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Las Vegas Raiders’ draft woes started well before GM Mike Mayock

Former NFL Network host and draft guru Mike Mayock was hired in 2018 to be the general manager of the now-Las Vegas Raiders. Since then, Mayock has received heat by the media and fans alike for his drafts.

But Las Vegas’ problems started long before Mayock.

The team didn’t have a first- or second-round pick in 2012 but has drafted 32 players in the first three rounds since 2013, including:

  • 2013: None of the team’s first three picks are still on the team.
  • 2014: Second-round QB Derek Carr is still on the team, while G Gabe Jackson was on the team until signing with Seattle before the start of this season. Edge Khalil Mack was the team’s first-rounder that year and was eventually traded to Chicago.
  • 2015: None of the team’s first three picks are still on the team, including WR Amari Cooper, who was traded to Dallas.
  • 2016: None of the team’s first three picks are still on the team, including S Karl Joseph, who signed with Cleveland in 2020.
  • 2017: None of the team’s first three picks are still on the team.
  • 2018: First-rounder Kolton Miller starts at LT; third-rounder Brandon Parker is a backup OT. The other two picks are no longer on the team.
  • 2019: The team had three picks in the first and one in the second but no picks in the third. Of that total, first-rounders Clelin Ferrell is a backup to fourth-rounder Maxx Crosby at Edge, Josh Jacobs starts at RB and Johnathan Abram starts at S; and second-rounder Trayvon Mullen Jr. starts at CB.
  • 2020: The team had two first-round picks and two third-rounders. Of that total, first-rounders Henry Ruggs III starts at WR and Damon Arnette is a backup at CB; and of the three third-rounders, only starting WR Bryan Edwards remains on the team.
  • 2021: Of the Raiders four picks in the first three rounds, first-rounder Alex Leatherwood starts at OT and second-rounder Trevon Moehrig starts at S, while the two third-rounders are backups.

That’s nine players drafted by the Raiders who start for the team.

Not bad, right?

But that means a whopping 18 players drafted in the first three rounds are no longer with the team.

The years 2013 through 2017 were particularly rough for the Raiders, with only Carr still on the team out of 15 players drafted in the first three rounds.

By comparison, Tampa Bay has drafted 30 players in the first three rounds since 2013. Of that total, 11 players start, while 19 are still with the team.

The Raiders’ most successful draft since 2013? That would be 2018, when Las Vegas selected Jacobs, Abram, Mullen and fourth-rounder Crosby. Keep in mind, though, that Ferrell was the No. 4 overall pick, and Abram has played in only 16 of a possible 34 games due to injuries.

With the 2022 NFL draft still seven months away, Mayock and the Raiders have plenty of time to right the ship and make a playoff run. At this point, it looks like Las Vegas may need help along both sides of the line and at linebacker.

Here are three players to watch:

First Round

  • Texas A&M G Kenyon Green: The 6-foot-4, 325-pound junior has fared well in his first season at offensive tackle, where he starts at RT. His Pro Football Focus grade of 76.6 ranks him 42 out of 396 tackles. From The Athletic’s Dane Brugler in his preseason top-50 rankings: “With Green moving outside as a junior, time will tell if teams view him as a legitimate … tackle prospect. But they know what he offers at guard, which is enough to warrant early first-round consideration. Green explodes out of his stance with outstanding body control and heavy hands at contact to control the point of attack.”

Second Round

  • Ohio State DL Haskell Garrett: The 6-foot-2, 300-pound “super senior” doesn’t have the elite length or size teams are looking for, but he has the pedigree, as Ohio State is known for producing ready-for-the-NFL defensive linemen. He’s already impressed ESPN’s Matt Miller, who recently tweeted: “Rewatching the Ohio State game and impressed by Haskell Garrett’s overall performance. In a DT class that’s not very defined at the top, he’s my highest rated player.”

Third Round

  • Alabama LB Henry To’o To’o: The 6-foot-2, 228-pound junior was a fixture at Tennessee before transferring this season to the Crimson Tide. The jury is still out, but the coaching staff had high hopes for To’oTo’o during preseason. From The Athletic: “To’o To’o is a natural leader, and his football instincts are quite good. Over the past couple of seasons, it’s been maddening for the UA coaching staff and the fan base to watch linebackers running around appearing as they were disorganized and not communicating properly. … Alongside Christian Harris, To’o To’o has assumed signal-calling duties, which seems to have alleviated many of those issues during preseason camp, UA coach Nick Saban said.”

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