Oakland Raiders Mock Draft: 7-Round Predictions, Post Combine
Of course, free agency will have a significant effect on the way the Raiders draft this offseason, as they will have more salary-cap space to work with than any other team.
Even so, the organization has plenty of needs to fill, and some are more likely than others to be addressed in May’s draft.
Here is an updated Oakland Raiders seven-round mock draft following the combine.
Round 1: QB Teddy Bridgewater (Louisville)
There is certainly no guarantee as to which players will and won’t be available at fifth overall, but should Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater be on the board, he should be the Raiders’ pick.
Bridgewater is arguably the best overall quarterback in this draft and should be the most pro-ready as well.
His elite play at the college level made the Louisville offense what it was, and more than anything else, his accuracy and anticipation in the passing game should allow him to make an effective transition to the NFL level.
In addition, he possesses both the arm strength to make every throw on the field, as well as the necessary athleticism to create outside of the pocket when plays break down.
Although we can expect the Raiders to add a veteran quarterback in free agency either way, there are few if any long-term starting options available, so selecting a quarterback like Bridgewater in the first round would be the ideal scenario.
Bridgewater may very well be the only first-round quarterback the Raiders would feel comfortable starting in his rookie season, and he should fit offensive coordinator Greg Olson’s scheme well.
Round 2: WR Davante Adams (Fresno State)
Throughout this offseason, the Raiders will be in search of a receiver who can become their go-to target on offense. In a deep draft for the position, they just may be able to come away with one in the second round.
Fresno State’s Davante Adams is one such player who should be on the board, and thus should be of significant interest to the Silver and Black.
Adams is neither the biggest nor the fastest receiver in the draft, but his ability to consistently make plays on the football, and especially so in contested situations, is what makes him a top-end possession receiver.
As he gains strength at the next level, adding to his 6’1”, 210-pound frame, his game should evolve even more, further increasing his ability to win over opposing defensive backs.
Playing in an offense with a likely first-round quarterback in Derek Carr, Adams put up extremely impressive numbers, totaling over 3,000 yards in just two seasons.
Adding Adams as a No. 1 target to an already-talented Raiders receiving corps could potentially make for a productive unit that a young quarterback can lean on as he and the rest of the offense develop moving forward.
Round 3: OL Brandon Thomas (Clemson)
The Raiders offensive line situation is not nearly as bad as it seemed to be at times last season, and provided they are able to re-sign Jared Veldheer before free agency gets underway, the group looks to have at least three solid starters in place.
Even so, upgrading at least one of the guard spots will be a priority heading into 2014, and there should be several players available for which in the middle rounds.
Clemson’s Brandon Thomas is one such player who fits the Raiders’ power scheme well, and despite having played left tackle in college, at 6’3”, 320 pounds, he projects as an interior player in the NFL.
Thomas has the strength to win off the ball inside, as well as the athletic ability to be an effective blocker at the second level.
Thomas would have an opportunity to start at left guard for the Raiders right away, thus filling one of their needs up front and quite possibly allowing the unit to become a strength of the offense overall.
Round 4: DE Jackson Jeffcoat (Texas)
With such a deep free-agent market at the position, we can expect the Raiders to spend at least some of their salary-cap space on the pass rush early on.
At the same time, the need on the defensive front extends well beyond just one impact player, so it should remain a primary focus throughout the draft as well.
One mid-round prospect who has the potential to be an impact player at the NFL level is Texas defensive end Jackson Jeffcoat.
Jeffcoat struggled with some injuries throughout his collegiate career, but when he was on the field, he was productive in getting to the quarterback.
At 6’3”, 250 pounds, he would likely need to add some size to become an every-down lineman, but an impressive combine performance showcased the athletic ability that could push him into a situational pass-rush role at the very least to start.
Jeffcoat’s game may take some time to transition to the NFL level, but the potential production makes him well worth a mid-round pick here.
Round 6: OL Russell Bodine (North Carolina)
The Raiders offense struggled quite a bit when injuries hit the offensive line in 2013, so addressing a few starting spots as well as the depth will be important this offseason.
As such, another pick addressing the unit up front in the late rounds is a realistic possibility, and North Carolina’s Russell Bodine is another interior lineman who fits the Raiders’ power-blocking scheme well.
At 6’3”, 310 pounds, Bodine plays with the strength to be an effective run- and pass-blocker, and he has the versatility to play any of the three interior line positions.
Bodine could add to the Raiders’ much-needed offensive line depth early on, with the potential to even start relatively soon after.
Round 7: S Isaiah Lewis (Michigan State)
In the late rounds, finding solid depth players with starting potential down the line is the goal.
Here, with Michigan State’s Isaiah Lewis, the Raiders address the safety depth that was an issue in 2013 when starter Tyvon Branch was lost for the season to injury.
Lewis excels as an in-the-box safety, where he can play physically in run support.
That very tackling ability would be valued highly not only on the defensive side of the ball, but for the special teams action he would certainly see a lot of as well.
As his game develops as a safety at the next level, it is those special teams units where he could earn his most prominent role.
Round 7 (via Arizona): CB Ricardo Allen (Purdue)
Again addressing the need for depth in the secondary, the Raiders go with Purdue cornerback Ricardo Allen.
A four-year starter in college, Allen comes into the NFL with plenty of experience.
At 5’9”, 190 pounds, he is slightly on the small side for a pro defensive back, but his athleticism and ability to make plays on the ball help him to compensate for which.
Allen’s skill set makes him a good fit for the zone-coverage concepts the Raiders now favor in their defensive scheme, and he could be a developmental player for them moving forward as a result.