023; Inglewood, CA, USA; Georgia Bulldogs defensive back Christopher Smith (29) celebrates after defeating the TCU Horned Frogs during the CFP national championship game at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Drafted: No. 170 (S7)

Consensus ranking: 109 (S9)

Variance: -61 (2)

While Smith was taken ahead of a couple safeties thought to be higher ranked than him, he was also selected quite a bit after when he was initially expected as well. A highly decorated safety at a bargain spot in the draft.

Amari Burney, LB, Florida

Sep 4, 2021; Gainesville, Florida, USA; Florida Gators linebacker Amari Burney (2) tackles Florida Atlantic Owls running back Larry McCammon III (3) during the first quarter at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Drafted: No. 203 (LB19)

Consensus ranking: NR (>24)

Variance: >98

The consensus rankings go to 300 prospects and includes 23 linebackers. Burney was not ranked among them. Though, that isn’t entirely surprising. This is the sixth round where a lot of guys like this come off the board with initial designs on special teams.

Nesta Jade Silvera, DI, Arizona State

Nov 25, 2022; Tucson, Arizona, USA; Arizona State Sun Devils defensive lineman Nesta Jade Silvera (4) against the Arizona Wildcats during the Territorial Cup at Arizona Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Drafted: No. 231 (DT20)

Consensus ranking: 241 (DT26)

Variance: 10 (6)

Again, right about where he was projected on the consensus board, though it seems more DT’s were expected to go the draft apparently. Only two more DT’s were taken after him.

Story originally appeared on Raiders Wire