The first round of the 2018 draft will be remembered by Oakland Raiders’ fans for years.
It will either be recalled as the day the Raiders got a cornerstone left tackle in the form of UCLA’s Kolton Miller. Or will it will be remembered as the day the Raiders – in big need of defense — ignored that side of the ball. Let’s take a look at the key moments of the draft leading up to the Miller pick:
No. 5: Any dream of a trade up for Bradley Chubb died when the hated AFC West rival Denver Broncos took him at No. 5.
No. 8: As expected, the Roquan Smith dream died when the Bears took him. When the Colts took Notre Dame guard Quenton Nelson at No. 6, Smith was headed to the Bears. Man, he would have been a good Raider.
No. 9: Thanks to the fateful coin toss, conducted by former Oakland coach and Jon Gruden critic Rod Woodson, the 49ers picked and took Notre Dame tackle Mike McGlinchey. RaidersSnakepit’s Steve Corkran reported 13 days ago he was a big target of the Raiders.
No. 10: The Raiders, with three targets off the board, but several good defensive players left, traded the No. 10 pock to Arizona, who took UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen.
No. 11: The Dolphins took Alabama defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick, who many thought we look great in Silver and Black.
No. 12: Tampa Bay, which traded down five spots in a QB trade like the Raiders (but got much more in return) took Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea. He was another guy the Raiders could have taken.
No. 13: Washington took Alabama defensive tackle De’Ron Payne. Yes, he would have helped the Raiders.
No. 14: New Orleans traded two picks to take UT-San Antonio pass-rusher Marcus Davenport. The Raiders reportedly liked him, too.
No. 15: The Raiders continued to bypass defensive players, to take Miler. The players they didn’t take include Virginia Tech linebacker Tremaine Edwards, Florida State safety Derwin James (who went to AFC West rival Chargers) and Boise State linebacker Leighton Vander Esch.
Time will tell this story. But you would have to think, at least, one of the defenders Oakland bypassed could have helped.