One more NFL Draft and one more NFL Free Agency period puts the Raiders Rebuild 2019 squarely in the crosshairs of the soon to be ex-Oakland fans.
It finally became clear that Gruden was focused on turning over the entire roster to enact his vision for the club. Yet the Oakland fan base has one last season as the home of their beloved Silver and Black. They don't have time for the Raiders Rebuild 2019 to be part of a 5-year plan.
Where are the Raiders talent wise since Gruden began his purge?
Let's create a list of the highlights of players going through the Raiders turnstile under Gruden. We are not looking at individual trade value, rather the amount of talent that went out the door vs the talent that entered.
Gruden GM Highlights
- Drafted OT Kolton Miller in 1st Round 2018
- Signed CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie
- Traded All-Pro Khalil Mack
- Rodgers-Cromartie retires
- Signed WR Martavis Bryant
- Traded All-Pro Amari Cooper
- Placed Martavis Bryant on Commissioner List
- Traded for All-Pro WR Antonio Brown
- Traded G/T Kelechi Osemele
- Signed LB Vontaze Burfict
- Draft DE Clelin Ferrell 1st Round 2019
- Draft RB Josh Jacobs 1st Round 2019
- Draft Safety Johnathan Abram 1st Round 2019
The man has been busy. Let's break them down into a plus/minus thing and see where we end up.
OT Kolton Miller 1st Round 2018 - Gruden spent a 1st round pick on a guy he could have nabbed in the 3rd-5th rounds. He's not a bad player but he does need seasoning. In the meantime, he is trying to protect his QB's blind side. This is a minus.
CB Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie - This was an aging vet, free agency move Gruden touted as a great signing. Two months later Dominique retired. Some would call this a wash. I don't. Gruden wasted valuable practice time and game snaps a younger player could have used to develop their skills. If Gruden didn't have that kind of guy on the roster that's on him. Another minus.
Traded Kahlil Mack, drafted Clelin Ferrell - Gruden got a good haul of picks for the future Hall of Fame sack artist. You can't fully judge this trade until next years 1st and 3rd round picks are made. However, DE Clelin Ferrell isn't in the same class as the player that now prowls the sidelines for the Bears. Unless next year's haul is eye-opening this move is minus two.
Signed WR Martavis Bryant - You can't blame a GM for chasing talent. However, when you have already alleged your lockerroom culture has issues bringing in a guy with Bryant's history is a head-scratcher. After hanging around on the roster awhile taking snaps from players who may actually play on game day Bryant was placed on the Commissioner's list (indefinitely). Another Minus.
Traded Amari Cooper and Drafted Safety Jonathan Abram - I like Abram. I believe he has the chance to be a solid if not above average NFL player. Hell, maybe even be an All-Pro one day. Maybe. Amari Cooper is just 24 years old and IS an All-Pro. 'nuff said. Another minus two.
Traded for All-Pro WR Antonio Brown - Yes, Brown has hit the 30 wall. I don't care. He's Antonio Freaking Brown. He WILL make your club better and you got him for some mid-round picks? You just nailed your first double plus!
Traded G/T Kelechi Osemele - Gruden got a fifth-round pick for a starter on the line who is solid against the run and the pass. That's a minus.
Signed LB Vontaze Burfict - You've heard of addition through subtraction? This is the opposite of that. I get it that you want to send a message to your locker room you want "tough guys." You explained it pretty well via the media. Did you also want to send the message you want stupid guys? No way this guy makes it out of camp. If he does the front office failed at LB talent acquisition. Another minus.
Draft RB Josh Jacobs 1st round 1019 - What's not to like? Well, ok, you spent a first round pick on the position in a RB-deep draft. Let's call this one a wash.
Raiders Rebuild 2019 Tabulation
- 9 in the minus column.
- 2 in the plus column.
- 1 wash
A negative seven is not good. A negative seven is bad. A negative seven ... is what it is. At the end of the day, Gruden now has more talent on the field than last season. It obviously isn't at the same level as the talent he sent packing. It seems there are a lot of very good players Gruden doesn't get along with that are excelling on other teams and tough that could and should make fan's mad Gruden has a saving grace. In the ultimate team sport, it's not the most talented team that wins, it's the team that plays the best on game day. Gruden may suck at the talent game (he does) but he has a pedigree for game day coaching chops. A Super Bowl victory gets you that.
If Gruden gets the Raiders to the playoffs and it's played in Oakland all will be forgiven. If not? Well, they can always move to Las Vegas. That's football. That's the NFL.
What say you Sports Nation?
Another Left Coast Sports Post: on Twitter - Steven Van Over