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2013 Oakland Raiders Mock Draft: The Change Begins

Joseph McNealCorrespondent IJanuary 10, 2013

2013 Oakland Raiders Mock Draft: The Change Begins

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    After a very disappointing 4-12 season, the Oakland Raiders will turn their attention to the Senior Bowl (Coaching the North) and the NFL draft.

    The Senior Bowl should give them a chance to evaluate a lot of prospects on a personal level. Finding players with the right locker-room presence is just as important as playing ability.

    The Raiders have the No. 3 overall pick and will need to move down for extra picks. They have a lot of holes to fill and Reggie McKenzie and Co. know this. They find a trade partner (Bills) when the top signal caller slides to them.

TRADE:

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    TRADE - The Raiders trade the third pick (2200 Points) to the Bills for the eighth (1400), 40th (500), 72nd (230) and the 136th (38) picks. With all three of the top quarterbacks still on the board, the Bills move up to get their guy.

    Bills General Manager Buddy Nix said that not only do the Bills need to draft a quarterback, he said during his weekly radio show, they might have to trade up to do so.

    “Let me say this: I think there’s a time that in the era that you’re in and the development of your team, there’s a time when you can move up a round to take a quarterback.”

    I believe the Chiefs are going to sign or trade for a veteran and draft a quarterback later in the draft. I think they will draft OT Luke Joeckel and shore up their offensive line. I think the Jaguars will draft DT Star Lotulelei. This will make the trade possible for the Raiders and Bills.

First Round: Barkevious Mingo, OLB/DE (6’4”, 240) LSU

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    Mingo is an athletic freak. His numbers are down this year but he is capable of playing multiple positions. He has the speed to play the Outside Linebacker position (4.5-4.6 40) and rush the quarterback as a speed end.

    Of the many quality pass-rushers available in this year's draft class, Mingo has the most explosive first step. His acceleration is among the elite. This guy is a perfect fit for the Raiders.

    The Raiders really like the idea of moving Miles Burris to the Inside Linebacker position. Adding Mingo will allow them to do that and having Philip Wheeler on the other side would really upgrade the corps.

Second Round: Xavier Rhodes, CB (6’2”, 215) Florida State

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    Rhodes has great size and long arms and is really effective at press coverage, something the Raiders have not had in a corner since Nnamdi Asomugha left the team.

    Rhodes does a really good job of playing the ball in the air, either breaking up the pass or picking it off. He is a good tackler who takes on and wraps up ball carriers, which will make a lot of Raiders fans happy.

    This guy has so much talent and is a HUGE upgrade at cornerback for the Raiders. He is another guy that is position-diverse and can play Free Safety as well. He would really be a welcomed addition to the secondary and help with the big receivers in the division.

Third Round: Sylvester Williams, DT (6’3”, 320) North Carolina

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    Williams is an interesting player. He has size, speed and good instincts for the Defensive Tackle position (42 tackles, 13.5 tackles for a loss and 6 sacks). He is really good at rushing the passer as well as stopping the run, as his numbers show.

    He would be a good replacement for Tommy Kelly or Richard Seymour (one or both will be gone this season). He has played hot and cold this season, but that is partly because of the change in scheme at North Carolina (4-2-5)

    The Raiders were killed in the running game this year and have to get younger and much better. This guy will really help in that department.

Third Round: Margus Hunt, DE (6’7”, 280) SMU

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    This guy was named No. 1 athletic "freak" in college football by CBSSports.com. Hunt is 6’7” and 280 LBS with an 82" wingspan. He can also bench 225 lbs 35 times, which is insane with that arm length.

    SMU track coach Dave Wollman predicts that Hunt will run a 4.6 40-yard-dash and bench 225 lbs 45 times at the combine next year. Freaky enough for you? Oh, I forgot to add that he has 17 blocked kicks in his college career.

    This guy LOVES to play football and that is the kind of player that Dennis Allen wants on this team. He is still raw but the upside is well worth the gamble. Every time I look at this kid, I think of one person, Ted Hendricks. He is much bigger.

Fourth Round: Blidi Wreh-Wilson, CB (6’1”, 190) Connecticut

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    Wreh-Wilson has experience lining up in man and zone coverage. He can also play Safety if needed. He shows good ball skills, and ability to turn and locate.

    He does a good job breaking on the ball and defending passes. His instincts, timing and long arms will serve him well in defending the big, tall receivers he’ll face in the NFL or should I say the AFC West.

    You had to see this one coming. The Raiders corners are horrible! They double dip at the corner position, which is one of their biggest concern. Smart move!

Fifth Round: Xavier Nixon, OT (6’6”, 315) Florida

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    Nixon has been excellent against some off the best pass rushers in college football. He has also been a road grader in the run game.

    He has size, quickness and plays with a nasty streak. He has had a few injuries and has played cold and hot at times, but he has too much talent and upside to not take a shot on.

    The Raiders cannot go another year with Barnes at Right Tackle. With Greg Knapp gone, they need to find a tackle better suited to play in a power blocking scheme. Nixon fills that void.

Sixth Round: AJ Klein, ILB (6’2”, 245) Iowa State

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    Klein is an intense competitor on the football field and is the type of player that every NFL head coach would want on his team. He is a leader on and off the field and has a work ethic that is infectious.

    On the field, Klein makes up for his less than elite athleticism with impeccable instincts. He plays within the defense, but is dead set on making every tackle of the game.

    In other words, he is the kind of guy that the Raiders Coach Dennis Allen puts a premium on. He is also a very good football player. The Raiders need depth at middle linebacker, and he is a good pick.

Seventh Round: Knile Davis, RB (6’0”, 225) Arkansas

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    Talk about a disappointing season. Wow! Davis was hurt and had an awful season. With that said, you do not put up 1,322 yards and 13 touchdowns in the SEC despite only starting eight of 13 games in 2010 without having some serious skills. He has good hands and insane speed (4.33 40).

    The Raiders take a chance on him, and doing it this late in the draft is a great risk/reward pick. I think he will be just what the doctor ordered. He has size, great speed and is a great receiver out of the backfield. He is a good late-round pick.

Seventh Round: Blaize Foltz, OG (6’4”, 310) TCU

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    Foltz is another athletic freak that happens to be a very good Offensive Guard. The 6’4“, 310-pound movement science major benches 580 pounds, squats 800 pounds, incline-benches 530 pounds and has cleaned 430 pounds.

    "Honestly, we've gotten to a point where we stop him now for safety sake," says TCU O-line coach Eddie Williamson. "He could probably do even more than what those numbers indicate if we didn't."

    He is also a decent pass protector but a flat-out road grinder in the run game. With the Raiders going back to a power blocking scheme, he will challenge for playing time from Day One.

Conclusion

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    This is the first step in getting the Raiders back where they belong: winning! I have faith that Reggie and Dennis will get this thing turned around, we just have to give them some time. With a draft like this, the Raiders will begin the change!

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