2013 NFL Draft: Analyzing the Possible First Round Picks for the Oakland Raiders
It was another disappointing and embarrassing loss yesterday for the Oakland Raiders as they fell 34-10 to Carson Palmer's former team. The Cincinnati Bengals routed the Raiders and left them five games under .500 with a 3-8 record.
Standing at 3-8, with the playoffs eliminated from the mind of Raider fans, what is there to look forward to for this struggling franchise?
The 2013 NFL Draft.
With the Raiders expected to have a top 10 pick in the upcoming draft, there is plenty of talent to choose from, especially on the defensive side of the football, an area where the Raiders have struggled throughout the 2012 season.
Let's take a look and analyze the potential first-round picks for the Silver and Black.
Damontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
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Weight: 250 lbs
One of the most desperate areas of need for the Raiders is on defense, specifically up front. The Raiders are tied for dead-last in the National Football League with just 13 sacks through 11 games. That is unacceptable and will not get it done if this team wants to win football games.
Granted, there is some talent up front with Lamarr Houston and Matt Shaughnessy, but they just have not been productive this season.
How can the Raiders solve this issue? Texas A&M product Damontre Moore would drastically improve this struggling defensive line. The only question on Moore's end is if he will enter the draft, but if he does, this would be a valuable pick for the Raiders.
Moore has sacked the opposing quarterback in nine of 12 games this season, including a three-sack performance against Florida during the first game of the season.
Since the departure of Kamerion Wimbley, the Raiders have not had a successful pass rusher. Selecting Moore in the first round would bring one back to Oakland.
Barkevious Mingo, DE, LSU
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Weight: 240 lbs
Another great pick in the first round for the Raiders would be Barkevious Mingo, defensive end from LSU. A lot of raw talent lies within Mingo, but he has the potential to wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks in the NFL.
Although the days of the Raiders selecting players based on speed and raw talent have passed, Mingo may be too difficult to pass up if he's available.
Mingo possesses the combination of size and speed which every coach loves on the defensive line. Mingo also has great leadership skills as he won the Jimmy Taylor award in 2012 for outstanding leadership, effort and performance.
The award is LSU's most prestigious award, which says a lot about Mingo's character.
Luke Joeckel, OT, Texas A&M
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Weight: 280 lbs
Blocking has been an issue this year as well, whether it be in the running game or protecting Carson Palmer. The offensive line has not played well this season and Texas A&M's Luke Joeckel would help improve that Raider line.
Joeckel is more than likely to be the first offensive lineman taken in the draft and rightfully so, because he is arguably the best overall prospect on the draft board.
Joeckel has protected the likes of Ryan Tannehill and Johnny Manziel over the past two seasons and has protected them well.
With his 6'6", 280-pound frame, Joeckel should have zero issues protecting Carson Palmer in 2013.
Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State
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Weight: 322 lbs
We all know how much the defensive line of the Raiders has struggled this season, especially against the run.
Ever since rookie running back Doug Martin's 251-yard performance in Week 9 against the Raiders, opposing running backs have had success against Tommy Kelly and the rest of the Raider line.
What is so amazing about Hankins besides his size, is his athleticism. For a man with his frame, Hankins moves extremely well and would be an asset to any defensive line in the NFL.
He has the ability to pressure quarterbacks up the middle as well as slow down the running game.
This would be a great pick for the Raiders in the first round.
Dee Milliner, CB, Alabama
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Weight: 199 lbs
Do you see a pattern developing here? The Raiders need help on defense in general.
One area in particular where the Raiders have been struggling is the secondary. Ranked 24th in the league, the Raiders are giving up 248 yards a game and are allowing quarterbacks to pick them apart.
There have been a lot of injuries in this secondary but still, there is nobody with big-play ability.
If Dee Milliner is still available by the time the Raiders pick, it would not be a bad selection.
Milliner is very active on defense. He has 47 tackles this season to go along with two interceptions. Milliner also has four tackles for a loss this year totaling for 19 yards.
Milliner has the size to go up against the top receivers in the NFL, something the Raiders have not had since the loss of Nnamdi Asomugha.
Other First Round Possibilities
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Sam Montgomery: DE, LSU
Montgomery plays alongside Barkevious Mingo on LSU's line and is part of what may be the most dynamic defensive end duo in the country. Like his teammate, Montgomery has that gift of size and speed that the Raiders may be looking for in the first round.
Bjoern Werner: DE, Florida State
Florida State's Bjoern Werner is a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks. He has tallied up 13.5 sacks this season including a four-sack performance against Murray State. No matter the pick, it seems like defensive end is the way to go in the first round for the Raiders.