Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports
I may be slightly more generous than some other NFL writers around the web when it comes to the Raiders’ 2013 draft class, but I believe that a higher grade is well warranted.
To me, what was most impressive about the Raiders’ draft was their success in trading down to add a second-round pick that they desperately needed amid a complete rebuild, and doing so while still getting the player they wanted all along.
No, they did not address needs up front in the pass rush department, but as this new regime has consistently said, they will always take the best player on their board regardless of positional need.
In fact, drafting with a strategy of filling needs is something that the Raiders did for quite some time prior to Reggie McKenzie taking over as general manager, and was evidently a contributing factor in putting the franchise in the extremely difficult situation it was in.
Did some of the Raiders’ selections from this draft fit some needs? Absolutely. Was that by design? Likely not.
As Raiders fans know quite well by now, the quick fix does not work when building an NFL franchise and it never will.
Overall, the value that the Raiders were able to get with so many of their picks in this year’s draft shows just how effective a “best player available” draft strategy can be, and that this franchise is indeed headed in the right direction.