Raiders

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Raiders

The 2019 NFL Draft could be a defining moment for the Raiders. With three picks in the first round, plenty was at stake for general manager Mike Mayock and coach Jon Gruden. 

Mayock and Gruden opted to go defense twice and offense once with their trio of picks. And their first pick of defensive end Clelin Ferrell at No. 4 overall was a bit of a shock, with other stars such as Josh Allen and Ed Oliver still on the board. 

Here's how experts around the NFL graded the Raiders' three first-round picks.

No. 4: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson

Mike Tainer, Bleacher Report: C
"This selection puts a lot of water in the bucket but doesn’t fill it. It’s also a reach, frankly. Kentucky’s Josh Allen [among others] is still on the board, and there would almost certainly have been a market for this pick if the Raiders had chosen to trade down instead of emptying the building so Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock could work in super-duper secrecy."

Andy Benoit, Sports Illustrated: D-
"He is expected to be solid as a tightly aligned defensive end in base downs, but today’s NFL is about nickel, which defenses play nearly 70% of the time. Can Ferrell bend the edge there? He’d better."

 

Pete Prisco, CBS: C
"If you get good Clelin Ferrell, you are getting an 'A' player. If you get bad Clelin Ferrell, you are getting an 'F' player."

Ferrell going No. 4 sent shockwaves throughout Twitter. Even Ferrell himself was surprised he went to the Raiders that high. 

Here's a full scouting report on the former Clemson star from Scott Bair.

No. 24: Josh Jacobs, RB, Alabama

Tainer: A
"Like [Marshawn] Lynch, Jacobs can have a massive impact given 15-20 touches per game. This is a very strong pick."

Benoit: A-
"Jon Gruden gets a chance to showcase his offensive creativity, as he can build his spread-empty formations and quick-strike passes around the multidimensional running back."

Prisco: B+
"He's fresh and I think he will step in there and be a special player right away."

As Marshawn Lynch reportedly is headed for retirement again, the Raiders took his possible replacement in Jacobs. Here's Scott Bair's full breakdown on the running back.

No. 27: Johnathan Abram, S, Mississippi State

Tainer: A
"He can play anywhere from free safety to the box to package edge-rusher. He’s not quite Derwin James, but he can be used the same way and have nearly the same impact."

Benoit: B
"Abram is considered a Landon Collins, Keanu Neal type, which means he’s a box thumper who will also be expected to match up to tight ends." 

Prisco: B+
"This kid will thump you. The Raiders need to get back to that."

Abram can do a bit of everything at the back of a defense. He's a hard-hitter who ran a 4.44-second 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine. Check out Scott Bair's assessment of the Raiders' third and final pick of the first round. 

After three selections in the first 27 picks, the Raiders will be back on the clock Friday night at No. 35.