CLOCKWISE FROM BOTTOM LEFT: Marcell Ateman, Nick Nelson, Maurice Hurst, Johnny Townsend, Azeem Victor
2018 Raiders Gameday 89
Class By Eddie Paskal
Three offensive players, five on defense, and one specialist.
That’s what the Oakland Raiders 2018 draft class consisted of,
and as they make their NFL debut today, let’s take a quick look
at the newest Raiders:
“I know I’m not a third-round pick, I’m a first-round talent, top
five,” Key said. “I went through some situations that caused me
to be a third-round pick. I’ve learned from those things and this is
the consequence of me going through what I went through. I’m a
better person now than I was prior to it. I’m just happy to be at the
right place. I feel the Oakland Raiders is the right place for me.”
If Key can indeed stay on the field, the Raiders got some really
good value in the third round.
Nick Nelson, Cornerback, Wisconsin
(Fourth Round, No. 110 Overall)
Nelson played just one season at Wisconsin, but he certainly
made the most of his time as a Badger, totaling a nation-high 21
It’s obvious that the athletic defensive back has a knack for
finding the football, but as Coach Gruden joked, now he just has to
work on actually securing those interceptions.
While Nelson did injure himself at his Pro Day, there’s no
indication that he’ll miss any meaningful time.
Maurice Hurst, Defensive Tackle, Michigan
(Fifth Round, No. 140 Overall)
If you want to talk about draft steals, you likely have to start that
conversation with Maurice Hurst.
Simply put, the athletic defensive tackle was an absolute beast
during his time in Ann Arbor, and prior to the revelation of a heart
condition during the pre-draft process, Hurst was regarded as a
It’s fair to ask questions about the health of the big fella, but
according to McKenzie, Hurst should be ready to rock, at full speed too.
And if he is, look out; that’s about as good as a value as you’ll
find in the NFL Draft.
Johnny Townsend, Punter, Florida
(Fifth Round, No. 173 Overall)
We all expected the Silver and Black to draft a punter at some
point during the three-day event, and indeed they did, picking up
Townsend with their second pick in the fifth round.
Townsend enjoyed one of the best kicking careers in program
history, and as a former free safety in high school, I’ll be excited to
see if Townsend lays the lumber on Sundays.
Azeem Victor, Linebacker, Washington
(Sixth Round, No. 216 Overall)
When asked about Victor, McKenzie said that the former Husky
will make his hay on special teams, but that he’ll also be given a
chance to compete for time as an interior linebacker.
The linebacking group for the Silver and Black is an interesting
one in 2018, so keep an eye on Victor through training camp.
Marcell Ateman, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma State
(Seventh Round, No. 228 Overall)
The Raiders rounded out their draft class with the athletic wide
receiver from Oklahoma State.
With 11 wide receivers currently on the roster, Ateman is going
to have to compete for time, but with over 1,000 receiving yards,
and eight touchdowns during his senior year, I’ll be keeping an eye
on the former Cowboy throughout the Offseason Workout Program.