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#pounditTuesday, December 7, 2021

Mel Kiper says Raiders draft will propel them to the AFC West title

Mel Kiper pumpkin pie

The Oakland Raiders came into the draft with three first-round picks and lots of holes to fill. Their selections were not necessarily in line with where draft experts expected players to go. There was plenty of unfavorable reaction to the Raiders’ selection of Clelin Ferrell at fourth overall.

Mel Kiper, though, is fully in support of fellow former draftnik Mike Mayock, the Raiders’ GM. Appearing on “Golic & Wingo” Monday morning, Kiper went all-in on what the Raiders have done this offseason.

The Raiders were 4-12 last season and ahead of only the Arizona Cardinals in point differential. We see worst-to-first stories every year, but the Raiders have a big challenge to make this prediction remotely close to coming true. The Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes and are still going to be explosive on offense. The Chargers were very good a year ago and have a deep roster.

The Raiders, meanwhile, had only 13 sacks combined (the lowest total since the 2008 Chiefs), so Clelin Ferrell has to make a big impact to get the pass rush to be serviceable. Even if they don’t fulfill Kiper’s lofty predictions, Jon Gruden and company better improve from last year’s disaster or things are going to look pretty bleak as the franchise makes the move to Las Vegas.

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