It's the day all us whom are football enthusiasts are waiting for. The NFL Draft. The day is tomorrow and on the eve of that day, I present this final (FINALLY) mock for the Oakland Raiders.
Everyone has their reasons for why Player E should be drafted ahead of Player D. This is my mock draft with analysis on why each player should be picked.
1. B.J. Raji - DT - Boston College
Breakdown: The team has been flat out terrible at stopping the run for more of this decade. In fact, the last time we were stout against it was 2002, the year we went to the Super Bowl. Since then, we have been dead last in '03, then 22nd, 25th, 25th, 31st, and 31st. Is this a directly affecting our record? Quite possibly, but we cannot know for sure until it is fixed.
People have this notion that we must have a passing attack and Crabtree must be the guy that's taken. Well we were terrible passing the ball last year, that is a fact, but how much was our lack of success directly associated with our lack of passing? Let's just look back to 2005 when we were 10th in the league in passing (pretty good I must say) and we could only muster out a 4-12 record.
We have an unproven quarterback in Russell. Let him prove his worth while we fix our defense. After he proves his worth (assuming) then get him some more weapons. Not only that, how many receivers have we drafted in the past few years? Do we really need to keep drafting more? Let's give these young guys a chance to succeed before we toss them aside.
2. William Moore - S - Mizz
It pains me to have to say this because I liked Wilson being there and I am shocked that Huff has been the players he has been so far. This is Huff's last chance to keep his job IMO.
We have a young guy in Tyvon Branch, but he may turn out to be nothing more than a special teamer. William Moore was once in a battle with Taylor Mays to be the best safety in college football last season. He had a down year but the talent is still there. he has a massive upside and should realistically be around at pick 40. We are in dire need at the safety spot as a guy who can also step down in the box and play the run.
Fantastic size, good instincts. Perfect fit.
3. Ramses Barden - WR - Cal Poly
Back to the "we need a WR" thing. I do agree that we need a bigger body more than a need at wide receiver. Our current guys have speed and lack size (with the exception of Schilens, whom I feel is going to be good).
Barden gives us a large target and has decent speed for a guy a 6-foot-6 and 230 pounds. Add a 33.5" vertical to that and he can be a great red zone target. Almost uncoverable assuming our quarterback can become more accurate which I believe he will do. We can only hope.
4. Kaluka Maiava - ILB/OLB - USC
This pick might shock some people, and leave others scratching their heads saying "what the, you know what". Not too many people know of Maiava and for good reason. He was the fourth guy on USC's linebacker corp.
He can play inside or outside. Versatility is a plus. There have been talks that if we can find a guy to play middle linebacker, we can move Morrison outside because he is capable. That might be the case here, but it also might not.
Having choices is a good thing. He's good in coverage, and excellent tackler, and just an all around good player. Think of maybe a poor man's Lofa Tatupu. We know we have Morrison and Howard, but does anyone honestly think that Ricky Brown, Sam Williams or some other guy is worth a starting spot?
Maiava should be around in this round due to the fact not many people knowing about him because of being overshadowed. It could turn out to be a tremendous value pick, but even if it doesn't turn out this way, we only gambled a fourth-round pick on a guy who saw limited playing time but has a lot of potential.
7. Phillip Hunt - OLB/DE - Houston
Burgess will be gone next season... well he should be. He's old, already wanted a bigger contract and is injury prone. Insert Mr. Hunt. A little undersized at 6-foot-1, 244 pounds but he proved to be a pretty good pass rusher at Houston.
Has a great leaping ability (41" vert) for knocking down passes if not able to get to the quarterback if they insist he plays defensive end as opposed to his other positions. A possible late-round gem but that's all we can hope for with the seventh-round pick every year.