Oakland Raiders Mock Draft: Instant Contributors Oakland Can Find in Each Round
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The Oakland Raiders have nowhere to go but up in 2013.
From their one-dimensional offense under the play-calling of Greg Knapp to their abysmal defense led by Jason Tarver, the Raiders were a complete mess in 2012.
Now, Knapp is gone, and the power-blocking scheme is back in the bay.
The Raiders are desperate to have a solid draft class, and general manager Reggie McKenzie will finally be able to use a first-round pick in this April's NFL draft, something the Raiders most desperately need.
Here are five rookie prospects who would quickly impact the silver and black.
Round 1: Bjoern Werner, DE, Florida State
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Oakland's need for a legitimate pass-rusher can't be emphasized enough, especially after the Raiders' overpaid defensive tackles did nothing to earn their money.
Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour were about as ineffective as defensive tackles could possibly be, combining for just 4.5 sacks all season.
Florida State's Bjoern Werner finished third in the nation with 13 sacks last season, and putting him opposite Lamarr Houston gives the Raiders' youth and excitement off the edge.
It's been forever since the Raiders have had a first-round pick develop into a solid, consistent contributor. It's time for that to change.
Round 3: Logan Ryan, CB, Rutgers
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Opposing quarterbacks looked as if they were playing catch with their receivers when they played the Oakland Raiders in 2012.
Even Ryan Tannehill and the abysmal Blaine Gabbert had great performances against the Raiders secondary.
Oakland must move Michael Huff back to safety while bringing in a young cornerback capable of being a game-changer.
Logan Ryan is that cornerback.
As it stands, the Raiders are without a second-round pick, and they must address their defensive-backfield issues after they draft a defensive end in the first round.
Round 4: Kwame Geathers, DT, Georgia
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Although Kwame Geathers was a stud at the University of Georgia as a nose tackle, his size and intangibles make him a solid defensive tackle prospect in a 4-3 scheme.
Geathers finished his junior season with 40 combined tackles, including five for a loss, one sack and a blocked field goal.
Oakland defensive coordinator Jason Tarver ran the 3-4 defense when he was defensive coordinator at Stanford in 2011. Last year he had the Raiders running a 4-3, but that could change depending on how the Raiders decide to draft.
If Tarver decides to switch defensive schemes, he may need to rely on Geathers, who proved to be a successful nose tackle in the extremely competitve SEC.
Round 6: John Wetzel, OT, Boston College
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I had the Raiders drafting John Wetzel in a previous mock draft, and he still seems like a great fit.
Oakland needs to move on from tackle Khalif Barnes and his $2 million contract, and unless the Raiders plan on making an offer to another right tackle in free agency, Wetzel needs to be on the minds of the front office.
Fixing the defense will be Reggie McKenzie's top priority in the draft, but the right side of the offensive line needs a new look as well.
This is where Wetzel comes in.
Round 7: Kerwynn Williams, RB, Utah State
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Marcel Reece was more than effective when he filled in as the starter during McFadden's absence, and he would flourish as a starter when McFadden's contract expires in 2014.
With a former fullback carrying the ball, the Raiders will need a younger and smaller running back to balance out the attack.
The Raiders still have Mike Goodson, but he isn't anything special.
Utah State's Kerwynn Williams finished with over 2,200 yards of total offense and scored 20 touchdowns during his final year as an Aggie, and his 5'8'' frame gives him that Darren Sproles dangerousness.
Williams didn't exactly go up against the toughest competition while playing in the WAC, but he would be a terrific value in the final round of the draft.