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Raiders Mailbag: First thoughts of the Silver and Black's 2022 draft class

Jeff Rose says:

"Thought we did very well. Best receiver in the game worth the first and second-round picks. Good looking guard with a chance to start in Dylan Parham."

Hindsight being 20/20, the Davante Adams trade looks even more genius now after the draft.

The Raiders traded their first and second-round picks to get an All-Pro receiver, and likely wouldn't have even gotten that position filled if they kept No. 22 overall. All of the top receivers in the draft class I believed the Silver and Black could've taken in Round 1 were gone before they would've been on the clock. So instead of trying to invest in a rookie receiver with potential, you get a proven star in the NFL reuniting with his college quarterback and best friend. Great move.

When the Raiders did make their first pick after trading down to No. 90, they got a solid guard in Dylan Parham. What makes Parham good is his speed and get off on the line of scrimmage. The Memphis Tiger played tight end and defensive end before gaining 60 pounds and switching to the offensive line. Even with the weight gain, he kept his fast instincts and athleticism, running a 4.93 40-yard dash at the NFL Combine.

Parham becomes even more attractive as a draft pick when you account that he has experience playing at multiple positions across the offensive line, including playing center at the Reese's Senior Bowl. He has a great chance to compete to be a day one starter on the O-line for the Raiders.

Brian Miller says:

"I am excited about the defensive line pickups. They both look like they could be monsters on the D-line."

Brian, you have every reason to be excited about the Raiders' two draft picks that add to the defensive line.

The elephant in the room regarding a formidable Raiders defense last year was their run defense. Quinton Jefferson (Seattle Seahawks) and Solomon Thomas (New York Jets) left in free agency, so to address those needs, they drafted two SEC interior defensive linemen in Neil Farrell Jr.  and Matthew Butler. The two seem to be great steals for the Silver and Black, selected lower that their initial projections by scouts and analysts.

Farrell and Butler have played a combined 70 games since 2019 in the SEC – the conference that the last three National Championship teams have come from. Last season, Farrell Jr. recorded 9.5 tackles for loss while Butler recorded 8.5. Translation, these two men know how to get into the backfield, which is exactly what defensive coordinator Patrick Graham seems to be looking for.

Drafting two players with a proven track record against elite competition in college seems like a very logical move by Josh McDaniels and Dave Ziegler. It will be fun to see what these two can provide come Rookie Minicamp and Training Camp.

Jack Vict says:

"I'm guessing the second running back chosen will be coached to be a special teams star."

That second running back chosen you're referring to is Brittain Brown from UCLA.

At this point, I'm convinced the Raiders could be going with a committee system at running back. It wouldn't hurt considering Kenyan Drake is coming off a broken ankle and it would allow Josh Jacobs to stay fresh and as healthy as possible. In free agency, the Silver and Black signed Brandon Bolden and Ameer Abdullah, and went on to draft two more backs in fourth-round pick Zamir White and Brown. With that being said, the former Bruin will have a lot of competition to battle this offseason, but I believe that he'll be given every opportunity to prove himself.

The Raiders must've been pleased from what they saw from Brown on tape and at his Pro Day. My first impression of seeing Brown play is that he's smooth. He's doesn't have blinding speed or power, but has a seemingly high football IQ, doing a great job of finding the right holes and gaps to exploit defenses. He averaged nearly seven yards a carry in his two seasons at UCLA.

So yes, Brown could certainly carve a good role for himself on special teams – but this early on, I'm not going to limit him to just special teams. Let the cards fall where they may.

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