Oakland Raiders Mock Draft: Updated 7-Round Projections

Steven SlivkaCorrespondent IIIJanuary 20, 2013

Oakland Raiders Mock Draft: Updated 7-Round Projections

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    With the NFL draft only three months away, defense needs to be the main priority for the Oakland Raiders.

    Plain and simple.

    The team has talent on the offensive side of the ball, and with Greg Knapp out of the picture, the offense should be much more productive than it was last season.

    With such a defensively loaded draft, the Raiders are sure to add some pieces to their defense that began to find its groove towards the end of the season.

    Let's take a look as to how Oakland should draft once April rolls around.

Round 1: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State

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    The Raiders finished 31st in the NFL in total sacks last season, and their secondary was torched because quarterbacks had forever and a day to throw the ball.

    A pass-rusher must be the silver and black's top priority, and Florida State's Bjoern Werner is one of the best in college football.

    Werner finished his junior season at Florida State with 13 sacks, a number that was good enough to be tied for third in the entire nation.

    With a young and explosive Lamarr Houston to pair him with, Werner would be a great asset to a Raiders defense that managed only 25 sacks last season.

Round 3: Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers

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    Oakland's secondary in 2012 was a complete and utter disaster. Even if he was able to work solely with the defense, it would be nearly impossible for Dennis Allen to make that secondary any good.

    The Raiders must part ways with Matt Giordano, who was beaten in every game in 2012, and they must move Michael Huff out of the cornerback position.

    Logan Ryan played a solid cornerback for Rutgers. He recorded four interceptions and was the Scarlet Knights' best defensive back.

    Unless Reggie McKenzie can trade up for a second-round pick, Oakland will have to wait until the third round to draft another player. If McKenzie is unable to make a trade, Ryan should be the guy for the Raiders if he's still on the board.

Round 4: Everett Dawkins, DT, Florida State

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    Oakland's two aging, overpaid defensive tackles, Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour, were huge disappointments in 2012.

    Both made more than they should have, and both underperformed equally.

    Everett Dawkins was voted second-team all-ACC in 2012 and, along with Bjoern Werner, the two helped make Florida State one of the best defenses in all of college football.

    Though it's only hypothetical, of course, reuniting Dawkins with Werner would ignite the flame the Raiders so desperately need on the defensive line.

Round 6: John Wetzel, OT, Boston College

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    The right side of Oakland's offensive line last season was atrocious.

    Mike Brisiel and Khalif Barnes trying to protect Carson Palmer was a complete failure, and the Raiders need to draft an offensive tackle capable of getting the job done.

    Boston College's John Wetzel was one of the lone bright spots on a disappointing Golden Eagles team in 2012.

    At 6-8, 303 pounds, Wetzel has the size and the power to give Palmer some time in which to work. He also spent his entire 2011 season starting at left tackle, so Wetzel's versatility makes him an even better option this late in the draft.

Round 7: Michael Mauti, LB, Penn State

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    After his 2011 season was cut short by an ACL tear, Penn State's Michael Mauti had a terrific year in 2012, finishing as a semifinalist for the Dick Butkus Award.

    Mauti was All-Big Ten first team in 2012 and finished Top-10 in the conference in tackles, interceptions and forced fumbles.

    The Raiders found a nice addition to their linebacker corps in last year's draft with Miles Burris, and Mauti has the potential to be just as solid, if not better.

    His health is the only thing holding him back, as he suffered two ACL injuries during his college career at Penn State.