Oakland Raiders 2014 NFL Draft Day 2 Primer
The Oakland Raiders added a weapon on defense when they chose Khalil Mack in the first round. Mack will add to the list of players Reggie McKenzie has added on defense. The Raiders' focus has been to turn the team around, and they've really focused on the defensive side of the ball.
Mack will now join Justin Tuck, Sio Moore, LaMarr Woodley, Antonio Smith, Nick Roach and Pat Sims on the Raiders front seven. This is a much stronger front seven than it was last year. The Raiders have struggled to generate a pass rush in the last two years, but the players they've added so far should fix that problem.
The Raiders still have plenty of needs left to fill, but they got a lot better with the Mack pick. Let's take a look at what the Raiders could be doing on Day 2.
Day 1 Recap and Analysis
The Raiders picked up Khalil Mack with their first pick. Many considered Mack one of the four elite players in this draft. Three of the four "elite" prospects were off the board when the Raiders were up to pick. In Reggie McKenzie fashion, he picked the best player available and made his team better.
The majority of Raider Nation really loved this pick, and so did I. Mack will improve the team's pass rush immediately. Getting one of the top rushers on the board should open things up for the Raiders in the second round.
Mack's impact will be felt in a hurry, and the Raiders' defense should improve on their overall pass rush, as they should see more sacks, hurries and knockdowns in 2014.
Adding Mack addressed the need for a pass rush, but the Raiders still need to fill some holes. Let's take a look at a few positions that still need to be addressed. However, trying to target a certain position is hard, because Reggie McKenzie will take the best player available, regardless of position.
Derek Carr is the only quarterback left that was rumored to be a possible first-round pick. The Texans, Redskins and Browns would have to pass on Carr first, and then Oakland could take him. Are the Raiders willing to take the top quarterback available, according to some experts, over a player that may be rated above him that plays another position?
One position that may have a few players rated ahead of Carr is the defensive tackle position. This position still has some players on the board that could fall to the Raiders. A player like Ra'Shede Hageman, Stephon Tuitt, Timmy Jernigan or Louis Nix could fall to Oakland.
The Raiders still need to find depth at cornerback. The only two cornerbacks under contract beyond 2014 are D.J. Hayden and Taiwan Jones. If a cornerback like Keith McGill or Rashaad Reynolds could be available in the 3rd round, look for the Raiders to consider it.
The Raiders don't have a tight end on the roster that can play all three downs and be dominant in the run and the pass. There are three tight ends available that could be immediate starters for the Raiders. If a tight end is picked on Day 2, it would not be a surprise.
Top Day 2 Targets
DT Timmy Jernigan
The Raiders could continue to improve their front seven by adding Jernigan. He would add another relentless pass-rusher along the defensive line. He would make an athletic defensive tackle that could be moved to defensive end. If available, Jernigan could be the pick in the second round.
QB Derek Carr
Carr could fall to the Raiders and force them to make a tough decision. They passed on quarterbacks with the fifth pick, and they still need to identify the quarterback of their future. Would they take Carr over other players rated higher just because his position is more important? Carr is a guy to watch and maybe the favorite to be the first quarterback taken in the second round.
DT Stephon Tuitt
Tuitt is "country strong," and that is a trait that McKenzie loves. Tuitt could be moved to defensive end and play some defensive tackle. His versatility makes him a good candidate for the Raiders as a Day 2 pick. He'll most likely be gone by the third round, so if the Raiders want to add him, they may have to pull the trigger in the second.
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins
Seferian-Jenkins could be the best player available on the board right now for McKenzie. If he falls to the Raiders, it would be hard for Oakland to pass on him. He is a playmaker and would most likely start for the Raiders in 2014.
QB Tom Savage
According to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Raiders have been interested in Savage way before the rest of the media and Twittersphere found out who he was. Savage could be a guy the Raiders pick in the third round.
What Are the Experts Saying?
NFL.com's Bucky Brooks—DT Timmy Jernigan
Brooks has the Raiders taking Jernigan with the second pick. This is very possible if he is still there when Oakland picks. The Raiders need to improve their defensive line, and he fits the profile that the Raiders are looking for. Ra'Shede Hageman may be a better pick here for the Raiders.
Mercury News' Steve Corkran—QB Tom Savage
This is a pick that would not surprise me at all. Derek Carr is a guy that many, including myself, think is the quarterback that the Raiders should take. However, if Oakland has been targeting Savage for a while, and they like him, best he should be the guy.
Fox Sports' Peter Schrager—Second Round: QB Derek Carr, 3rd Round: WR Donte Moncrief
I like Schrager's second-round pick, but I can see the Raiders passing on drafting a quarterback in the second round to draft a defensive player. Passing on Carr could be a risk, but it would be a bigger risk if the Raiders pass on a potential star on defense.
I don't like his Moncrief pick. I believe the Raiders can wait to pick up a receiver, and I don't know if that position is a major need. Unless Moncrief is the best player available, the Raiders should pass.
Oakland Raiders Day 2 Predictions
Raiders Continue to Load Up on Defense
The way the draft is falling, I see the Raiders passing on a quarterback in the second round. They'll take a defensive player to go on their defensive line. Two players I'm watching on Day 2 are Louis Nix III and Stephon Tuitt. It's possible that one or maybe both players could be on the Raiders' radar when they pick on Day 2.
Franchise Quarterback Drafted
Tom Savage or Derek Carr? One of these guys could be the Raiders' franchise quarterback moving forward. Would the Raiders pass on Carr and try to take Savage in the second? Would the Raiders pass on a potential defensive star to take Carr in the second round? If the Raiders do plan on grooming a quarterback, they'll take him on Day 2.
No Wide Receivers Drafted
Sammy Watkins was one of the favorite picks for the Raiders leading up to the draft. He was gone before the Raiders picked, but I don't think drafting a wide receiver was in the Raiders' plans. As a matter of fact, I don't think the Raiders take a wide receiver on Day 2 and may not take one at all this year.
Mock Draft Updated
Round 2, Pick No. 36—QB Derek Carr
I'll stick with my prediction from my Day 1 primer and select Carr with my second-round pick. The Raiders could be planning to use Matt Schaub for the next two years, but nobody is really excited about that. Carr would give the Raiders a quarterback with the ability to be a solid starter in this league. He has the potential to be better than the three quarterbacks taken before him.
Round 3, Pick No. 67—TE Troy Niklas
The second round should feature a run on receivers and defensive linemen. This could mean that Niklas is there in the third round. I love his size and his blocking ability. He can be a force on offense when he cleans up his route running. He'd be an immediate starter for the Raiders at tight end.
Round 4, Pick No. 107—WR Kevin Norwood
The Raiders may take a wide receiver in the fourth round if he is the best player available. Norwood would be a good addition to the offense. He had success in Alabama and would battle for a spot on the roster with Juron Criner. I still think this is a position the Raiders could go without, but the fans want a wide receiver.
Round 7, Pick No. 219—DT Ryan Carrethers
Carrethers is 6'1" and weighs 337 pounds. Any time you can pick up a guy with his size in the seventh round is worth the pick. Giving him some time with the strength coaches and with the veterans the Raiders brought in could prove valuable for a player with the size needed to succeed. He needs to improve in various areas, but what seventh-rounder doesn't?
Round 7, Pick No. 235—OT Kevin Graf
Graf played for Southern California, so you know there was some ability there. He played offensive tackle, and McKenzie likes drafting players who played offensive tackle in college because he can move them to guard if needed. Graf could be added to fight for a spot on the offensive line and give Oakland more depth. The Raiders currently have 10 offensive linemen on the roster, so it would be tough for him to find a spot on the roster in 2014.
Round 7, Pick No. 247—DE Aaron Lynch
Maybe it's wishful thinking that Lynch will be here in the seventh, but it's possible. He has shown the ability to be a good player but has also disappeared and shown the ability to be average. The Raiders would love to find a contributor in the seventh round. The odds say it's not likely.