Oakland Raiders 2013 Mock Draft: Predictions for Day 3
Today, they added physically gifted but very inexperienced Florida State OT Menelik Watson in the second and solid, if not spectacular, LB Sio Moore in the third.
Reggie McKenzie continues to identify and draft players who have the physical abilities to make a smooth transition to the NFL and who are competitive and focused on football.
The Raiders have not upgraded several positions that sorely need to be addressed before camp including the defensive line and tight end positions.
McKenzie believes in drafting the best player available early on in drafts and drafting more for need later, when the picks are a bit more interchangeable in terms of value.
Read on for projections of who the Raiders may target on day three of the NFL draft.
Round 4, Pick 3: Alex Okafor, DE, Texas
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The position of biggest need for the Raiders is at defensive end, where the team has a few bodies but no great options for starters.
Fellow former Longhorn Lamarr Houston will start at one of the end positions but he also may lineup at three-technique defensive tackle at times, especially on passing downs, so he can't even be counted on to be at end consistently.
Other than Houston, Oakland doesn't really have any proven player to line up at defensive end.
That is where Okafor comes in. He has the length an NFL team would like for an end, standing 6'4" and he's just big enough to hold the defensive edge against offensive tackles, weighing in at 264 lbs. He has the room on his large frame to put on some extra muscle as well.
Okafor was very productive at Texas, finishing with 54 tackles and 12.5 sacks his senior year.
That sack total includes a 4.5 sack Valero Alamo Bowl versus Oregon State, a good way to end his college career. No Raider player had more than 4.0 sacks the entire 2012 season.
Okafor isn't the best pass rusher but he's a good blend of pass-rush and run-defense and would be a nice pickup early in the fourth round.
Round 6, Pick 4: Levine Toilolo
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I mocked Toilolo to the Raiders in my pre-draft final mock and I'm going back to him, here.
The Raiders moved on from their 2012 starting tight end, Brandon Myers, without really attempting to resign him. One of the reasons the Raiders chose to look elsewhere in 2013 is that Myers struggled with blocking assignments.
Toilolo fits McKenzie's mold of going with players who are physically very gifted but still need to work on their techniques.
Toilolo has great size at 6'8", 260 lbs and he boasts a 34.5" arm length which makes him a great target for a quarterback.
He has the size to be able to seal off defenders on runs and he has enough speed to be a mismatch against either cornerbacks or linebackers especially on short to intermediate routes and in the red zone where the Raiders specifically struggled in 2012.
Round 6, Pick 8: Mike Catapano, DE Princeton
Mike Catapano's pro day
Catapano is from Princeton, which hasn't had a player drafted since 2001. He's looking to break that streak and I think he will.
A two-time team captain at Princeton, Catapano was a standout in the Ivy League, earning the award for the Ivy League defensive player-of-the-year in 2012.
Aside from being a team captain, which will certainly score him some points with Reggie McKenzie and staff, he is also a high energy, committed player.
He isn't flashy at defensive end but he's got a good motor and plays to the whistle on every down.
He also has the size to play defensive end at 6'4" 270 lbs.
He would be able to contribute on special teams as well as serve as a rotational defensive end for the Raiders in 2013.
Round 6, Pick 37: Marcus Davis, WR, Virginia Tech
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Large (6'3", 233 lbs) and raw—does this combination sound familiar? It's a common refrain for the type of players that Reggie McKenzie has been targeting and former Virginia Tech WR Marcus Davis fits that bill.
A former QB in high school, Davis moved to receiver so that he could get on the field immediately instead of waiting for a chance as the signal caller.
Davis has great size and decent speed. He's still learning the nuances of the receiver position, but he's a good risk at this point in the draft to provide a boost for the Raiders receiver corp.
Round 7, Pick 3: Gilbert Pena, DT, Ole Miss
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The Raiders finish out their draft with a NT in Pena. Pena is 6'3", 330 lbs although he doesn't play with the strength that you'd imagine a player with that size.
He is a stout presence in the middle of the line, however, and can clog up running lanes.
He also fits a need on the Raiders squad that lacks a proven nose tackle. Pena would work in rotation on the defensive line, especially on running downs and goal line situations if drafted.