When NFL business begins for the 2011 season, the Oakland Raiders have holes to fill. The Raiders could lose Nnamdi Asomugha, Robert Gallery, Michael Huff, Langston Walker and Khalif Barnes to free agency.
There is still a slight possibility that Asomugha could return upon the start of league business. The offensive line needs improvement. The Raiders are without a first-round pick, but are still able to add two of the top 100 players to their roster.
Round 2: Cornerback Ras-I-Dowling—6’1” 199 pounds
Dowling is a team captain who has displayed great character, an experienced corner rarely caught out of position, even against double-moves mainly because of top instincts and vision. At his pro day, Dowling answered questions about his health and pure speed. Dowling is a tall, athletic, confident corner who boasts fluidity, quick feet, body control, excellent tackling ability and ball skills.
The choice should be between QB Colin Kaepernick, CB Jimmy Smith, CB Davon House, WR Titus Young, S Rahim Moore, C Stefan Wisniewski, Guard Ben Ijalana, OT James Carpenter and TE Kyle Rudolph. Five of the nine might not fall to the 48th pick.
My reasoning for the selection is simple, acquire a player who can provide the most immediate impact at a need position. I would have no problem with Oakland selecting QB Colin Kaepernick. However, since 2005, 47 percent of the cornerbacks on NFL two-deep rosters are first- and second-round selections.
Round 3: Guard Marcus Cannon—6’5” 358 pounds
Cannon is massive, with broad shoulders, long arms and top 15-type talent. It could be an expensive cab ride for defenders to get around him at right tackle. Strong anchor, almost never bull-rushed, has quick feet and is nimble for his size. Cannon has elite size, strength and enough athleticism to drive defenders back and dominate in the running game.
Cannon has great balance and carries his weight well. The best attribute about Cannon is that he is never on the ground.
The choice should be between NT Kendrick Ellis, OG Clint Boling, OT James Brewer, C Brandon Fusco, OLB Dontay Moch, CB Curtis Marsh, OT Orlando Franklin and WR Edmund Gates. My reasoning for selecting Cannon was his versatility (ability to play guard or tackle) and immediate impact on the offensive line.
Round 4: Guard John Moffitt—6’4” 314 pounds
Moffitt is an elite run blocker in terms of his mobility and hand placement. This former Badger started 42 out of a possible 45 games at three positions. Moffitt’s phone-booth quickness, mobility and footwork show the makings of a longtime NFL starter.
Moffitt has the ability to be stout at the point of attack, reach linebackers, safeties on the second level and eliminate them. The former Badger anchors well against even against the strongest nose tackles when man-up in pass protection.
The choice should be between ILB Kelvin Sheppard, NT Kendrick Ellis, WR Jeremy Kerley, WR Vincent Brown, WR Greg Little, S DeAndre McDaniel, S Quinton Carter and CB Kendric Burney.
Moffitt is the choice, due to his value, versatility and immediate impact on the offensive line. Moffitt could be a pro bowl steal as a mid-round pick. If Moffitt were off the board, I would consider Kelvin Sheppard, but select Kendrick Ellis.
Round 5: Free Safety Deunta Williams—6’1” 215 pounds
Williams has good size, length and instincts for the free safety position. Suffering a broken leg in his team's bowl game this year will cause him to drop on some draft boards, allowing the Raiders to acquire a steal if he checks out medically.
As a former top-ranked wide receiver recruit, he understands offensive concepts. Williams is a solid tackler. Williams benefited from a dominant pass rush early in his career. This former Tar Heel’s size and athleticism make him an intriguing prospect.
The choice should be between FS Jerrard Tarrant, S Eric Hagg, S Tyler Sash and OLB Ross Homan. If Williams were off the board, I would select NT Kendrick Ellis.
Round 6: Quarterback Ricki Stanzi—6’4” 221 pounds
Stanzi is a pro-style passer with a good frame for the position. This former Hawkeye is smart with outstanding size and toughness. He stands tall in the pocket and has a compact, over-the-top delivery. Stanzi has fluid footwork in 3-, 5- and 7-step drops.
This three-year starter in the Big 10 has adequate arm strength, but is able to put some zip on short and intermediate throws when he steps into it. The former senior from Iowa will have to do a better job of reading defenses and making better decisions before starting. Stanzi possesses the requisite leadership traits and toughness to develop into a solid NFL starter.
The choice should be between DT Ian Williams, FB Henry Hynoski, G/RT Mike Person and QB Pat Devlin.
Round 7: Wide Receiver Lester Jean—6’3” 211 pounds
Jean has prototypical size and speed for the position, will go over the middle make the catch and take the hit. Jean uses his body to shield defenders on slants and in-routes. Jean tracks throws over either shoulder or over his head. Jean worked hard to improve his game and FAU’s offensive MVP earned a trip to the East-West Shrine game and the scouting combine.
The choice should be between TE Andre Smith, Guard Bryant Browning and C Ryan Bartholomew.
Round 7: Outside Linebacker Jabara Williams—6’1” 230 pounds
Williams was the conference defensive player of the year and had three straight 100-tackle seasons. Williams is very fluid, athletic with good speed, acceleration and instincts. Williams is quick to diagnose plays and solid in coverage.
The choice should be between DT David Carter, SS Shiloh Keo, C J.C. Brignone and RB Allen Bradford.
The list of un-drafted free agents the Raiders could acquire to fill other roster needs: WR Kris Adams; TE Andre Smith, Virginia Tech; TE Evan Frosch, TCU; TE Richard Gordon, Miami; CB Korey Lindsey, Southern Illinois; OG Bryant Browning, Ohio State; LT Willie Smith, UCF; OLB Bruce Miller, UCF; FS Tejay Johnson, TCU; FS Mark LeGree, Appalachian State; and WR Ricardo Lockette, Fort Valley State.
This mock draft addresses the major holes on the Raiders at the cornerback, guard, tackle, safety and quarterback positions. The undrafted free agents provide competition at other need positions.