2014 Round 2, Pick 36, Fresno State
When it comes to Raiders draft steals on the roster, you have to start with the captain and leader of the Silver and Black.
Derek Carr followed in his older brother David's footsteps and attended Fresno State. In his time as a Bulldog, it could even be argued that Derek was an even more dynamic quarterback than his brother, ending his college career with an insane senior year that saw him throw for more than 5,000 passing yards and 50 touchdowns. Carr left Fresno State with the Sammy Baugh Award, MWC Offensive Player of the Year Award and a MWC Championship.
Derek didn't go as high as David, who was the first overall pick in the 2002 NFL Draft, and he had to wait until day two to hear his name selected by the Raiders.
Despite being the fourth quarterback in the 2014 NFL Draft, Carr by far has had the most productive career out of all the quarterbacks in that year's draft. He leads all quarterbacks taken in that 2014 draft in passing yards, passing touchdowns, completions, wins, games played, quarterback rating and Pro Bowl appearances.
Needless to say, the Raiders made the right call at 36.
The Raiders selected QB Derek Carr with the 36th overall pick in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft. Take a look back at photos from QB1's journey from Fresno State to his first regular-season NFL game in the Silver and Black.
2019 Round 4, Pick 106, Eastern Michigan
Like his quarterback, Maxx Crosby is another player that destroyed the small school stigma.
The 6'5, 255-pound edge rusher has been one of the most pleasant surprises the Raiders have drafted in years. The Raiders drafted a lot of notable talent in the 2019 NFL Draft including Pro Bowl running back Josh Jacobs, Clelin Ferrell, Johnathan Abram and Trayvon Mullen. Yet Maxx Crosby might have had the least intrigue out of all the Raiders picks in the draft, despite finding a way to have a massive impact on the roster.
The Eastern Michigan product that ran a 4.66 40-yard-dash at his draft combine has used his speed and technique to transfer his success onto the big stage. Crosby who accumulated 20 sacks in his three seasons in college has racked up 17 sacks as a Raider. Not only has Crosby led his team in sacks his first two seasons, he also has the most sacks of any player from the 2019 NFL Draft currently.
Crosby has previously recognized that since he's entered the league, offenses have began to prepare better against him, so the rising superstar must continue to improve his game going into his third season to match the high-level profile he's starting to obtain.
2019 Round 5, Pick 149, Clemson
One round after drafting a steal in Maxx Crosby, the Raiders picked up another one in Hunter Renfrow.
The last time Renfrow stepped off the field as a college football player, he was a national champion, as his Clemson Tigers throttled the defending champion Alabama Crimson Tide 44-16. Two years prior, Renfrow was again a hero in another Clemson national championship victory over Alabama, catching the game-winning touchdown to seal the victory for the Tigers in the game's closing seconds.
Renfrow would be the 17th wide receiver taken in a deep class in the 2019 NFL Draft. While some scouts doubted Renfrow's ability to be as dynamic at the next level due to his size, he was named a starter as a rookie. Since he's put on the Silver and Black, the versatile playmaker has a found a way to get open when the Raiders need him to the most, as the former walk-on has more than 1200 receiving yards and 100 receptions in his first two seasons as a Raider, both in the top seven of receivers taken in his class.
It may be peculiar that so many teams passed on him, but I bet the Raiders aren't complaining about it.
As the Silver and Black prepare for the 2021 NFL Draft, take a look back at the top 10 draft steals in Raiders history.