Oakland Raiders Mock Draft 2012: The Latest Full 7-Round Predictions
The 2012 NFL draft is just over two weeks away and teams will have to start making some tough decisions about their draft boards in the coming days. When it comes to equally graded players, each team will have to decide how to break the tie.
The smallest of the details might be the difference between Spergon Wynn and Tom Brady.
While Tom Brady is the exception and not the norm, missing details can lead you to miss on a player and alter the path of an entire franchise.
It's not hard to assume that every team has draft regrets. How many teams considered drafting Tom Brady before he was selected by the Patriots?
How closely did rated did the Cleveland Browns have Wynn, drafted with pick 183, to Brady, drafted with pick 199? What about the Pittsburgh Steelers with Tee Martin, New Orleans Saints with Marc Bulger, Baltimore Ravens with Chris Redman and the San Francisco 49ers with Giovanni Carmazzi?
A team might miss their opportunity to draft a good player because of of a minor tweak to their draft boards in the final weeks.
How to alter the draft status of a player with injury concerns is another tough decision the team must make. Michael Bush, once believed to be a first-round talent, fell to the fourth round due to a broken leg.
It's not about predicting the future, as we try to do with mock drafts. It's about drafting the right players for the scheme and maximizing value. Compensatory picks cannot be traded, so the Raiders will let the draft come to them this year and draft the best player on their board.
Round 3, Pick 95
The Raiders solidified the defensive end position with the signing of Dave Tollefson this week, leaving defensive tackle and linebacker as positions lacking depth.
Offensive line also needs depth, as only six of them were on an active roster last season. Cornerback could still be an option, despite adding three via free agency.
Where the Raiders go with this pick will be largely dependent of which players are available.
Look for those positions to be the focus, but don't rule out a receiver or developmental quarterback.
The following players both present value, are a team need and are scheme fits for the Raiders.
95th Overall Options:
Pros: Can play nose in 3-4 or 4-3, which will enable the Raiders to play multiple fronts. Stout at the point of attack and can help the Raiders against the run. Quick and powerful hands with long arms. Extremely tough with a good motor. A real value if he makes it to the end of the third round.
Cons: Medical concerns. Played on a torn ACL and meniscus last season and tore his labrum in 2010. Isn't agile enough to quickly slip blocks. Slower in his lower half and doesn't move well in space. Will be limited in rushing the passer.
Pros: Quick and powerful hands. Relentless player. 4-3 nose prospect. Solid natural burst and shouldn't be a total liability against the pass. Stout at the point of attack and tough to move.
Cons: Losses leverage because of his shorter arms and inconsistent mechanics in his lower half. Doesn't look like he can add weight and play nose in the 3-4.
Pros: Natural pass-rusher with explosive first step. Good short area quickness and agility. Fluid hips and uses his hands well when pass-rushing. 3-4 rush linebacker or 4-3 nickel rusher.
Cons: Not really asked to play the run. Limited set of pass-rush moves; relied on his quickness. Is not able to disengage blocks from larger defenders and occasionally plays too high. Slow to read and react in the run game.
Pros: Impressive short-area quickness. Explosive first step. Fluid. Good tackler and takes good angles to the ball. Active and quick with his hands and feet.
Cons: Plays a bit stiff and doesn't have elite size. Footwork is inconsistent in coverage.
Round 4, Pick 129
If the Raiders address the defensive tackle or linebacker with the 95th overall selection, they will likely address the other with pick 129. Other possibilities include cornerback, receiver and quarterback.
129th Overall Pick Options:
Pros: Good feet in the pass game. Has a good feel in zone coverage and quickly breaks on the ball. Good instincts in the pass and run games. Plays with good leverage and uses his hands to stack and shed.
Cons: Lacks ideal size. Doesn't break down and tackle well. More of a run-and-hit tackler. Will bounce off of the bigger backs.
Pros: Good athlete with long arms. Violent tackler and wraps up. Good hip fluidity and closing speed in coverage. Solid feel for the zone.
Cons: Slow to read and react. Footwork in coverage is poor and needs work to quicken his transition. Plays with his pad level too high and doesn't use his hands very well. More athlete than football player.
Pros (via Optimum Scouting): Very fluid hips, among highest ranks in closing speed in CB class, great understanding of WR tendencies/offensive play designs.
Cons (via Optimum Scouting): Has extra steps in pedal, transitions and reaction breaks at times, doesn't use hands well enough downfield.
Round 5, Pick 148 & 168
As the talent begins to thin out, the Raiders might go in odd directions looking to find future starters, but there might also be good talent left on the board at linebacker or cornerback.
Pros: Fluid hips with good arm length. Agile and can change direction quickly. Excellent balance and has good backpedal. Solid tackler.
Cons: Opens his hips too early and lacks a feel for zone and off-man coverage. Needs experience and proper coaching to find out if he can read and react to coverages in the NFL.
Pros: Can play inside or out and will likely be a stud special teams player to start. Smart and tough player with a great motor. Quick first step. Plenty of range and plays with some anger to his game. Has good instincts. Uses his hands well in all areas of his game.
Cons: Not much experience in coverage. He's stiff and lacks elite agility to turn the corner when rushing the quarterback. More of a blitzer. He'll struggle to get off a block once the defender engages him.
Pros: Big and physical. Surprisingly agile for his size and fluid in the hips. Balanced and quick and keeps his pad level down.
Cons: Reckless player. Takes too many personal foul penalties, had problems with teammates, doesn't read and react well. Not fast enough to cover sideline-to-sideline. He wouldn't be worth the hassle unless he matures.
Round 6, Pick 189
The Raiders should be looking to replace Rolando McClain, just in case he doesn't turn it around in his third season.
Burfict is falling down draft boards, but there's a decent chance he's been removed from them entirely by this point.
The Raiders should add at least two linebackers in the draft. Depending on which way the Raiders go with the first four selections, they could still be looking for a solid linebacker with their final pick.
Pros: Good burst to his game and can be disruptive as a pass-rusher. Uses his arms and hands to disengage. Has shown ability to improve.
Cons: Gets pushed around too much because of his inconsistent pad level and leverage. Could have weight issues and might need to be motivated.
Jerry Franklin (should be available and will fill both needs)
Pros: Reads and reacts well, is good in traffic and can find the ball. Solid wrap-up tackler. Natural balance in coverage.
Cons: Not good in space. Not very explosive and lacks range to move laterally and make a play. Not much burst in any area. Once blocked, has trouble getting away from the linemen.