Friday, November 29, 2013

11.28.13 Mock Draft: RaiderAg

After the loss to Dallas...the Raiders sit 4-8, with tough sledding ahead to end the season, including @ NY Jets, vs. Chiefs, @ San Diego and vs. Broncos.  Oakland could very well go 4-12, securing them a spot in the Top 6 of the 2014 NFL Draft (most likely).  It will put them in an interesting position for the Draft.  The two top prospects appear to be Bridgewater and Clowney, and barring some interview meltdown from Clowney...they will both likely go 1, 2 either one way or the other.  After the top 2 clear, it gets interesting as different teams have different needs and draft philosophies.  Barr, Matthews, Mariota, Evans, Lewan, Watkins...even Khalil Mack all are good prospects and the case could be made for them going to a variety of teams in the top quarter of the 1st Round.

So, there lies the interesting scenario for the Raiders, who have needs and depth concerns at most positions and could use a trade down...YET, they lack star power and need to replace the face of the franchise as McFadden will no doubt be gone after this season.  What will the Raiders do?

Knowing Reggie McKenzie, he'll try to trade down unless a premium pass rush prospect like Barr, or possibly Mack, is available.  With Veldheer back on the mend and Watson/Pashos and possibly Barnes on the right side, they have no immediate need at tackle, assuming all's well come opening day of 2014.  They have needs at OG, but drafting a David Yankey that early might be a stretch.  WR/TE would be the biggest offensive need that early in the draft obviously.  Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans are the two "elite" prospects at this point in the draft, but Reggie doesn't like underclassmen who declare early.  TEs Amaro and Ebron are also underclassmen.  McKenzie typically goes for players entering the draft following their 4th or 5th years in college.  A wide receiver like Jordan Matthews comes to mind, or even a RJr. like Rutgers' Brandon Coleman...but again, too soon in the Draft for such names.

If the elite prospects outside are gone by the time Oakland inside presence like Ra'Shede Hageman would be intriguing.  Notre Dame's Louis Nix III offers a strong, disruptive anchor inside to backup or supplant Pat Sims.

Secondary?  Mike Jenkins, Tracy Porter, now out-for-the-season 1st Round CB D.J. Hayden, Phillip Adams, Chimdi Chekwa, a currently injured Tyvon Branch, Brandian Ross, an aging Charles Woodson, Usama Young...Taiwan Jones?  A mix of old and young, talented and career backup...but all relatively versatile, could the Raiders double dip in back to back drafts with a CB prospect...say Oregon's Ekpre-Olomu, TCU's Verrett or possibly Michigan State's Dennard?

Consolation pass rushers like Trent Murphy or even Utah's Trevor Reilly...and watch out for dark horses like Kony Ealy and Michael Sam, both from Mizzou...all in the mix as Oakland needs to find a way to get to the quarterback without blitzing in 2014.

It's a tough call...and it doesn't even cover the quarterback situation.  Derek Carr, Hundley, Boyd...they'll all be sitting there to be taken ala E.J. Manuel, question is will the Raider coaching staff be taken by any of them to warrant a 1st Round pick?  Pryor had his chance and got dethroned by an UDFA in Matt McGloin, it's anybody's game at quarterback for Oakland in 2014.

Put all the speculation aside, time to mock.

This scenario calls for Oakland choosing 6th Overall (projection).  Rankings and draft slots are estimated from CBS Sports...and those estimates are within reason based on my own judgment.  This mock also assumes Allen, Olson and Tarver return for another year...THE year to prove themselves as a coaching staff: Link

Perhaps it's wishful thinking, but with the depth of this draft, I'll go out on a limb and say Reggie finds a trade partner...dropping Oakland into the 7-15 draft pick range.  For this scenario, Oakland only gains a 2nd round pick in the 2014 Draft.

1st Round:  OG David Yankey - Stanford
Depth and improvement at OG are needed for the Raiders.  An injured for the year Bergstrom, a banged up Brisiel and a sub-par duo of Nix and Gurode have basically been the starting Raider Guards this season.  Quite possibly, the worst in the NFL.  Yankey is strong, aggressive, smart and technically sound...Sparano would be beside himself to see this upgrade become part of the roster.

2nd Round:  OLB Trevor Reilly - Utah
DC Jason Tarver requires versatility and aggressiveness.  Reilly has both of these in spades.  In the mold of Stanford's Trent Murphy, Reilly has been a consistent force for the Utes over the past two seasons.  He can put his hand in the ground, blitz, drop in coverage, he does it all, and his frame is a tremendous building block.

2nd Round:  CB Kyle Fuller - Virginia Tech
A fearless, hard nosed cornerback.  Adams and Ross need to be weeded off this roster, if not, challenged for their paychecks.  Also, Porter and Jenkins aren't getting any today's NFL with the pass controlling the game, cover men who aren't afraid to tackle are a necessity.

3rd Round:  WR Devin Street - Pitt
Tall, sure handed receiver who has been a primarly outlet for Savage and the Pitt offense over the past 3 seasons.  Recently sidelined with an ankle injury, but he has a lot of ability and the Raiders need playmakers.

4th Round:  CB Stanley Jean-Baptiste - Nebraska
I'd be surprised if Pete Carroll doesn't draft Jean-Baptiste by the 4th Round, but let's say he doesn't.  Jean-Baptiste provides a tall, strong bodied frame who is physical in man-to-man coverage...sometimes too physical.  He has potential to spread his athleticism all over the field in Tarver's scheme, who need tall, talented CBs to cover the big targets in the AFC West.

6th Round:  OT Billy Turner - North Dakota State
A big reason why the Bison continue their thunderous reign of the FCS.  Turner is a violent, physical beast at left tackle who excels in space.  Should the Pashos/Barnes/Watson committee at right tackle falter, then bringing in Turner to compete or take the backup/starting role could prove valuable down the stretch of 2014.

7th Round:  OG Spencer Long - Nebraska
Value pick.  Long may heal from his knee injury and show enough to get drafted earlier, but we'll say he's still available here.  The Raiders need talented linemen to keep pounding the rock.  Long will take a little time, but he could payoff down the road.

7th Round (from Arizona, Carson Palmer trade):  DT Beau Allen - Wisconsin
The big man inside...primed to do all the dirty work he has to to free up the linebackers to make plays.  Should be a good backup in 3-4 sets...nobody behind Pat Sims can really do what Pat Sims does, but Allen can certainly eat up blockers, but what is good about him is that he's not just a leaner like McCullers, he uses his eyes and hands effectively.  Love his effort.


  1. Nice write-up Ag. Love how you broke it down instead of throwing stuff up to see if it'll stick.

  2. Scratch Mariota from the above comments by the way...