2012 NFL Mock Draft: Best-Case Scenarios for the Oakland Raiders

Carl CockerhamSenior Analyst IJanuary 18, 2012

2012 NFL Mock Draft: Best-Case Scenarios for the Oakland Raiders

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    Can someone please tell me what all this rebuilding talk is all about?

    The Oakland Raiders just narrowly missed the playoffs and have plenty of talent on the team. The team is built and all GM Reggie McKenzie needs is a couple of pieces to complete the Raiders for whoever his coach will be.

    The Raiders can still have a good draft in 2012 just like they did in 2011 without a first-round pick. As it stands right now, they only have picks in Rounds 5 and 6, but the compensatory picks are on the way.

    We have no idea what they'll be, so I put together a best case scenario of what the 2012 NFL Draft could be for the Raiders. You'd be surprised to see how many guys are in there that can be a big help to the Raiders.  

    Turn the page for a closer look.  

Nnamdi Asomugha Pick: Round 3: Kelichi Osemele, Iowa State

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    The third round is the highest compensatory pick that you can get for the loss of a player. Salary and overall contribution to their team is what NFL commissioner Roger Goodell looks at most when giving a team their pick.

    Nnamdi Asomugha's salary alone is enough to give the Raiders a third pick and with it, they select Kelichi Osemele, from Iowa State. At his introductory press conference, when asked about the type of personnel he likes, McKenzie said, "I like big and strong. I always will. I like speed. That's not going to change."

    The Raiders have plenty of speed so the big-and-strong thing is what the Raiders need on offense. Osemele, a collegiate left tackle, is 6'5", 335 pounds, strong as a bull and projects to play guard on the NFL.

    On most NFL draft big-boards, he is projected to be selected in the second or third round. Since this is the best cast scenario, the Raiders get their big man in the third round with the Asomugha pick.

    The Raiders are a bit small inside so Osemele fills a huge need.  

Thomas Howard Pick: Round 3: Amini Silatolu, Midwestern

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    Thomas Howard went to the Cincinnati Bengals and had 99 tackles this year, the same as Rolando McClain. In the best-case scenario here, the Raiders could get another third-round pick to select Amini Silatolu.

    At 6'3", 324 pounds, Silatolu is big man that can move the line of scrimmage forward. That is absolutely what the Raiders need so Stephen Wizniewski can move to center between he Osemele.

    Silatolu is also a collegiate left tackle that's projected to be moved to guard in the NFL. In Silatolu, the Raiders may be getting the 2012 guard version of Jared Veldheer, as he comes from Division II's Midwestern.

    Being a guard, he won't have to adjust to speed too much and his strength will take care of the rest. Running back Darren McFadden will be very appreciative if the Raiders pull the trigger here. 

Robert Gallery/Zach Miller Pick: Round 4: Mychal Kendricks

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    I still believe the Raiders are moving to the 3-4 next season, so inside linebacker is a need. Mychal Kendricks, the Pac 12's defensive player of the year from Cal, is just what the doctor ordered for the Raiders.

    Kendricks is a dedicated worker with great speed to blitz and cover backs out of the backfield. Cal defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast said of Kendricks, "He was a very hungry player, a gym-rat type of guy." 

    Cal head coach Jeff Tedford said of Kendricks, "He's right there, right at the top of those we've had in our time here. He's probably the fastest linebacker we've had."

    A linebacker that can cover is a good thing here and he's from right down the street.

    Kendricks has to be the Raiders man in the fourth round.   

Round 5: Nicolas Jean Baptiste, Baylor

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    The compensatory picks are done now and it's time for the picks the Raiders have always had. With the fifth-round selection, the Raiders take nose tackle Nicolas Jean Baptise from Baylor.

    To bolster the 3-4 front I predict the Raiders will use next year, Bapstise is a very solid selection. He played on a very weak Baylor defense, but at 6'2", 335 pounds, he has the potential to be what he wants to be in the NFL.

    He will at the very least give the Raiders depth at the nose tackle position.

    That's a good fifth-round pick.  

Round 6: Hebron Fangupo, BYU

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    At 6'1", 331 pounds, Hebron Fangupo has the ideal build for an NFL nose tackle. His massive 331-pound body is great, but his 6'1" height gives him the leverage to be able to get underneath the centers of the NFL.

    Like most coming out of BYU, Fangupo will be a grown man of around 25 years old, with the maturity to be ready to play now. However, depth and sizes are two good things to have on the offensive line, so pick is a good on.

    The Raiders have enough speed an both sides of the ball so it's time for some size.


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    In the best-case scenario, the Raiders will get three picks and two of them will be third-round picks. And as you can very well see, there is plenty of talent to be had by the Raiders with those picks.

    With the talent already on the team, in this best case scenario, the Raiders add the final pieces in the draft. From there, the Raiders will have a Super Bowl-contending team as long as they stay together.

    Hopefully, the Raiders have the guys I listed available and they pull the trigger on them.

    Just win, baby!