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Raiders’ draft class awards: Team’s best, most concerning picks

Tom Telesco digested a whirlwind three-day frenzy soon after wrapping up his first draft as the Raiders’ general manger Saturday.

The process left him both satisfied and wanting more.

“There’s always guys on the board that you don’t get that you would love to have,” Telesco said. “But you only have so many picks.”

The eight-player class Telesco did assemble could give the Raiders two immediate starters, some much-needed depth and a few contributors on special teams. The one thing the team did not get is a high-end quarterback prospect after six passers went in the first 12 picks.

Otherwise, the Raiders accomplished their goals.

“It’s a good group,” said Telesco. “It’s a good starting point.”

Here are some draft-class superlatives for the Raiders:

Most likely to be a home run: Brock Bowers

It’s understandable that some eyebrows were raised when the Raiders took the Georgia tight end 13th overall.

It’s not a position teams often use high picks on. Especially teams like the Raiders that took a second-round tight end last year in Michael Mayer.

But it’s always a smart bet to draft great players no matter which position they play. Bowers has the chance to be a perennial Pro Bowler. Plus, he was a fast, physical weapon that lined up everywhere on the field for the Bulldogs. Calling Bowers a tight end is like calling Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson a wrestler.

One stat sums up how special Bowers is. He had 100 or more receiving yards in 10 games in college. That’s the most by any tight end this century, according to CBS Sports research.

Most likely to outperform his testing numbers: Tommy Eichenberg

The Ohio State linebacker was still available for the Raiders in the fifth round because his athleticism doesn’t wow scouts.

That doesn’t mean he can’t compete for snaps right away. Eichenberg has an outstanding feel for the game. He reacts to plays fast, takes proper pursuit angles and tackles well.

Eichenberg may end up being a two-down linebacker the Raiders use primarily to defend the run. But he should maximize every opportunity he gets.

Most likely to be a reach: DJ Glaze

The Raiders were going to draft a right tackle this year after Jermaine Eluemunor signed with the Giants in free agency.

They waited to get their man until the third round. A slew of promising prospects were off the board by that point, leaving Glaze as the best remaining option. The Raiders opted to take the Maryland product thanks to his strong showing at the Senior Bowl.

Glaze was considered a fourth- or fifth-round prospect so it feels like the team reached for a need rather than selecting the best player available. He’ll erase any complaints if he turns into a starter, however.

Lottery ticket most likely to hit: Decamerion Richardson

Richardson’s tape was a little spotty as a two-year starter at cornerback at Mississippi State. He didn’t even have an interception.

His athletic testing provides reasons for optimism, however. Richardson ran a 4.34 40-yard dash at the NFL scouting combine. His 6-foot-2, 188-pound frame is solid. He was given the highest athleticism score among his position group by NFL’s Next Gen Stats.

It’s now on the Raiders and Richardson to put it all together. He has a chance to make an impact if he does.

Most likely to be a solid double: Jackson Powers-Johnson

The Raiders’ second-round pick out of Oregon will begin his career at guard.

He should be an immediate starter and round out the team’s offensive line. Is that the most exciting way to spend a Day 2 pick? No. But is there a chance he provides the team quality play for years to come? Absolutely.

Contact Vincent Bonsignore at vbonsignore@reviewjournal.com. Follow @VinnyBonsignore on X.

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