Spruce Derden-USA TODAY Sports
FS Nickoe Whitley (Mississippi State)
DE Marcus Smith (Louisville)
OL Wesley Johnson (Vanderbilt)
OL Chris Watt (Notre Dame)
DT Danny Shelton (Washington)
Due to the Matt Flynn trade prior to last season, the Raiders are without a fifth-round selection. However, we can expect that Reggie McKenzie will, like last year, try to add as many picks as possible by way of trading down, likely returning a fifth-rounder at some point.
While getting starting talent here would be a welcomed bonus, adding the kind of quality depth the Raiders are in desperate need of is the goal.
At free safety, although the Raiders will look to bring Charles Woodson back for at least one more season, it would be in their best interest to add depth behind him for when he does eventually retire.
As such, a player like Mississippi State’s Nickoe Whitley becomes an option here in the mid-late rounds. Whitley has talent and showed flashes of which throughout his collegiate career, and learning behind Woodson for a year or two could help him become more consistent.
Aside from the defensive backfield, adding depth on both the offensive and defensive fronts will likely remain a priority here in the fifth round as well.