Jon Gruden on picking Damon Arnette in first round: Just look at his tape

Getty Images

The Raiders caught a lot of people off guard when they selected cornerback Damon Arnette with their second pick in this year’s first round.

Arnette’s play at Ohio State left most people projecting he’d come off the board on the second day of the draft, which led to questions for General Manager Mike Mayock about why the team didn’t trade down if they were set on taking Arnette. Mayock said the Raiders didn’t want to risk losing him and head coach Jon Gruden didn’t make it sound like there was any doubt about the move in his mind.

“I just look at his tape,” Gruden said to Jerry McDonald of the San Jose Mercury News. “I’ve heard people say, ‘he’s not a first-round pick on our board.’ Well, whose board are we talking about? Then if you’re in to analytics, according to Profootballfocus.com he had the the best QB rating against him of any corner in the draft. I mean, he’s a hell of a player. That’s why I like him. He played at Ohio State. He played big in big games. He’s an excellent tackler, a confident corner. He’s comfortable in bump and run. When we watched him play against good receivers he played good. And he just gives us something we need, something we cherish here. A physical, press confident corner that’s not afraid to hit you.”

Many of the moves the Raiders have made since Gruden returned to the team in 2018 have drawn criticism from outside the organization. Some has proven to be unjustified and Arnette will get his chance to put his selection in that column once the Raiders are back on the field.

27 responses to “Jon Gruden on picking Damon Arnette in first round: Just look at his tape

  1. The draft isn’t an exact science. I will continue to believe in Mayock until he starts screwing up more than not.

  2. Gruden’s gushing quotes about Arnette are good if for nothing else because it proves beyond any doubt that Gruden runs the Raiders draft and makes the final selections. If Mayock had any latitude then I highly doubt he would’ve even considered Arnette in the 1st round. But Mayock is the Raiders GM in name only.

  3. Love reading, look at the tape as opposed to how high he can jump in his underwear. I think Mayock and Gruden are doing well.

  4. If your GM’s idea of analytics is “QB rating against”, your team might be in trouble.

  5. You can look at his tape, he’s comfortable but not afraid to hit, has good ratings if you’re in to analytics, and played good against good receivers – all in all an excellent pick.

  6. Yes Gruden is a genius, look at the turnaround the Raiders had last year. They went from 4-12 to 7-9!!!!! This year the skies the limit the Raiders might even finish one game over .500!

  7. Arnette started for 3 years at OSU. Okudah started for one. That should tell you something right there.

  8. And over half of guys selected in round 1 will not make it in the league. I find Mel Kiper to be entertaining and all the draft hooplah is kinda fun, but let’s be real. If any of the draft gurus really knew what they were doing, they’d work for an NFL team.

  9. IIRC the knock on Arnette was not his play, which was exceptional, but off-field problems. No matter how good a player is he doesn’t help his team while he’s suspended.

  10. When you have a QB like Derek Carr you can kind of just pick whoever and that guy will make him better.

  11. Gruden hired Mayock for one reason and that’s the draft. I believe these picks were mutually agreed on and Mayock is just there to give gruden his thoughts on the players comin out

  12. Talented teams can overbias performance appearance. Both Arnette and Okudah each made about 35 tackles last season. These players will be making twice as many tackles in the NFL.

  13. “Gruden is playing chess while the rest of the league is playing checkers”

    Maybe the Raiders would have a better record if Gruden played football instead of chess.

  14. Somewhere between his rookie and year 3, we will know if Damon Arnette was the right pick.

  15. I love how the “experts” rate the draft picks….as if they know more than the coaches, GMs and professional scouts.

  16. radar8 says:
    May 17, 2020 at 12:44 pm
    “Gruden is playing chess while the rest of the league is playing checkers”

    Maybe the Raiders would have a better record if Gruden played football instead of chess.
    _________________________

    Or maybe if AB didn’t have a total melt down or maybe if the offensive was healthy all season or If Burfit was suspended or they didn’t lose Abrams or if if Jacobs, renfro and Williams weren’t all hurt down the stretch or if they didn’t travel the most miles or if they didn’t go 7 weeks between homes games. But keep blaming Gruden which’s shows how clueless you are

  17. Last year people thought the Browns were crazy for drafting Denzel Ward so high and he turned out to be a starter from day one and it looks like a good move….at least it does when he’s on the field which is becoming a problem.

  18. Against the jags and the Texans, the Raiders had the lead AND possession of the ball at the 2 minute warning.
    Through a series of pathetic, predictable play calling, they lost BOTH games. There may have been one more game they lost the same way. I don’t remember.
    They controlled the Chiefs for most of the home game, but lost focus long enough in quarter 2 to lose. They played them tough. I was surprised, considering the matchup nightmare that our lbs had against THAT TE.
    Against the Broncos in week 17, they scored the tying td on the last play, but went for 2 instead of kicking the XP and going into OT. The play call was awful.
    They lost.
    I really got the feeling that Gruden was not interested in winning that game for draft position reasons
    With all the injuries, the 7 week road trip, the London be, the Burfict suspension, the AB sabotage, the team could’ve been 10-6 just from what I mentioned.
    They will continue to improve.

  19. ScarletMacaw
    What off the field problems can you name? He had maturity issues. He grew up, became a father and graduated from college. Moving forward>>>

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.