Raiders have serious roster-building problems in their front office

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Marcus Mosher
·2 min read
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Due to the trades of superstars Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper in 2018, the Raiders have been blessed with an enormous amount of draft picks and cap space since 2019. While no front office is perfect, this team was in a great situation to dramatically improve their roster over the next two seasons.

But with just one game left in the 2020 season, it’s becoming abundantly clear that Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden have done a poor job of building this team since 2019. Despite having five first-round picks over the last two drafts, only one pick (Josh Jacobs) appears to have any chance of developing into a top-20 player at their position.

What’s worse is that a few of their picks at the time (Clelin Ferrell, Damon Arnette, Johnathan Abram) were viewed as massive reaches at the time of their selection. Instead of taking just the best player available, the Raiders thought they were “out-smarting” the rest of the league. So far, that hasn’t been the case.

Take a look at every draft pick and (notable) free-agent signing the team has made over the last two years:

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While there are certainly some draft pick hits (Hunter Renfrow, Maxx Crosby, etc) but considering all of their premium picks, they haven’t hit on enough. When the team traded Cooper and Mack, the hope was they could get similar production at a much cheaper price. But Clelin Ferrell and Henry Ruggs haven’t been able to replicate anything close to what those two have down over the last two seasons.

And then there is free agency. The team has had more success here, bringing in the likes of Nick Kwiatkoski and Trent Brown. But the majority of their signings have been misses. They’ve spent far too much money on average talent and it has killed their depth.

The 2021 offseason is going to be a big one for the Raiders. They’ve got to rebuild one of the league’s worst-ranked defense and they don’t have the war chest of assets to do it as they have had in the previous off-seasons. It’s time for Gruden and Mayock to show the league hasn’t passed them by when it comes to scouting. But as we have seen over the last two years, that might already be the case.

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