2012 NFL Draft: Grading Reggie McKenzie’s 1st Draft in Oakland

Reggie, Reggie, Reggie—in the immortal words of Vince Lombardi: What the hell's going on out here?

Mark Davis elected you to be the President of the Raider Nation; a fanbase has trusted in you to return the Silver and Black to its rightful glory; we have had faith that you will be committed to excellence and “Just Win, Baby.” And this is how you repay us?

It’s not that I hated new Oakland general manager Reggie McKenzie’s draft picks—he made some solid picks in the fourth and fifth rounds—but consider me very, very underwhelmed.

This team entered the offseason with a glaring weakness: defense. Sure, McKenzie signed some players to replace all of the salary cap casualties, but there’s no world beaters there. Shawntae Spencer? Yawn. Philip Wheeler? Yeah, he’s cool, I guess. The Raiders had massive salary cap issues, so there wasn’t any cap room to be spent on big name players. “It’s OK,” we reasoned, “Reggie will come through at the draft.”

So much for that idea.

McKenzie didn’t pick any awful players, nor did he make any horrendous overreaches—unlike the Jacksonville Jaguars, who selected a freakin’ punter in the third round. Seriously, Jacksonville? I don’t want to get sidetracked, but come on. Don’t get me wrong, I really, really like Bryan Anger. As a Cal alum who was in school during Anger’s career, I had the pleasure of watching him punt in person many times. It’s rare to see a crowd get excited over punting, but his monster leg had the fans “oo-ing” and “aw-ing” almost every time he was on the field. Anger is a hell of a punter, but he could have been had much, much later.

OK, sorry for the aside, back to the Raiders. McKenzie didn’t have a terrible draft, but most of his picks simply haven’t been very practical. It’s b...

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