NBC Sports has been rolling out their 2011 NFL Draft grades and it is safe to say they are not big fans of the Oakland Raiders 2011 draft class. The Raiders lacked a first round pick because of the Richard Seymour trade so it makes it a little more difficult to fully assess their draft class. Seymour has been an excellent upgrade for the Raiders defensive line so one wonders how should be factored into their draft grade.
NBC Sports think that the selection of Eastern Washington running back Taiwan Jones saves the class as a dynamic addition to the offense. The Raiders assigned a tender to restricted free agent Michael Bush, but if he were to walk in free agency Jones would likely see a whole lot more playing time. If that’s the case, maybe he really does become a savior for this draft class. Otherwise NBC Sports seems to view this as a fairly generic draft class:
They didn’t have their first-round pick, though the Richard Seymour has worked out well. (We’d argue Seymour has been overpaid, but that’s another matter.) Stefan Wisniewski was a safe legacy pick, but lacks the high ceiling of his Pro Bowl uncle. DeMarcus Van Dyke was a backup in college, but at least the Raiders are now taking their track guys in the third round instead of earlier. Jones saves this somewhat generic draft because he could be a steal and gives an improving Raiders offense another dimension.