After successfully finding a trade-down partner in the Miami Dolphins, thus picking up an extra second-rounder in the process, the Raiders addressed what was one of their most glaring roster needs with Houston CB D.J. Hayden.
Looking ahead to Day 2 of the draft, that additional second-round selection will be extremely valuable considering the Raiders started the draft process without one at all.
Having added one of the draft’s best cornerbacks, we can expect the Raiders to look most closely at other positional needs such as defensive tackle, defensive end, offensive line and wide receiver.
Here are five players the Oakland Raiders should target on day two of the 2013 NFL draft.
Heading into this year’s draft, many assumed it to be a virtual certainty that the Raiders could or would target a defensive tackle in the first round.
Not only did they pass on doing so at third overall with a trade down, but when Sharrif Floyd, Star Lotulelei and Sheldon Richardson were all still on the board at 12th overall, the Raiders went a different route.
On Day 2, the Raiders can find great value at a position of need with Missouri Southern DT Brandon Williams.
Williams played all across the defensive line throughout his collegiate career, showcasing the kind of versatility that the Raiders will value quite highly. While he did not play against the same competition level as some of the draft’s other prospects, a strong Senior Bowl week showed how well his skill set translates regardless.
Choosing to go with a cornerback in the first round, the Raiders will most likely look to address the defensive line at least once on Day 2 of the draft, and Brandon Williams could provide them with great value and an instant starter.
Upgrading the defensive end position is another necessity for the Raiders moving forward in the 2013 NFL draft, and in Western Kentucky’s Quanterus Smith, they could possibly get one of this class's’ best natural talents rushing the passer.
Of course, Smith’s questions heading in have surrounded the knee injury that ended his 2012 season, but if the Raiders are comfortable in their evaluations of his recovery, this pick could prove to be well worth the risk.
Adding an edge-rusher would allow the Raiders the flexibility to move Lamarr Houston to his more natural defensive tackle position if they so choose to do so, and it would add to the rotation up front overall.
Expect Smith to be available in the third round, but his natural talent rushing the passer could even see him become a late second-rounder.
Most of the Raiders’ picks this year should come on the defensive side of the ball. At the same time, there is no denying the need they still have at the wide receiver position.
In Tennessee Tech’s Da’Rick Rogers, the Raiders would get a big-bodied physical receiver that can use his size to win matchups against defensive backs, especially in the red zone. For a long time, with a draft strategy based upon speed at the skill positions, that is something they have been missing in a big way.
Rogers is likely a player that the Raiders would be able to target in the third round, allowing them to continue to add to the defensive side of the ball with the second-round selection they acquired from Miami on Thursday night.
With the Raiders making the switch back to the power-blocking scheme that best suits the team’s player personnel in the ground game, any additions on the offensive line certainly need to keep this in mind.
Louisiana Tech’s Jordan Mills may be the best mid-round fit for which, and should certainly be a target for the Raiders on Day 2 of the draft.
Throughout January’s Senior Bowl week, Mills showcased the strength and nastiness as a run-blocker that he has come to be well known for. His size and athletic ability make him a fit for right tackle and either guard position at the next level. Again, for the Raiders as they rebuild, this is key.
A likely day-one starter, the Raiders would upgrade a position of need with good value in Jordan Mills.
Another offensive line prospect that the Raiders could look to target is Alabama’s Barrett Jones.
Jones is an experienced and successful college player that played on the best of offensive lines against the best of competition in the SEC. His physical abilities undoubtedly translate well to NFL competition, but his football intelligence is possibly his greatest asset.
A center throughout his college career, he could play either there or at guard at the next level, and he would fit well into the Raiders’ new power-blocking scheme.