First off, I Hate Mock Drafts. They are essentially meaningless, worthless and impossible to get right, but...they are also incredibly fun, intriguing, and can offer great entertainment during the lulls of the offseason.
It's definitely a necessary evil this time of year.
With that, I am strapping on my Al Davis hat and throwing some picks on the wall to see if they Stick. This will be a mix bag of some of my favorite prospects and what I think Al and the crew will do.
In my opinion, this draft is one of the worst in over ten years. Why?
Well, compared to recent drafts, 2011 is lacking a legit No. 1 pick, and provides a lot of bust material.
There are no surefire quarterback prospects, no surefire tackle prospects, no surefire running back prospects, no surefire tight end prospects, so on and so on.
I know the draft is a crapshoot, and believe me, no team wants to be in Carolina's shoes right now. I'm sure a couple of gem's can be found and I hope Oakland can snag a few.
It's time to enter the art of the mock draft...see you on the other side.
*Trade Alert* Oakland trades its second and fourth round picks in 2011, along with a second rounder in 2012, to New England for their 2011 first rounder at No. 28.
Yeah, the old trade partners strike again.
It's been rumoured the Pats, who are notorious for trading picks, have been shopping the 28th pick this year. So why not trade with the Raiders?
IMO, Oakland cannot afford to sit back at No. 48 waiting for an impact player to fall to them.
Not getting a top notch offensive lineman in this year's draft would be a Mistake. Marcus Cannon, Wiz II, and all of the top tackle prospects could be gone. There are also no guarantee's with free agency.
Pouncey II can line up at either guard or center and would add versatility to our O-Line. I would prefer that Pouncey take over Gallery's spot at LG, but he could replace Satele if Satele is not resigned.
(Pic is Louis Murphy and Mike Pouncey celebrating a TD, Change the Uni's to Silver and Black in 2011.) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=klPDvs5vvAM
Marcus Cannon, OG–Huge with great movement, possible RT prospect.
Jimmy Smith, CB–A little inconsistent, but no doubt my No. 3 CB in the draft.
This might be a Reach for Ras to fall to the mid-third round, but lingering health issues could hurt his stock.
Ras essentially lost his entire senior season due to numerous leg injuries, including a season ending ankle fracture. These issues continued this offseason when he pulled an hamstring running the 40 at the Combine.
Either way, Ras is still one of the top cornerbacks in the draft, with elite size and good speed. Also, he comes from a solid program for producing NFL-level talent, Virginia.
I believe the Raiders have to take the best CB prospect off the board with this pick. And yes, that is if Nnamdi stays or goes.
Ras—I Dowling is a legit prospect who had serious projections in the first round prior to his senior season and hopefully brings more top-level talent to Oakland.
Chris Carter, OLB–Maybe more Realistic with our third rounder, if no solid CB on the board.
Jerrel Powe, NT–Huge nose tackle who could replace John Henderson soon.
Langston Walker, you have been replaced...well maybe not.
But at 6'7" and 330 pounds, Chris Hairston could hopefully replace LDub, who might not return to Oakland in 2011.
Hairston is an intelligent, physically gifted right tackle prospect who could slide into the starting lineup right away.
CH can struggle against speed rushers, so he is better suited on the right side, but he uses a great arm length and football IQ to his advantage.
What I like most about this three year starter out of Clemson, is his mean streak!
Hairston loves to bury defenders and can be imposing in the run game.
Nathan Enderle, QB–My sleeper pick, and the only QB I would draft outside the second round.
Ross Homan, OLB–Smart, instinctive LB who could also play inside.
Speed and potential...yes sir. Van Dyke is a player and Al Davis will continue to grab speed in the draft.
Raiders Fans have been buzzing about Demarcus Van Dyke since the Combine. A blazing 40 time will get you noticed in Oakland.
But, there is no doubt that this kid is a project. DVD might be a reach, even in the sixth round...
Since he played at 6'1" and 168 pounds during the season, he most definitely needs to bulk up a bit, while maintaining his speed. So far, he has reached 176lbs this offseason and has the frame to add more.
If Oakland can provide some solid coaching and mentorship (Hello Rod Woodson!) this kid could turn out to be another draft steal for the Raidaaaassss!
Jordan Cameron, TE–Solid pass-catching former hoopster out of USC.
Will Hill, FS–Great athlete with little instincts and a lot of baggage.
He's a raw former-hoopster and Antonio Gates look-a-like.
Julius Thomas is another Basketball player transitioning into the NFL at the tight end position.
He possesses great physical traits, and despite only one year of college football, he has absorbed the game very well, displaying a high football IQ and a willingness to learn.
Also, he has impressive hands and of course, leaping ability.
Zach Miller is our man in Oakland, but injury concerns and a lack of depth could have the Raiders in the market for another tight end.
Plus, can you imagine what Hue Jackson and Al Saunders could do with another weapon at TE?
It's the seventh round. It's the best player available at this point.
Sleeper Pick Alert! This is possibly the steal of the draft for the Raiders.
Sidney Tarver is an under-the-radar prospect who the Raiders have been keeping a close eye on.
The Raiders recently attended his Pro Day and could snag Sidney Tarver in the late rounds if they do not address OLB earlier in the Draft.
Tarver is a developmental player who, with a little coaching, could add great depth for the Raiders linebacker corps.
I thought I should throw in a few of my sleeper picks or as I like to call them...The Brady Picks.
QB—Nathan Enderle, Idaho–6'4", 242 pounder was a four-year starter in a pro-style offense. He has good arm strength and a quick delivery.
WR—Greg Little, Ex-North Carolina–6'2" and 215 pounds, he missed all of last season, but showed up at the combine. He has great hands, is highly competitive and attacks the ball.
OG—John Moffit, Wisconsin– 6'4" and 314 pounds, he's a versatile interior lineman who can play both guard and center. He's not an impressive athlete, but who cares, as long as he can play.
OL—Byron Bell, New Mexico–6'5" and 340 pounder is a massive tackle prospect who could move inside in the pros. He's under the radar after playing against mid-major competition, but he has all the tools to start.
CB—Bradon Hogan, West Virginia–5'10" and 192 pound, he has all the tools to be a top pick, but off-field issues drop him off the radar. He could be a steal.
ILB—Greg Lloyd, Connecticut, 6'1" 246 pounder measures well for a 3-4 inside LB and has great blood lines. If he can stay healthy, he could have solid production at the NFL level.
NT—Kendrick Ellis, Hampton, 6'5" 338 pounds, he's probably not much of a sleeper for most 3-4 teams. He could be a mid-rounder, though, if teams don't buy his character issues.