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Sunday, September 1, 2013
McKenzie's draft plan off to rocky start

By Bill Williamson

Reggie McKenzie has often said his plan to bring the Oakland Raiders back to relevance is through the draft.

For a team that has been in salary-cap jail and that hasn’t had a winning record in 11 years, the draft is the way to go.  However, this weekend, McKenzie showed his plan is not without its obstacles.

Oakland reportedly is cutting fourth-round pick, quarterback Tyler Wilson. Saturday, the Raiders cut seventh-round pick, defensive end David Bass. Bass was claimed on waivers by Chicago on Sunday. Also, guard Tony Bergstrom (who was McKenzie’s first pick in Oakland last year) was put on the injured reserve Saturday after making no contribution as a rookie.

As for Bass, it is not unusual for a team to cut a seventh-round pick. However, the Raiders are so thin every draft pick should be kept. If not, the pick has to be questioned.

Also, coach Dennis Allen recently said the team was counting on Bass, and this is a team desperate for pass-rush help. Thus, the drafting of Bass has to be considered a mistake.

The Wilson situation is a downright disaster. Yes, I realize the Raiders are keeping undrafted free-agent quarterback Matt McGloin. He may have a nice future. But the Wilson-McGloin move is not a wash.

A thin team like Oakland cannot afford to cut a fourth-round pick. They needed to get a future starter with the pick.

I almost certainly expect Wilson, who was given a meaty signing bonus by the cap-strapped Raiders a month ago, to be claimed. Quarterback is such a high-priority position and there will likely be a few teams that had a high grade on Wilson that will want to give him a chance with a waiver claim.

Again, Oakland has to hit on its picks. McKenzie and Allen are on record saying as much. Sending valuable picks to waivers is not the way to build a roster through the draft.