NFL Oakland Raiders

2013 NFL Draft: Top 15 Oakland Raiders Draft Picks Since 2000

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2013 NFL Draft: Oakland Raiders Top 15 Draft Picks Since 2000

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The Oakland Raiders have an interesting history in the NFL Draft.

They’re selections at times have been peculiar and they have a history of finding some great flops. Players like JaMarcus Russell and Robert Gallery come to mind as some of the worst Oakland draft picks since 2000, but there have been some good ones.

The funny thing is the Raiders have traded a lot of draft picks and therefore there are only a handful of selections to consider. In fact, my original list of good draft picks totaled 19 selections for 15 slots. I think it’s sad that out of 13 years, only 19 picks were good enough to make this list and even scarier that most of the picks come from five or six classes.

Many of the picks were first or second round selections, but there are some later picks which made the list. Where a player was selected was more of a tiebreaker than anything else. A first-round pick who performs like a first-round pick will get better preference than a fourth-round pick playing like a second-round pick. At the same time, a fifth-round pick who makes a big impact will jump a first-round selection that isn’t making that much of an impact.

There is hope the Raiders will not screw up their pick in this year’s draft because the last couple of years have been the best thus far for Oakland. If Reggie McKenzie can find some great talent with his few picks, it will be a major success for the Raiders.

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15. Miles Burris

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The fourth-round pick in the 2012 NFL Draft had 96 tackles in his rookie year. He was the second player taken by the Raiders last season and he proved to be a vital part of the Oakland defense.

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14. Michael Huff

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A first-round pick in 2006, Huff has been a consistent part of the Raiders secondary. He may not be playing like the seventh overall pick, but he has more than held his own in the league.

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13. Stefan Wisniewski

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The second-round pick from 2011 has done an excellent job under center for Oakland. Anytime you can get a long-term starter in the second round, it's a great pick.

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12. Lamarr Houston

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A second-round pick in 2010, Houston has played well at the defensive end position. A solid starter, he's not one of the best picks, but he's far from terrible.

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11. Matt Shaughnessy

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Shaughnessy was a third-round selection in 2009 and he's surpassed his value. As another good starter on the defensive line, Shaughnessy is a great pick for Oakland.

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10. Jacoby Ford

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This is really where when you were selected starts to matter. Ford was a fourth-round pick in 2010 and his dynamic playmaking ability is needed in Oakland.

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9. Tyvon Branch

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This may have been the best steal for Oakland, who got Branch in the fourth round of the 2009 draft. Branch has turned into a real playmaker on defense and a crucial member of the Raiders secondary.

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8. Darrius Heyward-Bey

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Heyward-Bey has not established himself as a premier wide receiver in the NFL, but he's been pretty good. The 2009 first-round selection will get better as he gets healthier and more accustomed to the new offense.

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7. Denarius Moore

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Moore is a fifth-round pick playing at the level of a second rounder. The 2011 selection is a marquee vertical threat for Oakland, something the Raiders need.

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6. Phillip Buchanon

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The first-round pick in 2002 made a name for himself with the Raiders. Buchanon had 11 of his 20 interceptions in the Silver and Black and was a tremendous cornerback for Oakland.

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5. Shane Lechler

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Lechler has been one of the league's best punters in the last 13 years. A fifth-round pick in 2000, Lechler has proved Oakland made a smart decision so long ago.

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4. Zach Miller

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He may not be a member of the Raiders any longer, but Miller was an excellent tight end for Oakland. Miller has more than proved he was deserving of being a second-round pick in 2007.

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3. Darren McFadden

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One can only imagine how bad Oakland's offense would be without this first-round selection in 2008. The fourth overall selection that year, McFadden has become a star on the Raiders' offense.

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2. Nnamdi Asomugha

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Asomugha is one of the best cornerbacks in this league when he is healthy. Oakland got a steal in the first round in 2003 and that is impressive for a team with such a poor drafting history.

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1. Sebastian Janikowski

Ed Szczepanski- USA TODAY Sports

Is there any doubt Janikowski is the best draft pick Oakland's had in the last 13 years? Taking a kicker with the 17th overall pick is risky, but the Raiders must have known how much of an impact Janikowski would have. He has won so many games for Oakland and he is one of the best kickers in the league.