They say you can never judge a draft until at least Year 3 or Year 4. The 2018 draft class for the Raiders is now going into Year 5 and we have a pretty good idea as to how to grade that class.
The first draft during the second Jon Gruden era with the Raiders was certainly an interesting one. They traded down from No. 10 to pick Kolton Miller, a developmental offensive tackle from UCLA. That pick worked out as he’s now one of the best pass-protecting offensive tackles in the NFL.
But what about the rest of the class? If you don’t remember, the Raiders selected P.J. Hall, Brandon Parker and Arden Key on Day 2. They were able to get solid production from Maurice Hurst on Day 3, but that was the about it.
So how would you grade the 2018 class for the Raiders? In a recent article by Mike Renner of Pro Football Focus, he re-graded every team’s draft class from 2018 and gave the Raiders a B-. Here is what he had to say about their draft as a whole:
“The 2018 draft introduced us to the Raiders’ absurd draft strategies in the Jon Gruden era. Hall and Parker came straight out of left field when picked, and neither has looked better in the NFL.
Miller was a similar head-scratcher at the time; yet, he’ll go down as the lone Gruden “reach” who worked out. He’s improved considerably every single season, improving from a 49.6 grade as a rookie to 65.0 in Year 2, 73.0 in Year 3, and 84.0 in Year 4.”
P.J. Hall and Arden Key flamed out pretty quickly with the Raiders, but Miller and Parker could be their two starting tackles for the 2022 season. While Miller is clearly the better player, Parker has improved some over the last few years. He’s still better as a backup, but picking him in Round 3 still feels like a slight reach.
The Raiders have certainly had worse draft classes over the years, but this one isn’t fantastic either. Luckily, the selection of Kolton Miller at No. 15 has saved this class from being a failure. He’s only 26 years old and has quickly established himself as one of the best tackles in the NFL.
As a whole, a B- grade feels about right for this class.