2018 NFL Draft News: Jon Gruden Says Raiders ‘Have To Hit Some Home Runs’
Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders have a lot of work to do under new head coach Jon Gruden heading into the 2018 NFL season. The Raiders, who were supposed to be a Super Bowl contender during the 2017 NFL season, struggled throughout the year and ended with a 6-10 record, well short of expectations.

However, Oakland has been active in finding players to Gruden’s liking and with the 2018 NFL Draft nearly here, the team has an opportunity to bring in several players to fill out the roster. A good draft from the Raiders front office would change the silver and black’s fortunes and according to Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area, Gruden stressed the importance of finding high-impact players:

I’m not closing the book on last year’s draft of two years ago draft,” Gruden said Tuesday. “Our job is to develop players. That’s what coaches are here to do. We’re not here to draft people and sign the contracts and do all that stuff necessarily. We’re here to develop the players that are in the building. We need to do a better job getting more out of those three classes.

“At the same time, we have to hit some home runs in this draft. We have to get some players that can come in and help us.”

Players the Raiders drafted in the 2017 NFL Draft like Gareon Conley and Obi Melifonwu spent almost all of the season on the injured reserve list and thus could not contribute. With Gruden now the head coach, it will be up to the front office to select players who can thrive in his system on both sides of the field.

The Raiders have several issues namely on the defensive end they need to solve and should be the team’s focus once the draft officially starts. It will be interesting to see who will be donning silver and black once the 2018 season rolls around.