Jon Gruden


Raiders Get Weird In First Round Of NFL Draft

Weird is good, normally, but not when the Raiders are on the clock.

April 26, 2019 - 9:57 am

The first round of the 2019 NFL Draft was weird. Yeah, I said it. It was really weird. It wasn’t weird because Kyler Murray went to Arizona with the first overall pick. That makes sense, and I’ll get back to that in a second.

Overall, it was the usual draft. Trades were made, names were called, awkward commissioner hugs were doled out. Speaking of which, I think Rog can dial that down now. It was sort of cool, sort of, for a minute or two, the first time it happened, but we’re at the point now where we have to put Rog’s hugs on the clock. I know you’re looking for all the good PR you can get, this isn’t about you and your choreographed embraces, it’s about the teams and the players. So just stand there, ignore the boos and try not to butcher anyone’s name. And just be grateful my man, Christian Wiklins didn’t put you in concucssion protocol when he hit the stage.

But how weird was it to start the draft off by awarding season tickets for the next one hundred years to some fan. Hey everyone, welcome to Nashville. The 2019 NFL Draft is finally here. After months of buildup and anticipation, finally, all eyes are on Nashville…Are you ready to do this?!? Are you??! Because we're not, not until we do this all important sweepstakes and give away. That's whack! 

I don’t want to say that took all the energy out of the show, but that took all the damn energy out of the show. Damn Rog, any deets about that all important bake sale you want to share before starting? How's that silent auction for commissioner for the day going? 

Man, that was weird. All the excitement and momentum about the draft and about who Arizona would take was gone. Way to wreck the buzz, Rog. But then, after giving away free tickets for the next 1000 years, Rog stepped to the mic again for this.

After all the drama and the mystery, would they go quarterback or defensive line? What do they do with Josh Rosen? Is Kyler Murray the guy for them? And ultimately, the answer was: yes. Kyler Murray is the guy for them. And I love it. It’s a big brass swing. 

Think about it! How insane is it that Kyler Murray is going to play for Kliff Kingsbury in Arizona, and that it’s brilliant, and that I love it. 

I mean, if I hopped in a time machine and went back to this time last year and said, one year from now, Kyler Murray, who hasn’t started a college game, will be the first pick in the draft by the Arizona Cardinals and he will play for Kliff Kingsbury, you’d probably tell me I was high. Or the worst lave spewing, hot take artist ever, who shouldn't be let anywhere near another mic or camera for the rest of my life. But this actually did in fact go down, and no one was surprised when it did, because it makes total sense. Murray shredded opposing defenses and tore up college football in the one year he did have the rock in his hand. He has a crazy skill set, and he’s going to a coach with a system that suits him beautifully. It’s a great fit, and if you ask me, a great pick. 

So that wasn’t weird at all. Neither was it weird that San Francisco took Joey Bosa at number two or that the Jets took Quinnen Williams at number three. But then things did get a weird. Now, I like weird. I love weird. Weird is good, normally, but not when the Raiders are on the clock it’s not, because as we all know; Raiders gonna Raider, And they did once again.

With every kind of option in front of them, they went with Clelin Ferrell from Clemson, and the reaction shots from Raider fans were some of the best ever. 

There was the guy in the “RN 4 Life” hat who looked like he smelled something terrible. And then looked around like, 'Is anyone else seeing this?'

My guy looked like he was about to puke in his own mouth. And then there was this fan with the Raider flag who was like 'Huh? Who? Is that good? Well, okay. Wooooooo!'

These are Raider fans standing out in the rain waiting to hear the pick and are way too confused to even be pissed. Damn, Raider Mike knows more about the Raiders' roster and draft board than "chunk" Gruden and Mike Mayock will ever know, and even he has no idea what those two were thinking when they reached for that pick. And neither did the four Raiders fans that were in that empty sports bar in Vegas that ESPN cut away to. And by the way ESPN, why the hell do you keep cutting away to empty sports bars during your coverage. Like, I knew that was going to be a near impossible production to sit through last night, but even for you ESPN, that was unwatchable. But back to the pick…

There was Ferrell himself who was asked about being the fourth pick and started his answer with: “I would be lying to you if I said I wasn't surprised.”

Now that's hilarious!! Dude's like, 'I have no idea what they were thinking; you'll have to ask them. Hell no, I didn't think I'd go fourth overall. I mean, don't get it twisted, I'm not giving back any of that money, but they do know they could have traded down, banked some additional assets and got me lower, right? Right??'

Like them taking Ferrell fourth overall was a huge surprise, and no one was more surprised than the pick himself. Look, Ferrell is good. He’s really good. He can get to the quarterback and the Raiders need someone who can do that. Then again, they had someone who could do that, Khalil Mack, and this dude isn’t Khalil Mack. And reaching for him with the fourth pick overall isn’t going to make anyone forget you traded away one of your best defensive players ever, in his prime. In fact, reaching for this pick only ensures no one will ever let you forget it.

Here’s the truth about evaluating a draft; It takes years. You can’t seriously sit here a few hours later and say who did well and who didn’t. Anyone who does that now is just guessing.

But here is a stone cold lock about the Raiders first pick last night. Here is something you can absolutely take to the bank. I guarantee the following about the Raiders first of three picks last night: if it’s good, Jon Gruden made it. And if it’s bad, Jon Gruden didn’t make it.

After all, the mantra going into the draft was: 'Don't mess it up, dude. I took a lot of slings to get you three first-round picks.'

So if Ferrell can play, Gruden is a genius. And if he can’t, Mayock will take a lot of slings. And a lot of bus tires with Jon Gruden at the wheel. And then mayock and reggie mckenzie will be slinging beers talking about what an a-hole chunky is, and speculating on who his next fall guy will be.