Oakland Raiders Final 2014 NFL Mock Draft Roundup
The 2014 NFL draft is now just hours away, and the Raiders represent one of several wild-card teams within the top 10 selections.
With so many needs throughout the roster, the Raiders could go a number of different directions with this pick, including opting to trade down if the right offer is on the table.
It is at this point in the predraft process where NFL analysts are submitting their final mock drafts, giving their best guesses as to how the first round will play out.
Though mock drafts are nearly impossible to make accurately, each pick is made with specific reasoning and analysis.
Daniel Jeremiah (NFL.com)
The Pick: WR Sammy Watkins, Clemson
In his final 2014 mock draft, NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah makes a pick in Sammy Watkins that will be popular among Raiders fans:
Oakland should race the card up to the podium if Watkins is still available.
While receiver isn’t the biggest of needs for the offense, finding explosive playmakers certainly is.
Watkins undoubtedly brings that kind of ability before and after the catch, and he projects as the kind of No. 1 receiving target the Raiders have been without for quite some time.
Adding to the mix a pass-catcher of his caliber would significantly increase the talent of the group overall, potentially creating a four-deep rotation with James Jones, Rod Streater and Denarius Moore.
That kind of talent and depth would go a long way toward the success and balance of the Raiders offense both for the upcoming season and into the future as well.
Charles Davis (NFL.com)
The Pick: LB Khalil Mack, Buffalo
Another pick certain to be popular among Raiders fans, NFL.com’s Charles Davis has the Raiders taking Khalil Mack in his final mock draft of the season:
Raiders need an impact player with this pick, and this young man is it.
With the additions of Justin Tuck, LaMarr Woodley and Antonio Smith, the Raiders have done well to upgrade their pass rush already this offseason, and adding Mack could help make the unit a strength of the team overall.
In the Raiders’ 4-3 base defense, Mack would likely see early down snaps as a stand-up linebacker, then move to defensive end in nickel packages.
Dennis Allen put Von Miller into a similar role upon entering the league with the Denver Broncos, and he has had success throughout his career thus far.
In that very role, Mack can be an every-down player on the Raiders defense and have the kind of instant impact the team is seeking with a premium pick in the draft.
Matt Miller (Bleacher Report)
The Pick: OT Greg Robinson, Auburn
In his most recent and final 2014 mock draft, Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller has the Raiders taking Auburn offensive tackle Greg Robinson:
The athletic, strong redshirt sophomore from Auburn has ‘Hall of Fame potential,’ according to our own Chris Simms. He’s a rare blend of tools, and given some seasoning Robinson has the traits to be an elite NFL tackle. The Raiders can’t pass on that.
Robinson is one of the top overall players in this draft and projects as a dominant left tackle in the NFL.
If Robinson is the Raiders’ pick here, considering the offseason addition of veteran left tackle Donald Penn, it is quite possible he starts his career at guard.
Doing so would afford the Raiders the time to develop him into the left tackle they envision him being, all the while getting the best five players on the field immediately.
Going with Robinson here would signal the Raiders’ focus on the position long term while also sticking with their board and the best player available.
Peter King (The MMQB)
The Pick: OT Jake Matthews, Texas A&M
Another NFL analyst who sees the Raiders going the offensive line route early on in the draft, The MMQB’s Peter King has the Silver and Black taking Texas A&M tackle Jake Matthews at fifth overall:
Raiders get their Texas A&M offensive star, just not the one lots of Raiders fans wished it was. But offensive line is a huge need for Oakland, and GM Reggie McKenzie can dip into the deep pool of second-round quarterbacks with the 36th overall pick.
Again, although it may not be the most exciting pick to make or represent the team’s biggest need, Oakland could certainly stand to upgrade on the offensive front.
Like a possible Robinson selection, this pick would fall in line with the Raiders’ desire to have the offensive and defensive lines be the foundation of their roster.
Matthews likely represents one of the safer picks in this year’s draft, projecting as a starting left tackle from day one of his career in the NFL.
Regardless of whether or not an offensive tackle is the popular pick, the Raiders will likely target the best player available on their board, thus making Matthews a very possible candidate in the first round.
The Pick: LB Khalil Mack, Buffalo
My pick for the Raiders here, agreeing with Charles Davis, is Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack.
With the Raiders in need of an instant-impact player, if available, I think Mack is one of the best fits at the top of this draft.
I believe that, although he played the 3-4 outside linebacker spot in college, he would excel in that Von Miller-like role for the Raiders defense.
In nickel situations, a front four of Woodley, Smith, Tuck and Mack would represent the best group of pass-rushers the Raiders have had in quite some time.
In just one offseason, this group would have an opportunity to turn what was one of the Raiders’ most problematic units into a strength of the team overall.
You can never have enough pass-rushers in the NFL, and the Raiders shouldn’t pass on a potentially elite one in Mack with this pick.