Roger Goddell will come to the podium to announce the selection of the Oakland Raiders on draft day. Who will be the pick?
The Raiders have many needs and could go in several different directions. Free agent signees and availability will go a long way in determining the pick.
I will attempt to analyze this from a best case, worst case and most realistic scenario. I think all three could yield very different but very productive drafts.
Rolando McClain will be the poster boy for this draft as I feel he's the one player who has no equal in the available free agents.
The best case scenario for the Raiders is to draft Rolando McClain. He is simply the best football player available and no one can convince me otherwise.
Worst case scenario is Al drafts the best athlete available. That athlete is Taylor Mays.
In reality, however, McClain could be gone and the Raiders do need O-Line help. Bruce Campbell may have the most upside of any left tackle available and does fill a need.
Best case scenario for the Raiders would be for Mike Iupati, the guard from Idaho, to fall to the second round. Every year guys fall who shouldn't and since guard isn't exactly a "sexy" selection maybe Iupati is there.
Worst case scenario is the Raiders get another great athlete in Murray State pass rusher Austen Lane. Lane is projected as a third round pick presently but his stock will rise once he shows up at the combine at 6'6" and 260lbs, then reels off a 4.6 40!
Realistically, Al Davis falls in love with another pass rusher. Jason Pierre-Paul may have the most upside in the draft and will be a force off the edge for years to come.
Best case scenario is the Raiders fill two needs here. If Vlad Ducasse and Dexter McCluster are available, they are the picks.
Ducasse can step right in and start at guard or possibly right tackle. McCluster brings electricity to the return game and gives the Raiders a true third down back. He also gives the Raiders' roster flexibility to make a trade if they so desire.
Worst case scenario is after taking two upside athletes they fill needs with Illinois guard Joe Asamoah and South Carolina linebacker Eric Norwood. Both are solid players who can contribute immediately.
In our realistic draft the Raiders go with Darryl Washington of TCU and Kyle Wilson of Boise State. Washington provides immediate help at linebacker, while Wilson can contribute as a third corner and in the return game.
Ciron Black is a player who is all over the board. He's been mentioned from a late first to a mid fourth round pick. If he's here, he's the pick.
Worst case scenario, the Raiders get help in the return game from NCAA indoor 60 meter champ Jacoby Ford of Clemson.
Realistically the Raiders take an athletic 300-pound run stuffer in D'Anthony Smith of LA Tech. I like this kid a lot and he should be available here.
In our best case scenario draft it's now time to address the defensive line. Vince Oghobasse of Duke was a highly touted recruit heading into college. He never quite lived up to the hype, but that may have been because he didn't have any other talent around him. His talent level is very high for a fifth round pick.
The other pick should be Miami OLB Darryl Sharpton who's stock is moving up after a nice bowl game against Wisconsin (15 total tackles)
Worst case scenario is the Raiders taking Jimmy Graham the huge tight end out Miami. His size and athleticism may be too much for Al Davis to resist at this stage of the draft. The other pick could be massive and fast left tackle Jared Veldheer out of tiny Hillsdale. He's a late bloomer with plenty of upside.
In our realistic approach the Raiders fill a need with guard Brandon Carter from Texas Tech. You can definitely say he has the look of a Raider! The other pick could be the undersized but productive Pat Angerer a linebacker from Iowa.
Time to put the finishing touch on three very different, all possibly very productive drafts!
In our best case scenario defensive tackle Corey Peters of Kentucky falls to the Raiders. He's solid and never seemed overwhelmed facing excellent competition in the SEC.
Worst case is the Raiders take a flyer on Cam Thomas a 330-pound DT out of North Carolina who showed flashes of big time ability in his college career.
Realistically Al Davis can't pass on a guy who runs a 4.3 40 in the seventh round. Taylor Price is that guy and is the pick here.
Hope you enjoyed my fellow Raider fans!