Raiders struggle to find impact players in draft

  • San Diego Chargers free safety Eric Weddle (32) laughs as he talks with Oakland Raiders outside linebacker Sio Moore (55) after of an NFL football game Sunday, Dec. 22, 2013, in San Diego. The Chargers won 26-13. (AP Photo/Denis Poroy)

ALAMEDA — For an organization seeking to rebuild through the draft, the Oakland Raiders have struggled to find impact players in the first two drafts under general manager Reggie McKenzie.

Whether because of injuries, a lack of enough premium picks or bad decisions, the Raiders have gotten only one starter from the last two grab bags.

Of the 16 players taken in McKenzie's first two draft classes, five are no longer with the organization, three are on season-ending injured reserve, and most of the others are struggling to get on the field.

With the organization hampered by bad contracts from departed players that are still eating up salary cap space, the misses in the draft are more notable, a clear factor in another disappointing season in Oakland.

"Sometimes things don't work out," coach Dennis Allen said. "Sometimes mistakes are made. But, I'm very confident in Reggie McKenzie and the personnel staff of being able to evaluate football players: quarterbacks, offensive linemen, defensive lineman. I'm very confident in his ability to do that. I'm very confident in our ability as a coaching staff to do that."

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