As Cowboys and Bears keep winning, Raiders’ draft picks get worse

AP

When the Raiders got the Bears’ first-round draft pick in the Khalil Mack trade before the season, the Vegas odds had the Bears pegged as a 6-10 team. When the Raiders got the Cowboys’ first-round draft pick in the Amari Cooper trade in October, Dallas had a losing record and was a game and a half out of first place in the NFC East. At the time they made those trades, the Raiders thought they were getting two high first-round picks.

It’s not working out that way.

The Cowboys and Bears are now clear favorites to win their divisions, which would put both of their first-round draft picks outside the Top 20. A division winner’s first-round draft pick can be no higher than No. 21 overall, and in the worst-case scenario for the Raiders (and best-case scenario for the Cowboys and Bears), those picks could be as low as No. 30 and No. 32 overall.

If the Raiders had realized how good the Cowboys and Bears would be, would they still have made those trades? In the case of Cooper, they still might have: It was clear that Raiders coach Jon Gruden didn’t think Cooper was going to be a big part of his offense in the long run, and getting a first-round pick for him might have been worth it to Gruden even if that pick turns out to be No. 32 overall.

In the case of Mack, however, Gruden is probably kicking himself. The 49ers have said they made just as aggressive an offer for Mack as the Bears did, but the Raiders went with the Bears. At the time, that was reasonable: Most people thought the 49ers would be a better team than the Bears, so the 49ers’ first-round pick would be worse than the Bears’ first-round pick.

That’s not how it turned out. The 49ers are still in contention for the first overall pick, and the Bears are still in contention for the 32nd overall pick. Going with the Bears over the 49ers looks, in hindsight, like a huge mistake.

And that’s part of the risk of trading for a future first-round draft pick: The compensation might not turn out to be as good as you think it will be. The Raiders are finding that out the hard way.

There is one piece of good news for Gruden: His own team stinks. He could get the first overall pick in the draft that way, and then two late first-round picks from the Cowboys and Bears.

66 responses to “As Cowboys and Bears keep winning, Raiders’ draft picks get worse

  1. Reggie McKenzie is glad the media is purposely giving him a pass and acting like he doesn’t even exist as the general manager.

  2. Yep, the 49ers basically had the same compensation package as the Bears, but the Raiders didn’t want to make the deal. Probably because the immature, childish, and slow-witted Mark Davis doesn’t like the 49ers.

    Such a sad franchishe the Raiders have become without the late-great legendary Big Al.

  3. Michael E says:
    November 30, 2018 at 9:08 am
    Reggie McKenzie is glad the media is purposely giving him a pass and acting like he doesn’t even exist as the general manager.
    —-
    McKenzie doesn’t make the final call anymore. That privilege belongs to the $100 million man.

  4. Idiots thought the 49ers would be better than the Bears. They’re better than I thought, but I said when they traded Mack there that he was a perfect fit for a very good young defense already and the only question would be Trubisky being enough of a game manager. However, even on paper, they looked better at just about every position on both sides of the ball if you actually know football on your own and don’t just read what the media says.

  5. I don’t think that it matters that much where the picks acquired from Chicago and Dallas wind up in the 1st round since based on his abysmal track record, Gruden is likely to botch the selections in any case.

    I’ve seen a lot of talk about how Gruden is “tanking” the Raiders but I disagree. Tanking involves a bottoming out process where things get better afterwards, but I don’t think that the Raiders will improve for as long as Gruden is in charge. Under the “coaching genius”, I don’t see more than 4 wins in any season.

  6. As a Bears fan, I wanted Jimmy G bad but they went with Mitch instead. But Gruden obviously thought Jimmy made the Niners playoff contenders, so he traded Mack to Chicago.

    Can’t say I’m upset with the end result.

  7. What’s even worse is watching Cooper in Dallas…his route running and his breakaway speed is creating havoc…why Dallas has been able to figure out how to use his obvious talent…and the Raiders couldn’t…is a serious referendum on Gruden…his WR coach…and his offensive coordinator! Similar to the way Sean McVay has worked wonders with the same offensive roster Jeff Fisher had…

  8. “Most people thought the 49ers would be a better team than the Bears”

    Then “most people” apparently drank the Garoppolo Kool-Aid. The Bears were better than their record last year, and the 49ers were worse. Competent talent evaluators should have known the Bears had more upside.

  9. The Bears also got the Raiders 2nd round pick so Raiders get 2 picks around 20-25 and give up pick 33-35. Stupid trade by the Raiders. You pay the best QB’s and edge defenders.

  10. Who is to say that trading Mack to the Niners would have been the “better” option. One can easily opine that Mack on the Niners improves their defense, which puts the Niner offense in better on-field starting positions. This would have impacted on play-calling which might have Jimmy G presently “un-injured”, healthy and the Niners much better within their division, while the Bears, without Mack, struggling somewhat without Mack’s leadership. Hindsight here is not 20-20 as no one can know exactly what the future for either team would have been following the trade.

  11. Brian Fantana says:
    November 30, 2018 at 9:21 am
    Doesn’t matter as long as Nick Bosa is their first pick

    —-
    If they wont pay Mack, then why would Bosa play for them? You see his brother sat out for the Chargers until they paid him.

  12. As the article ends stating, only crap teams can get good players anymore. They will sell some t-shirts, ruin their careers, then move on. Is it possible that there are too many teams? Or is the NFL just so poorly managed that they believe it is ok to have basement dweller teams decade after decade?

  13. How you trade the top OLB/DE and a top 15 WR is baffling. Take any team and lose those starters you’re going to be a far lesser team. And trade them for 30% chances, at best, in the draft…. If the raiders miss with their selections, Like they have so badly recently. We’re looking at the news browns of the NFL, for about 10 years. But they’ve also had 1 winning season in the last 16 years.

    Typical Raiders…

  14. It’s not going to make any difference. Gruden is going to use those first round picks on third round talent any way. Guaranteed at least one of those first round picks will get used on some major reach that most teams wouldn’t have been looking at for at least two more rounds.

  15. In most drafts after pick #10 its a crap shoot. Look at the last 3 years worth of drafts and see the 1st round is littered with average players picked at the middle and bottom of the draft. The Raiders cleared the decks for money but gave away alot of talent.

  16. “Gruden didn’t trade those players. The GM did. WHy do you insist on assigning blame for all Raiders personnel moves on Gruden?”
    _____________

    Because nobody gets a 10-year, $100 million contract and then is told he has zero say in personnel decisions.

  17. Good GMs can consistently turn 1st round picks into starters. While you want lower picks, they fact that they have their own first round picks, plus ones later into the first round gives them a wealth of talent to pick from and assets to move. They can’t control what they teams do and at the time, it seemed like a fairly good bet.

  18. Such a sad franchishe the Raiders have become without the late-great legendary Big Al.

    =======

    Al Davis is what was turning that franchise into that pathetic excuse of a team it is now. Al hadn’t been coherent enough to run a team since the early 90s and even that is debatable. After he “wisely” traded away Gruden then lost the Super Bowl to him they didn’t have another .500 record till 2015. The league is a better league when the Raiders are in contention, but Al Davis had become the hinderance to that franchise decades ago.

  19. .
    The Patriots are also losers in this scenario. They have the Bears 2nd rounder which will give them two picks at the tail end of the round. Having your picks bunched together is not optimal.
    .

  20. Nobody should be given a 10 year contract. Walter Alston signed over 20 one year contracts to manage the Dodgers and was accountable every year.

    To 6ball- I don’t understand your statement- “Having your picks bunched together is not optimal.” What’s the difference?

  21. This isn’t bad. Still 3 first round picks, and they need to think long term. The 1989 Bears had 20 picks in a 12 rd draft. Picking your stud in the Top 5, then trading back a couple of spots, while picking up another pick is the best thing.

  22. Meh

    Talk to me in 2-3 years to see if Coach Gruden & the Raiders have fared better than the Cowboys or Bears.

    So what if Dallas and Chicago make the playoffs – if they’re 1 and done and are capped out…then have to sign their young QB’s to huge deals….what did they really win?

    This is all premature gossip.

  23. I can’t wait until 2020, when the Bears get the Raiders 2nd round pick. Raiders will draft in the 28-32 range with the Bears 1st rounder, and the Bears will be picking 33rd with the Raiders pick.

    Jon Gruden should have stayed at ESPN, then we wouldn’t have to suffer with Witten AND the Jon Gruden Oakland Raiders.

  24. William Johnson says:
    November 30, 2018 at 10:23 am
    Doesn’t matter. The free agents are dying to play for the silver and black.
    ———
    Sure because who doesn’t love being bereded on a daily basis by a dinosaur coach coaching a 1980s system

  25. even more ironic the raiders won a game when they should have lost.Id what it is, but they will still have 4 of the first 35 picks- unless they win again…ya never know.

  26. Not a Raiders fan and hate what the Davis family has done to Oakland, specifically the taxpayers of Alameda County. Right now the Raiders have had their butts handed to them in these trades, and it’s hard to see what Gruden’s end game is here by losing now to win in the future. Let’s wait to see what happens 5 years from now to see who “won”.

    Clearly the Raiders long term plan is to use this season as a throwaway by trading two of their top players for nothing as a double eff you to Oakland before they bail to Vegas. I don’t know why Raiders fans put up with this treatment by the Raiders.

  27. my_old_name_was_offensive says:
    November 30, 2018 at 9:25 am
    What’s even worse is watching Cooper in Dallas…his route running and his breakaway speed is creating havoc…why Dallas has been able to figure out how to use his obvious talent…and the Raiders couldn’t…is a serious referendum on Gruden…his WR coach…and his offensive coordinator!

    ————
    I would say it is more of a referendum on Derek Carr…..he stinks

  28. No matter where the picks are they are still first round picks. The Raiders will have three players in two years that they do not have to pay legit NFL contracts to over the next 4 and 5 seasons.

    The picks might fail but the difference in not paying Mack and Cooper having cap space to sign free agents is just as big as those picks.

    When weighing the trade you’ll also have to weigh who the Raiders bring in as free agents over the next fours years. With Mack and Cooper most of the decent free agents would not be available to them.

  29. I bet when Mark Davis set up the move to Vegas he didn’t think he was going to be rolling in with the worst team in the league and a disappearing fan base.. His raging bromance for Gruden blinded him into making the worse decision the franchise has seen in 17 years. I wonder if Chucky thought his return to the NFL was going to be this horrible…

  30. SWFLPC.INC says:
    November 30, 2018 at 12:07 pm

    my_old_name_was_offensive says:
    November 30, 2018 at 9:25 am
    What’s even worse is watching Cooper in Dallas…his route running and his breakaway speed is creating havoc…why Dallas has been able to figure out how to use his obvious talent…and the Raiders couldn’t…is a serious referendum on Gruden…his WR coach…and his offensive coordinator!

    ————
    I would say it is more of a referendum on Derek Carr…..he stinks

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

    I’m willing to wager that if Derek Carr lands with a team (after Gruden gets rid of him) with competent offensive coaching and a functional o-line that he’ll do very well. Carr was very good for the Raiders under Musgrave in 2015-2016 and was in the MVP discussion in 2016. He is a system QB who does as well or as bad as his coaching – which is why he’s looked terrible under Downing & Gruden.

  31. Look at Gruden’s draft history. Outside of Aqib Talib, have you heard of any of the guys he’s drafted? And Talib became good for another team, not Gruden’s team.

    Trading bonafide top tier talents for draft picks when you aren’t very good at drafting just makes this an even bigger head scratcher. Are the Raiders really paying Gruden $10m this year to lose out? I’m pretty sure any fan in the stands could pull off that feat. It’s okay, there’s only 9 more years left on that contract. I’m just happy Gruden is out of the booth, so we don’t have to hear him brag about his prowess as a coach anymore.

  32. What matters is what they do with the picks, regardless the pecking order, if the scouting and evaluation process are sound they will be fine, this league is full of hidden gems found after the first 10-15 picks all the way to the final pick of the last round

  33. So many GM’s and clairvoyants on this site.

    Raids will have 4 picks in the top 35 picks this next year. Outside of the top 7-ish picks, the rest of the first round is basically the same talent level.

    “Getting worse” is just a way to pile on and try to fan the flames of Raider passion.

    Even at 2-9, they’re still the most talked about team in the NFL.

    The Nation owns all of you.

  34. The 49ers didn’t offer the same package that the Bears did. That’s Lynch’s perception of what they were offering which doesn’t equal “the same.”

    By the way, how are Thomas and Foster working out for you?

    Oakland has 13 rookies contributing to this team, including 8 of their 9 2018 picks starting for them.

    Nation

  35. Meh, there’s always a flash in the pan QB like Lamar Jackson hanging around on draft day. Gruden is a genius, just ask him.

  36. Its still 3 – first round picks and lot of money off he books. Cooper will get a big contract and Mack is locked into his. Probably saved near 200 million in contract money

  37. As I said when I lost my rent money betting on Clubber Lang in the rematch (he was clearly the better fighter) Hindsight is 20-20 my friend.

  38. What matters is what they do with the picks, regardless the pecking order, if the scouting and evaluation process are sound they will be fine, this league is full of hidden gems found after the first 10-15 picks all the way to the final pick of the last round.
    ______
    Gruden will be making the picks. In Tampa, he had 62 picks. Only 2 made it to the Pro Bowl. In his first stint with the Raiders, Al Davis built those teams, not Jon Boy.

  39. Listen man, sometimes you gotta take 20 yards backwards and fall on the nails of defeat before you can take one step forward to the garden of victory. I love it man. This years team is loaded with ballers and grinders. The Silver and Black is back, man. I love this team!

    Pretty good pep talk, right? (smug smile)

  40. So 8 of the 9 Gruden 2018 draft picks are starting for the Raiders? I can’t honestly say that this impresses me because judging by their level of play, very few of those picks would even be on the roster as backups for any of the other 31 teams.

    BTW, I remember seeing the same phenomena of the Raiders starting lots of draft picks but losing profusely 10 years ago during Al Davis’ last senile years.

  41. The Raiders are going to have a top 5 pick, and that’s where the real blue chippers usually are selected. The game changers. After the can’t miss guys get picked, it comes down to how well your scouts evaluate. I mean, the 49ers picked Alex Smith when Aaron Rodgers was still on the board. In fact, lots of teams passed up Rodgers. Antonio Brown went in the 5th round. Last year the Raiders got Maurice Hurst in the 5th round, and he’s playing like a 1st rounder. Dan Marino was like the 6th QB drafted his year. Where you pick isn’t nearly as important as how you evaluate. Brady went in round 6. Then you have the Rueben Foster’s and Kareem Hunt’s. There are also injury questions. The Cowboys gambled on Jaylen Smith in the 2nd round. For a couple years, that looked like a wasted pick. Now it looks like one of the biggest steals this century. There’s a lot more that goes into it than where you pick.

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