With the NFL start still months away, ESPN decided to re-draft the entire league to find foundational players for all 32 teams. The Las Vegas Raiders have not been particularly great at drafting over the last decade if we don’t count 2014 or 2019. In this hypothetical draft, the team gets to right some past wrongs. Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes the team ever made was passing on quarterback Aaron Rodgers in the 2005 NFL Draft in favor of cornerback Fabian Washington. The former has put together a Hall of Fame career while the latter didn’t last long in the NFL.
With the 12th pick in the re-draft, Raiders beat writer Paul Gutierrez selected Rodgers:
Let’s make right what once went wrong, shall we? The Raiders coulda, shoulda, woulda drafted Rodgers way back in 2005 but went with speedy cornerback Fabian Washington instead. Now a grizzled vet and a future Hall of Famer, Rodgers has a massive chip on his shoulder with the Packers having drafted Jordan Love, and Jon Gruden loves vets with chips.
There’s already speculation that the Raiders could go after Rodgers if the Packers plan on replacing him with Love next year. The future Hall of Famer’s best days are behind him, but he’s still one of the five best quarterbacks in the NFL. While Derek Carr isn’t a bad player, he’s no Rodgers.
Raiders Pickup Rival Pass Rusher
The excitement didn’t stop with Rodgers as the team also snagged Denver Broncos pass rusher Von Miller. The former Super Bowl MVP has terrorized the Raiders for years, but nobody would mind seeing him in silver and black. At 31 years old and coming off a down season, it remains to be seen how effective he can still be. There are better options for the team in this hypothetical re-draft.
With the first two picks, Gutierrez took players from other teams. However, with the third and fourth-round picks, he had the Raiders take Josh Jacobs and Henry Ruggs. Jacobs makes sense as he was a star for the team last season. If he can stay healthy, he’s going to be one of the best running backs in the NFL. The Raiders have yet to see Ruggs catch a pass in practice yet, so it might be a stretch to select him over the likes of Jarvis Landry. Regardless, a prospective offense staring Rodgers, Ruggs and Jacobs isn’t as much of a pipe dream as it may have been a year ago.
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Where Did Some Other Raider Stars Land?
In the hypothetical re-draft, only two other Raiders were taken. Maxx Crosby got picked up by the Dallas Cowboys and Derek Carr would be heading to Houston to play for the Texans.
That means nobody thought Darren Waller, Rodney Hudson or Trent Brown were worthy of a pick. While no centers were taken, there were plenty of tight ends and offensive tackles selected ahead of Waller and Brown. People must be seriously underestimating how good those two players are. Brown made the Pro Bowl last season and should be even better if he can stay healthy. Waller should’ve made the Pro Bowl and was one of the two most productive receiving tight ends in the NFL. If he can replicate his 2019 success, people will start taking him more seriously.