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Raiders Grab UCLA OL Kolton Miller in Round One of Draft; Deal for Steelers WR Martavis Bryant

Jon Gruden’s first draft back for the Raiders was a very eventful one, as Thursday night the team drafted UCLA offensive tackle Kolton Miller, and also made a deal for Steelers playmaking wide out Martavis Bryant.

In return for Bryant, the Raiders gave the Steelers their third round pick (75th pick overall).

Here’s a take on the pick of Miller:

“I’m proud and excited,” Miller told The Bee’s Joe Davidson earlier this month. “I’ve worked hard. Work is something my dad instilled into me, and I’m competitive already. I want to be the best, and I push myself. I want to get at least 1 percent better every day.”

Miller is Roseville’s highest NFL draft pick since 1996, when the New England Patriots selected linebacker Tedy Bruschi out of Arizona in the third round.

He’ll join a familiar face in Oakland: The Raiders drafted defensive lineman Eddie Vanderdoes, Miller’s UCLA teammate and an Auburn native, in the third round last year.

Miller – considered by several publications to be the second-best offensive tackle prospect behind Mike McGlinchey, who went to the 49ers with the ninth pick – allowed only two sacks and 16 quarterback pressures in 579 pass blocking snaps last season, according to Pro Football Focus.

“When you’re talking about pass protection and staying in front of your guy, that’s what he does,” Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said. “He’s got the length, he’s got the great feet. You talk about getting to the second level and pulling. This guy has a lot of talent. We think in our scheme and coach (Tom Cable) working with him, he’ll flourish.”

As for Bryant, he wanted out of Pittsburgh last season after he fell behind rookie JuJu Smith-Schuster in the lineup.

A frustrated Bryant requested a trade last October after falling behind JuJu Smith-Schuster in the wide-receiver rotation. The former Clemson star fell down the depth chart due to a drug-related suspension that wiped out his entire 2016 season.

At 6-foot-4 with the speed and playmaking ability to take the lid off a defense, Bryant is a throwback to former owner Al Davis’ infamous fetish for dangerous deep threats. Derek Carr will be throwing to an overhauled receiving corps this season, with Bryant and former Packers Pro Bowler Jordy Nelson joining top target Amari Cooper and tight end Jared Cook.

Bryant’s unique combination of size, speed and freakish athleticism once prompted Ben Roethlisberger to suggest it was time for the enigmatic wideout to “become the best in the world.” Prior to the suspension, NBC analyst Cris Collinsworth anointed Bryant “as talented as anybody playing in football right now.”


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