Jon Gruden says he wanted to draft Derwin James

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Maybe the $100 million man really doesn’t run the show in Oakland.

As the Raiders prepare to face Chargers safety Derwin James, Raiders coach Jon Gruden claims that he wanted to draft James in April.

We wanted to take Derwin James,” Gruden told reporters on Wednesday. “Everybody wanted Derwin James.”

So why didn’t the Raiders take Derwin James? Gruden blamed the inability to take James on the fact that the Raiders had used a first-round pick in 2016 on safety Karl Joseph, and that the Raiders used a second-round pick in 2017 on safety Obi Melifonwu. (In other words, “It was like that when I got here.”) But consider Gruden’s assessment of James, and ask yourself whether the presence of Joseph and Melifonwu should have really mattered.

“He’s an intimidating player, he is a physical presence,” Gruden said of James. “I think he’s got range to play deep, he’s got coverage ability. He can run through you, he can run around you, he can run right over you. He is a dynamite young player and he’ll be one of the building blocks in L.A. for a long time for the Chargers.”

He’ll be one of the building blocks unless he doesn’t sign a second contract with the Chargers. Although the NFL typically imposes punishment for tampering not just when the gun is smoking but when a bullet is seen exiting the muzzle, Gruden’s comments make it clear that the Raiders would be interested in getting James away from the Chargers at some point, if he can.

45 responses to “Jon Gruden says he wanted to draft Derwin James

  1. per PFF, Derwin James was a top 3 overall player in college football. I wanted my Colts to trade down even further with Buffalo and pick him at #12. If not for his injury in his sophmore year, James was truly the best overall college football over his 3 years at FSU. His position has been a bit devalued over the last 3 years but still, he is as good as they come. The biggest question is what the Bucs were thinking at #12, to pass over such a stud from the own backyard, at such a position of need.

  2. Despite Gruden’s mouth always getting in the way, this almost sounds like a Bill Belichick moment – praising someone on the team you play next. The only difference is Belichick does not do it at the expense of players on his current roster.

  3. Did he say he wanted to take James more than Miller? Then he qualifies it with “everyone wanted Derwin James”. Sounds like he’s complimenting him and stating the obvious that every team wanted him. And who cares about Kolton Miller’s feelings?

  4. Dude, it’s like your the school tattletale. Almost every coach in the league admits at some point they wanted to draft a player about whom they’re asked in a news conference. What is wrong with you? Seriously.

  5. “Reggie McKenzie is garbage and so are the other Packers front office cast-offs.” Well John Dorsey drafted Patrick Mahomes before the Chiefs let him go. That’s not looking like a bad pick. Let’s see how the new Browns QB does and if he is a winner, everyone will be calling Dorsey the QB finder of the NFL.

  6. I’m no Raiders fan but I think a lot of people are overlooking the fact that they aren’t near as bad as people are making them out to be. Gruden’s offense is moving the ball, they are doing a good job of game planning and exposing specific matchups, they are coming out prepared. It’s fun to rag on Gruden and all but we’re starting to lose some objectivity here

  7. Everyone knows that Gruden ran the Raiders 2018 draft, so in other words, the “coaching genius” is predictably throwing Reggie McKenzie under the bus for his own bad decision. McKenzie had mostly below-average results running the Raiders draft but at least he had an excellent 2014 draft (Khalil Mack, Derek Carr, Gabe Jackson) and the selection of Cooper in 2015 wasn’t bad either. On the other hand, Gruden has had uniformly poor results when making picks with the Raiders (Stinchcomb, Marques Tuiasosopo 1st Raider stint) & running the draft for the Bucs.

  8. sceaglesfan says:

    October 4, 2018 at 1:06 pm

    Raiders will not win 5 games this year. Gruden is the coaching version of Jerry Jones.
    —————————-
    Its year one you jack wagon! Lol

  9. “Reggie McKenzie is garbage and so are the other Packers front office cast-offs.” Well John Dorsey drafted Patrick Mahomes before the Chiefs let him go. That’s not looking like a bad pick. Let’s see how the new Browns QB does and if he is a winner, everyone will be calling Dorsey the QB finder of the NFL.
    ——————————————————————————————–

    John Dorsey drafted Baker Mayfied because Scot McCloughan (the real QB finder) told him to.

  10. araidersfan says:Those we’re Al Davis fool.. Gruden had little say so then..He couldn’t even pick his defensive coaching staff.Know the team you follow

  11. The Bucs who have the worst secondary in football and are throwing Chris “lost my man card” Conte on the field at safety also passed on James. Meanwhile the guy they picked Vita Vea has been injured since camp. I guess I should just be happy that they didn’t pass James up for a kicker.

  12. raiderfool says:
    October 4, 2018 at 1:50 pm

    araidersfan says:Those we’re Al Davis fool.. Gruden had little say so then..He couldn’t even pick his defensive coaching staff.Know the team you follow

    ============================

    Davis ran those drafts but at the time he said that Gruden influenced the Stinchcomb & Tuiasosopo picks. And how do you explain Gruden’s bad drafts in Tampa when he effectively ran that show?

  13. Gruden is such a horrible personnel guy. In the first round you always draft the best player available regardless of position or need,

    It likes the Lions they drafted a couple of bum receivers in the first round and it didn’t stop them from pickling Calvin Johnson. Always have to pick the best player available. Ask Ozzie Newsome.

  14. Chucky talks like he is still getting paid to be a commentator. That’s one of the things that annoyed me was when he described every other who made a play in a game a ” a tremendous talent the best I have ever seen at that position etc etc.

  15. shogunassasin30 says:
    October 4, 2018 at 1:18 pm
    I’m no Raiders fan but I think a lot of people are overlooking the fact that they aren’t near as bad as people are making them out to be

    —————-

    If it were not for an absolutely atrocious call by the refs the Raider would be 0-4

  16. NHPats says:
    October 4, 2018 at 2:01 pm
    shogunassasin30 says:
    October 4, 2018 at 1:18 pm
    I’m no Raiders fan but I think a lot of people are overlooking the fact that they aren’t near as bad as people are making them out to be

    —————-

    If it were not for an absolutely atrocious call by the refs the Raider would be 0-4
    __________________________________________________

    Keen insight guy. I’m aware of this – doesn’t change the fact that the Raiders have been moving the ball, have been competitive etc etc. With or without Gruden and Mack – they were projected to be really bad anyway. Bad coaching is Mike Smith, and having Tampa’s Defense grossly unprepared for Chicago.

  17. Keep talking Gruden. You’re going to make sure everyone knows you’re stupid. I said it before the draft about James, don’t get mixed up because Jimbo Fisher’s defensive staff was incompetent. He’s a generational talent. You wonder what a lot of teams were thinking passing up on him when they’ve reached for terrible workout warriors at that position over the years. He is the definition of an impact player. Very special talent.

  18. NHPats says:
    October 4, 2018 at 2:01 pm
    shogunassasin30 says:
    October 4, 2018 at 1:18 pm
    I’m no Raiders fan but I think a lot of people are overlooking the fact that they aren’t near as bad as people are making them out to be

    —————-

    If it were not for an absolutely atrocious call by the refs the Raider would be 0-4
    – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
    and what call was that????

  19. He’s a generational talent.
    ————————————-
    I thought Kahlil Mack was a generational talent. How many generations ARE there in the last 4 years?
    Over-used phrase.

  20. Success breeds jealousy, and Gruden has been ultra successful at everything. He’s a super bowl winning football coach, and he was awesome on TV. The worst part is he does everything his way. He’s unique. He’s been away from the NFL for almost a decade, but he already has the Raiders #1 in the AFC in total offense. The jealousy isn’t going to stop any time soon. Gruden is laughing all the way to the bank.

  21. Chuck is a joke. He didn’t win a superbowl. He inherited Tony Dungy’s team, had the Raiders playbook and stole that game. He promptly ran a good Bucs team into the ground and was fired. He was so good in Oakland he was traded. His career coaching record is slightly above .500. Wow. Most overhyped coach of all time.

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