Raiders' worst drafts over the last decade

Raiders' worst drafts over the last decade
April 12, 2013, 1:15 pm
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Robert Gallery was selected with the second overall pick in the 2004 draft but ended up becoming a disappointment. (AP)

How did the Raiders get themselves into such a bad spot, going a combined 49-111 the past 10 years? Missing on so many draft picks had a lot to do with it. Chew on this: a mere two of the 30 players drafted by the Raiders between 2006 and 2009 remain on the roster -- running back Darren McFadden and strong safety Tyvon Branch. And of the past three drafts, in which the Raiders have selected 24 players, including 2011 supplemental pick Terrelle Pryor, just 16 remain. Yeah, they've missed. Look at this list of Raiders first-round picks since 2004 and the player selected immediately after him -- Robert Gallery/Larry Fitzgerald; Fabian Washington/Aaron Rodgers; Michael Huff/Donte Whitner; JaMarcus Russell/Calvin Johnson; Darren McFadden/Glenn Dorsey; Darrius Heyward-Bey/Eugene Monroe; and Rolando McClain/C.J. Spiller. Of the 80 players the Raiders have drafted since 2003, only two -- Nnamdi Asomugha and Zach Miller -- have represented Oakland in the Pro Bowl, and Raiders first-rounders since 2003 have combined for three Pro Bowls, all by Asomugha, while the guys picked immediately after them have a combined 13 Pro Bowl selections. It's ugly, and in descending order, we rank the Raiders' worst drafts of the past decade, after earlier ranking the five best drafts…

Raiders worst drafts of past decade:

1. 2004 -— The bad: Robert Gallery was drafted to be the Raiders' cornerstone left tackle for a decade after being the No. 2 overall pick. Instead, he moved to right tackle before becoming a serviceable left guard, hardly what you'd use the second pick of a draft on when building a franchise. And when the Raiders selected center Jake Grove in the second round, they thought they were setting up their O-line for the foreseeable future. Instead, Grove only started 16 games once in his five years with the Raiders. And third-round safety Stuart Schweigert never met a missed open-field tackle he didn't, um, like. The good: Hmmm, well, Gallery did have a couple of Pro Bowl-caliber years at left guard, that count?

2. 2006 -— The bad: Selected No. 7 overall, Michael Huff was supposed to be a franchise cornerstone in the secondary. But Huff, and the Raiders had trouble figuring out his natural position, before he settled in at free safety. Even last year, he made the move to cornerback to help the team. All admirable, but not what the Raiders thought when they drafted him. With his release, not one of the seven players drafted this year remain on the team. And while Darnell Bing was only a fourth-round pick, he was expected to be a pleasant surprise in making the switch from safety to linebacker. Instead, Bing never played a game for Oakland. The good: Linebacker Thomas Howard, taken No. 38 overall, did not miss a game over his first four years in Oakland, starting all but two of the 64, and had six interceptions in 2007.

[RELATED: Raiders' best draft picks over past 10 years]

3. 2005 -— The bad: The classic Al Davis draft -- using your first two picks on speedy defensive backs -- Fabian Washington and Stanford Routt -- and a third-rounder on a big-armed if immobile quarterback who did not exactly inspire the locker room -- Andrew Walter. Washington started just 28 of the 45 games he played in for the Raiders while Routt's biggest perceived sin was that he was not Nnamdi Asomugha, well, that and not playing as big as the contract given him by Davis. The good: Middle linebacker Kirk Morrison was also taken in the third round, nine picks after Walter, and started 79 of the 80 games he played in for the Raiders.

4. 2009 -— The bad: Yes, this was only four years ago. No, not a single member of this seven-man draft class is still in Oakland. From No. 7 overall pick Darrius Heyward-Bey to second-rounder Mike Mitchell, this draft not only had many observers scratching their heads, but laughing out loud at the same time. Put it this way, sixth-round defensive end Stryker Sulak was cut before training camp. Yes, there were a lot of missed picks and wasted picks in this draft. The good: Well, receiver Louis Murphy, a fourth-rounder, outplayed Heyward-Bey their first two years, and third-rounder Matt Shaughnessy looked thisclose to becoming an elite run-stuffing defensive end before injury halted his progress. And sixth-round tight end Brandon Myers, selected three picks after Sulak, blossomed last year. But Myers left as a free agent.

5. 2007 -— The bad: The biggest bust in NFL history -- with apologies to Ryan Leaf's, ahem, backers -- has to be at the bottom of the barrel, no? Even JaMarcus Russell would have a hard time denying that claim. And yet, Russell was the consensus No. 1 pick this year. He lasted all of three years before the plug was finally pulled on him and the Raiders have had Jason Campbell, Bruce Gradkowski, Kyle Boller, Carson Palmer, and Terrelle Pryor start games since Russell and now, it seems, Matt Flynn in hopes of solidifying the position. That's how bad this draft, with Russell going No. 1, mangled the Raiders for future years, even with 11 picks. But it goes beyond Russell. Quentin Moses, a defensive end, and Mario Henderson, an offensive tackle, were both taken in the third round and while Henderson was serviceable at times, Moses never played a game for the Raiders. Perhaps the most galling, behind the Russell pick, was cornerback John Bowie, a fourth-rounder. His draft slot came courtesy of the Randy Moss trade. Bowie appeared in a combined five games, in 2007 and 2009. The good: Third-rounder Johnnie Lee Higgins was a dangerous return man, until San Diego's Eric Weddle lit him up on a crossing route on Monday Night Football in 2009. And Michael Bush was the thunder to Darren McFadden's lightning and fell just 23 yards shy of a 1,000-yard rushing season in 2011.

 

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