With the NFL draft less than three weeks away I think it's time I post what I think is going to happen in this year's draft. If nothing changes, the Raiders won't be drafting until midway through the second round. So without wasting any more of your time here goes what I believe the Raiders will do.
2nd Round: DT Marvin Austin, North Carolina
Yeah that's right. Al Davis makes a pick that nobody saw coming. The Raiders need to shore up the offensive line, address the secondary and could use a LB, but they also need help stopping the run.
If he is on the board I think he is too good to pass on. Once considered a top-10 talent, his draft stock has fallen because he was out of football for a season serving a suspension. At the NFL combine he showed he still has the ability.
The 6'5", 306 lbs lineman ran a 4.84 40. He also bench pressed 225 lbs 38 times. In 2009, he was a second team All-ACC selection. In 11 starts, he had 42 tackles, six TFL, four sacks, one forced fumble and a recovery. Seymour, Kelly and Henderson aren't getting any younger. Seymour and Henderson missed a lot of time last season while dealing with injuries. Why not get talent like Austin at a bargain of a price?
3rd Round: LB Dontay Moch, Nevada
The Raiders stay on the defensive side, drafting the speedy LB from Nevada. This kid is stout at just under 6'2" and weighing 248 lbs and ran a very impressive 4.44 second 40. He is like a bigger Thomas Howard and plays with a little more attitude.
He will need some work but he has all the tools needed to be a force at OLB in a 4-3. The Raiders like to get after the QB. With Moch on the field the offense will have to worry about him and Kamerion Wimbley. He has posted 14.5 sacks and 42 tackles for loss over the last two seasons.
4th Round: OT Marcus Gilbert, Florida
The Raiders finally go offensive line in the fourth round and get a solid prospect in 6'6", 350 lbs Marcus Gilbert. He put up a solid 30 reps at the combine. With his size and strength he would fit right in to the power running game the Raiders will be using. He should be an upgrade over veteran Langston Walker. Gilbert at RT and Bruce Campbell at RG could give the Raiders a dominant right side for years.
5th Round: CB DeMarcus Van Dyke, Miami
You know Al Davis targets whoever runs the fastest 40-yard dash at the combine. His eye-popping 4.25 dash time put him on the Raiders list. He is slim at 6'1", 176 lbs, but there's no doubt he has the physical ability to be a good CB.
His frame and speed remind me of Deion Sanders. He started just three games last season recording a forced fumble and recovery as well as intercepting two passes and returning one 74 yards.
6th Round: RB Noel Devine, West Virginia
At just 5'8", 179 lbs Noel Devine doesn't have the prototype size of an NFL RB. Don't underestimate him though. He bench pressed 225 lbs a very impressive 24 times. That's almost 50 lbs over his weight. I know the Raiders are pretty much set at RB with McFadden and Bush, but they can always use another weapon for Hue Jackson to play with. He's a small RB that packs a punch. He can be our next Napoleon Kaufman. Remember him?
7th Round: LB Mark Herzlich, Boston College
This guy is always around the ball. What he lacks in speed he makes up for with instincts. In 2008, he posted 110 tackles, two sacks, two FF and six INTs, two of which he returned for touchdowns. Those are big time numbers, right?
Unfortunately he ended up sitting out the entire 2009 season fighting off bone cancer in his leg. After months of chemo he returned to football in 2010 and showed that he still had a nose for the ball, hauling in another four interceptions. That's 10 interceptions over his last two seasons of football. We could use a player like Herzlich.
7th Round: WR Ricardo Lockette, Fort Valley State
He doesn't have an impressive resume, but at 6'2", 215 lbs with 4.34 speed he is an intriguing prospect. I know we are stocked with young WRs but Chaz Schilens hasn't played more than a handful of games, DHB hasn't broken out yet, Louis Murphy just got arrested and Johnie Lee Higgins probably won't be back next year. The only WR that we can fully trust right now is Jacoby Ford.
Well, that's what I think is going to happen this year. I know you guys and gals don't agree with everything. Feel free to let me know what you think of my 2011 Mock NFL draft.