Raiders

Raiders

Rotoworld is ranking the top general managers in the NFL.

Here is a look at their latest list.

16. Reggie McKenzie, Raiders

Last Year’s Ranking: 25  

For two years, Reggie McKenzie had a reasonable claim to being the worst general manager in football. He inherited a mess like few in NFL history, but kept getting in his own way as he tried to clean it up. Zero members of McKenzie’s first (2012) draft class remain on the Raiders. In 2013, he made the worst pick of the first round (D.J. Hayden), and one of the worst of the second (Menelik Watson). Salary cap woes compromised the Raiders in free agency, but he made a pair of catastrophic blunders in 2014. For reasons that remain unclear, McKenzie let franchise LT Jared Veldheer depart at the age of 26 while attempting to overpay injury-prone OL Rodger Saffold. Veldheer quickly entrenched himself on Carson Palmer’s blindside in Arizona. Saffold failed his physical. It was at this low point that McKenzie started his comeback with a layup. Khalil Mack was the no-brainer to end all no-brainers as the No. 5 overall pick in 2014. More impressive was the three pointer McKenzie launched in the second round, taking Derek Carr at No. 36. Carr looked like he might rim out as a rookie, but rattled home as a sophomore. Just like that, two years of aimlessness had given way to two franchise building blocks. McKenzie is now on a roll, supplementing Mack and Carr with other excellent draft picks in OG Gabe JacksonAmari Cooper, DE/OLB Mario Edwards and Clive Walford. Finally free to spend on the open market, McKenzie added two impact players in March, nabbing G/T Kelechi Osemele and SLB Bruce Irvin. It took him years to find it, but McKenzie has turned the corner, bringing a proud franchise along with him.

24. Trent Baalke, 49ers

Last Year’s Ranking: 18  

Trent Baalke won his power struggle with Jim Harbaugh, but has lost everything else the past two years. Baalke has overseen a talent exodus like few in recent memory, and replaced Harbaugh with the worst coaching hire of the decade. Baalke has at least corrected his Jim Tomsula mistake, but done so with a fellow egomaniac in Chip Kelly. The my-way-or-the-highway duo figures to have an exceedingly difficult time agreeing on a lane. To Baalke’s credit, his 2015 draft was solid, and he hasn’t tried to compensate for his talent deficiencies by “winning” free agency. It’s also true that many of Baalke’s losses weren’t his fault. It’s just that when you’re trying to rebuild your roster from the bottom up, you’re usually better off doing so with one of the best coaches of a generation. Failing to co-exist with Harbaugh is likely to end up Baalke’s football epitaph.

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