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Grading the Raiders draft

Let's look at how the Chargers division rivals did in this years draft.

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

In addition to getting more familiar I thought we should also get more familiar with some of the division foes. Today we start with the Raiders.

Round 1, Pick 14, Karl Joseph, Safety, West Virginia

This stung quite a bit. Everyone knows by now that I'm infatuated with Joseph. He has too many positives in his game. Some viewed it as a reach but Joseph really compliments the current press man corners on the roster. Joseph can slide in the slot, play the deep centerfield role. He can do it all. Many are worried about his size at 200-ish pounds but his playing style has never been a problem to this point and I don't see why that would happen in the NFL. I really don't have anything bad to say about this pick other than F off, Raiders.

Grade: A+

Round 2, Pick 44, Jihad Ward, DL, Illinois


That pretty much sums up my feelings. The most complimentary thing I've heard about Ward throughout the process was "he's hitting the bags hard" at the Senior Bowl. So he didn't do much at the Senior Bowl, that's fine, not everyone blows it out of the water. Then you go back and watch him during the season. You wait. You wait, and you wait for him to make a play. It doesn't happen. I honestly don't think he won once against Ohio State. Okayyyyy so I'm sure he's being propped up because he's an elite athlete, no? Nope. Tested as a below average athlete. I'm not sure what the thought process was here. I get that they wanted to replace Mario Edwards if he isn't playing next year but there were much better players on the board. I'm getting chills thinking of him and D.J. Fluker 1-on-1.

Grade: F

Round 3, Pick 75: Shilique Calhoun, Edge rusher, Michigan State

This is a good spot for a productive pass rusher. Calhoun won't have to come in and be an every down rusher right away. His tape is solid. If he was a better run defender he's likely a top 50 pick. If Calhoun develops he can eventually replace Bruce Irvin. I'm sure fans wanted to go in a different direction but this is too good of value at a premium position. This is how you build depth on your roster.

Grade: B

Round 4, Pick 100: Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State

It was reported that Cook's teammates legit hated him. Like, nobody wanted to be around him. That's why he fell. I can promise you it's not because of talent. If there is 1 QB in the draft that I want running my 2-4 minute offense, it's Cook. Intangibles really matter like that at QB, though. Pairing Cook with choir boy Derek Carr is like dipping the same food in a brown sugar glaze and sriracha. It just doesn't mix.

Where the issue comes into play is trading up for the player. Why? Why not continue to add depth. Because of that, the grade is so low.

Grade: C-

Round 5, Pick 143: DeAndre Washington, RB, Texas Tech

He's 5'11, 204 so you can imagine that he's going to be compared to every Darren Sproles, Danny Woodhead, Branden Oliver type of back possible. This is a good pick. This gets the team faster and more explosive. I imagine Washington will be on the field more than even Raiders fans expect. Washington compliments Latavius Murray pretty well. He has big play ability and at this point in the draft, if he's able to produce on special teams and give them a couple big plays on offense like I assume, this is a great pick.

Grade: B+

Final thoughts

I've never seen the Raiders 6th round linebacker out of Colorado State so I cannot speak on him. I have seen their 7th round pick against Mississippi States Chris Jones and at the Senior Bowl against Noah Spence and both players manhandled him quite easily. Joseph is a stud. Ward is a reach. Calhoun is fine. What if Cook ruins the locker room? That was a strange pick. I really do like Washington, though. If Ward reaches whatever potential he supposedly has then this draft should be dynamite.

If Ward plays like he did last year, Joseph never recovers, and Washington bounces every run, then this can turn into a disaster in a hurry.

Grade: C

What are your thoughts? Does anyone scare you?