Over the past couple of seasons, there is one team that has utilized the NFL Draft wisely. That team is the Oakland Raiders. They do not have a Super Bowl title to show for it right now, but they are building the right pieces to win one in the foreseeable future.
Two years ago, the team drafted two future cornerstones of the franchise when they selected Khalil Mack in the first round of the 2014 NFL Draft and their quarterback of the future Derek Carr in the second round. In the following draft, they selected another first round stud in wide receiver Amari Cooper out of the University of Alabama.
All three players have had their shares of ups and downs in their brief career in the National Football League. However, they have shown that they are capable of playing at a higher level in times of need. The current regime that oversees the Raiders front office right now is showing that it takes patience and long-suffering to build a successful football team.
Unlike the Cleveland Browns organization, who has gotten rid of coaches and players after only two years on the job, the Raiders are the complete opposite right now. They were not tempted by other franchises to trade picks in the NFL Draft to select a highly talented quarterback out of acts of desperation. They kept their picks and drafted the players that they deemed fit to run their system.
Quarterback Derek Carr may turn out to be the steal of the 2014 NFL Draft if he continues to show flashes of being a top-tier quarterback in the National Football League. In the offseason of 2014, numerous teams were in need of finding a viable option at the quarterback position. Those teams were the Browns, Texans, Jaguars, and Raiders; that was searching for their signal caller of the next ten years.
So far the Jaguars are looking like they made the right choice when they selected Blake Bortles out of Central Florida with the 3rd pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. Both the Browns and Texans are now suffering the consequences of not selecting Derek Carr when they had a chance to. The Texans had the first pick of the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft but decided not to select Carr due to alleged fear that he would turn out like his brother David Carr, who the Texans selected 1st overall in the 2002 NFL Draft.
The Raiders are reaping the benefits of selecting Carr in the second round of the 2014 draft. Other league owners and General Managers can learn something from what the Raiders are doing right now. Owners must exercise patience when evaluating talent in the National Football League.
Football analyst is quick to say that the NFL is a “copycat league” however, you cannot copy what another team is doing unless you are patient with the personnel that you have on your roster. The Raiders are on the right path in regards to returning to relevancy in the NFL. To go along with the wise selections they have made in the last two drafts, they have signed veteran players such as linebacker Bruce Irvin and cornerback Reggie Nelson.
Both players will elevate the Raiders defense to another level in the AFC West. The 2016 NFL Draft is right around the corner, and the Raiders will be selecting at pick no.14. Will General Manager Reggie McKenzie be looking to add another explosive receiver to line-up opposite of Amari Cooper? We will find out soon enough.
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