Raiders coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock have proven they don't care what outsiders think about their draft picks.
The Raiders' brain trust will take the players they want, and live with the blow-back.
In 2019, they reached for former Clemson defensive lineman Clelin Ferrell with the No. 4 overall pick. Last month, the Raiders took former Ohio State cornerback Damon Arnette at No. 19 overall in the first round of the 2020 NFL Draft.
The pick of Arnette was widely panned. Some analysts didn't see the Buckeye as a first-round selection.
Ever since the Raiders picked Arnette, Gruden has been on the campaign trail defending the choice. He was back at it this week in an interview with The Mercury News' Jerry McDonald.
"I just look at his tape," Gruden said when asked about the first-round qualities he saw in Arnette. "I’ve heard people say, ‘He’s not a first-round pick on our board.’ Well, whose board are we talking about? Then if you’re in to analytics, according to Profootballfocus.com he had the best QB rating against him of any corner in the draft. I mean, he’s a hell of a player. That’s why I like him.
"He played at Ohio State. He played big in big games. He’s an excellent tackler, a confident corner. He’s comfortable in bump and run. When we watched him play against good receivers he played good. And he just gives us something we need, something we cherish here. A physical, press confident corner that’s not afraid to hit you."
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The fact that the Raiders didn't have another pick until No. 80 overall likely factored into the Arnette pick at No. 19. Gruden and Mayock got the guy they wanted, even if it was a little early.
Gruden has spent the last few weeks praising Arnette, even going as far to say he's better than fellow former Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah, who was No. 3 overall by the Detroit Lions.
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Gruden is talking the talk regarding Arnette. Now, it's up to the rookie to make his coach look good.