Despite a disappointing start to Jon Gruden’s return to the Las Vegas Raiders, the team was hoping he’d be the coach for a long time. Owner Mark Davis gave him a 10-year contract and likely wouldn’t have fired him before the contract was up. The 2021 season got off to a solid start as the team started 3-0, but the team dropped two in a row before Gruden resigned due to a number of offensive emails getting leaked to the media.
While Gruden was a solid coach and playcaller, he made many questionable decisions as the person in charge of personnel decisions. Some of the worst decisions he made came in the draft. In 2019, the Raiders had three first-round picks and used them on Clelin Ferrell, Josh Jacobs and Johnathan Abram. New general manager Dave Ziegler announced recently that the team will not be picking up the fifth-year options for any of them, which isn’t a good sign.
There’s a chance that the only first-round pick of the Gruden era who gets a second contract with the team is Kolton Miller. Though his NFL coaching career is likely over, Warren Sharp made sure to call out the coach for just how bad he was with the Raiders.
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Fans Go After Gruden Over Draft Picks
Gruden was a fan favorite with the Raiders for a long time due to the success he had during his first stint. He started to lose some fans when the first major roster decision he made was trading Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears. Things didn’t get better as the Raiders struggled to win games. In hindsight, fans of the team are thrilled that Gruden is no longer calling the shots.
It was becoming clear that Gruden wasn’t the right guy to lead the Raiders. Had he missed the playoffs for a fourth straight year in 2021, fans would’ve completely turned on him. Davis wasn’t ever going to fire barring a disaster. It was getting close to disaster territory before he resigned.
Josh McDaniels Talks Trading Away 1st Round Pick
When Gruden was in charge, the Raiders hoarded first-round draft picks. One of the first moves the new regime made was trading away their first-round pick to get wide receiver Davante Adams. Gruden’s replacement Josh McDaniels has no regrets about the trade yet.
“We talked about that at pick 22,” McDaniels said. “There’s all those things that you can kind of look back on and so forth, but we made that decision a while ago and are very happy with what we received in that transaction. I’m sure Green Bay is happy with who they picked tonight. Davante is a pleasure to be around and to have the ability to work with him just a little bit this week at the minicamp was fun for everybody. Just to start that process together, looking forward to more of that as we go through the spring.”
Obviously, many great players are found in the first round but sometimes it’s better to get a proven commodity.