Over the past couple of days, several former Red Raiders went for a change of scenery. Let's talk about how they fit in with their new environments.
Le'Raven Clark was the first Texas Tech player off the board, going to the Colts in the third round. Clark had graded out as a 2nd to 3rd round draft choice, so this wasn't a surprising pick for many. The Colts needed offensive line help dearly, so they went out and spent 50% of their picks on offensive lineman. According to IndyStar, C Ryan Kelly of Alabama will likely start immediately, and Le'Raven Clark will contend for the right tackle spot the second he steps foot at the Colts facility.
Some of the people who cover the Colts were not enthused with the pick, citing Clark as a developmental player. I have two reactions to that statement. The first one is an immature reaction: Shove it where the sun don't shine, dude. The second is analytical: You aren't going to get a single player in the NFL Draft who isn't a little bit of a developmental player. The key to the game is improving, and Clark has steadily improved throughout his career at Texas Tech. Yes, he's going to need to relearn how to get into a two-point stance, and he may have a couple of issues run-blocking, but ultimately if a stance is the biggest problem you have, it ain't that bad. Besides, the Colts pass nearly 50% more than they run. I see this as a great fit.
One of the Red Raiders got to stay a Raider. DeAndre Washington was taken by the Raiders in the 5th round. Washington held a 5th-6th round grade, so this one wasn't too much of a shocker. The Raiders were looking for a running back to complement Latavius Murray, and DeAndre fits that change-of-pace back mold perfectly.
After going back through all of these draft reaction threads, I don't think NFL fans like anything. Raiders fans really wanted Paul Perkins out of UCLA, and most of them were fairly critical of DeAndre's 5 fumbles in 2015. Ultimately, I think most of them were pretty happy with the pick, and they should be happy. Washington has drawn comparisons to another great Oakland back, Maurice Jones-Drew, is skilled in pass blocking/catching/other 3rd down duties, and can provide an element of shiftyness to the Oakland offense. I have my homer glasses on heavily when it comes to DeAndre Washington, I really think he can be a feature back in the NFL one day.
I don't know where I expected Jakeem Grant to go in the draft, but I didn't expect the Dolphins. I had really hoped he would end up on the Cowboys or the Patriots, but ultimately the Dolphins isn't a bad place to be. Jakeem's stock shot up considerably after running an unofficial 4.1 40 yard dash for the Saints at Texas Tech's Pro Day, and he was drafted in the 6th despite not going to the combine. If he did go to the combine, it's not that ridiculous to assume that he would've had the fastest 40 yard dash at the combine that year. Dolphins fans were pretty pissed about this pick, they really wanted Scooby Wright out of Arizona in the 6th round, but there's a reason why fans don't draft the team.
I see Grant contributing to the Dolphins as primarily a kick returner, as they already have Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills to play in the slot areas of their offense. I would've loved him on the Cowboys, but that's selfish. The Cowboys already have Cole Beasley. While I think this is a good fit for Grant, other fits would've been better. I can see Grant succeeding heavily in an offense like Chip Kelly's down in San Francisco, or in a wide open offense like the Patriots.
The draft didn't end with Pete Robertson being selected, but that's okay. Pete will apparently get a shot with the Seahawks, and getting that experience will be good for him as he tries to find a home. I'm a personal fan of Pete with the Seahawks, but I'm going to hold off on any predictions on how he fits in until he makes the three-deep. The Cowboys had been rumored to really like Pete as an UDFA, but how any of this works out remains to be seen.