Depending on who you talk to, the Oakland Raiders either had a terrible first round or a great first round, but not much in between.
It was certainly an interesting first round for the Raiders, who had three picks and a fan base with a ton of hope riding on those three picks. And not surprisingly, many of the reactions to what the Raiders did in round one are falling on the extreme ends of the spectrum.
On Twitter, fans who loved the picks are fighting with fans who hate the picks and even my text messages from friends who are Raiders fans were about as bipolar as you can get. Messages of anger being followed by celebratory messages, only to be followed by more anger.
As I always preach when there are viewpoints sitting at the extremes of a topic, the proper point of view is probably somewhere in between the two, which is where I land.
Was round one a grand slam of excitement? Nah, there were some unexpected picks and some picks where I and many others felt there were better players available. But with that being said, I do think this class has a ton of potential to make a big impact right away.
This looks to me like a group of players who have a pretty high floor, even if they aren’t as exciting as some other players who were available at those spots. All of these guys look like they will contribute if not start from day one. All look like upgrades at their respective positions and all are picks that fill specific needs.
I think Clelin Ferrell will have most fans deeply in love with him after they get a chance to see him play in Silver and Black. I think Josh Jacobs will play a big role in Gruden’s offense and will have a fairly large impact in his rookie season.
But at the same time, I am not as positive on Johnathan Abram as I am with Jacobs and Ferrell. He seems a little duplicative of Karl Joseph and there are some flaws in his game (like missed tackles) that give me pause. I also recognize that there are guys who could end up being much more dynamic and better players than both Ferrell and Jacobs that the Raiders could have opted for instead.
But at the end of the day, none of my feelings with regards to these first three picks land on the extreme ends of the spectrum.
I really, really like Clelin Ferrell but do wonder if there were better players available at four (see: Ed Oliver).
I’m excited to see Jacobs being used in Gruden’s system but I also recognize that the Raiders might’ve been able to find a back who had a similar impact much later in the draft.
I worry about Abram and whether he’s really a starter and impact player but am also fully aware that he could end up being a stud.
So if you find yourself at one of the extreme’s in looking at this class, try to consider the other sides of the argument because at the end of the day, all that matters is how they do once they’re in the NFL and it might be years before we know how that turns out.
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