Oakland Raiders Last-Minute 7-Round Mock Draft and Top-100 Big Board
After allof the speculation, prospect reports and endless mock permutations, you’ve reached the final predictions for the Oakland Raiders draft.
General manager Reggie McKenzie and head coach Jack Del Rio revealed a collaborative approach in selecting this year’s incoming rookie class in a predraft press conference, per the team’s official website. The Raiders’ decision-makers have eight picks to fully assemble a playoff contender for the upcoming season.
During the press conference, McKenzie mentioned taking the best player available but opted not to go into specifics about differences in opinions in the war room.
Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller talked to a source inside the organization who dropped a polarizing name as a potential target: Robert Nkemdiche:
A coaching source in Oakland said the Raiders would love Elliott to fall to them, but a realistic option is a big defensive tackle or left tackle of the future, per the same source. Two names to remember, according to the coach I talked to, are Chris Jones and Nkemdiche.
It’s still unclear whether they’d take Nkemdiche at No. 14 or prefer to grab him later in the round. Then again, it’s speculation. The Raiders organization rarely gives direct information on potential roster moves, but a prospect with red flags in the top 15 seems like a significant risk for a team hoping to get back into the postseason.
Nonetheless, there’s a consensus leaning toward a defensive lineman as the focus for the first or second round of the draft.
During the predraft session, Del Rio expressed satisfaction with recent signings to revamp the secondary. Don’t expect to see a cornerback at the No. 14 or No. 44 spot.
In addition to the defensive line, Oakland must address the linebacker position with a talent comfortable covering running backs and tight ends in space. Linebacker Malcolm Smith mixed good outings with poor tackling and coverage lapses during the previous season.
Running backs Roy Helu Jr. and Taiwan Jones underwhelmed as No. 2 options in the backfield. Jones became a liability due to ball-security issues. Helu underwent two hip surgeries in the offseason, per ESPN’s Adam Caplan. Oakland will likely select a running back between Rounds 2 and 3.
On a brighter note, the Raiders don’t have glaring voids on the roster following an active free-agent period.
As previously mentioned, the secondary received a much-needed upgrade with cornerback Sean Smith and safety Reggie Nelson signing onboard. Offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele fills a void at right guard. Linebacker Bruce Irvin adds another pass-rusher to the defensive front.
The tide continues to turn in Oakland. Now, it’s time to put the cherry on top of an offseason filled with shrewd roster moves. How does the final big board and mock draft pan out? We’ll go through results of an actual simulation, per Fanspeak.com.
Top-100 Big Board
Here’s an updated top-100 big board, which you’ll likely see in McKenzie’s office as he watches the draft unfold.
With a mid-round pick in most of the rounds, it’s essential to compose a comprehensive big board. If a prospect slides, the Raiders can trade up or select him over a shallow spot on the roster.
This board includes UCLA linebacker Myles Jack, Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III and running back Ezekiel Elliott in case the Raiders trade up.
|2||Ezekiel Elliott||RB||Ohio State|
|3||Vernon Hargreaves III||CB||Florida|
|5||Ronnie Stanley||OT||Notre Dame|
|7||Darron Lee||LB||Ohio State|
|9||Jack Conklin||OT||Michigan State|
|11||Eli Apple||CB||Ohio State|
|13||Robert Nkemdiche||DT||Ole Miss|
|14||Vernon Butler||DT||Louisiana Tech|
|15||Emmanuel Ogbah||DE||Oklahoma State|
|16||Chris Jones||DT||Mississippi State|
|18||Karl Joseph||S||West Virginia|
|19|| Leonard Floyd||LB||Georgia|
|23||Kenneth Dixon||RB||Louisiana Tech|
|29||William Jackson III||CB||Houston|
|30||Vonn Bell||S||Ohio State|
|32||Austin Johnson||DT||Penn State|
|34||Darian Thompson||S||Boise State|
|36||Taylor Decker||OT||Ohio State|
|37||C.J. Prosise||RB||Notre Dame|
|40||Joshua Perry||LB||Ohio State|
|41||Carl Nassib||DE||Penn State|
|44||Laquon Treadwell||WR||Ole Miss|
|46|| Bronson Kaufusi||DE||BYU|
|47||Germain Ifedi||OT||Texas A&M|
|54||Cody Whitehair||OG||Kansas State|
|55||Michael Thomas||WR||Ohio State|
|56||Jaylon Smith||LB||Notre Dame|
|58||Sheldon Day||DT||Notre Dame|
|60||Scooby Wright III||LB||Arizona|
|61||Adolphus Washington||DT||Ohio State|
|64||Will Fuller||WR||Notre Dame|
|66||Christian Westerman||OG||Arizona State|
|68|| Nick Martin||G||Notre Dame|
|69||Rashard Higgins||WR||Colorado State|
|71||Joe Dahl||OG||Washington State|
|72||Isaac Seumalo||OG||Oregon State|
|73||Kamalei Correa||LB||Boise State|
|76||Kevin Byard||S||Middle Tennessee State|
|77||Roberto Aguayo||K||Florida State|
|79||Le'Raven Clark||OT||Texas Tech|
|80||Deiondre' Hall||CB||Northern Iowa|
|81||K.J. Dillon||S||West Virginia|
|83||Anthony Zettel||DE||Penn State|
|85||Nick Vigil||LB||Utah State|
|90||Rees Odhiambo||OL||Boise State|
|92||Miles Killebrew||S||Southern Utah|
|93||Nick Kwiatkoski||LB||West Virginia|
|96||Pharoh Cooper||WR||South Carolina|
|98||De'Runnya Wilson||WR||Mississippi State|
|100||Brandon Shell||OT||South Carolina|
Round 1, Pick 14: A'Shawn Robinson, DT, Alabama
Louisville defensive tackle Sheldon Rankins went to the New York Giants at No. 10 in this simulation. As a result, Alabama defensive lineman A’Shawn Robinson falls to No. 14 as an ideal choice.
There’s a lot of unjust criticism of Robinson’s ability to rush the passer, play 5-technique defensive end or translate into a dynamic defensive lineman.
According to CBSSports.com Draft Analyst Dane Brugler, he played every position ranging from 0- to 6-technique at Alabama.
At 6’4”, 307 pounds, Robinson compares in size to New York Jets defensive end Muhammad Wilkerson as opposed to nose tackle Justin Ellis who weighs 334 pounds. The added weight hinders the ability to cover two gaps and pressure the pocket, which points to Ellis’ struggles when shifting to 3-4 defensive end.
Robinson shows more agility on film, and he’s going to play on fresh legs. According to NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein, he played 57 percent of defensive snaps over the past two years at Alabama; He recorded 3.5 sacks in that span. In a full role as a freshman, he logged 5.5 sacks.
In Oakland, he’ll play the majority of snaps and his production arrow points upward. He’s a quality talent who’s going to set the edge in a 3-4 or push the pocket in a four-man front.
Round 2, Pick 44: Karl Joseph, S, West Virginia
West Virginia safety Karl Joseph’s drop to No. 44 could happen. Raiders fans rave about the him as a first-round pick. However, an ACL injury and a 5’10”, 205-pound frame could drop his spot into the second round. According to CBSSports.com rankings, Florida’s Keanu Neal projects as a first-round choice over Joseph.
If the undersized defensive back remains on the board midway through the second round, it’s a no-brainer pick. He fills a need at strong safety, which allows defensive back T.J. Carrie to play cornerback in the upcoming season.
The West Virginia product will ignite the field with hard hits and shadow receivers with quality man coverage. The Raiders can trust him in center field alongside Nelson, but he’ll excel in attacking offenses downhill as an enforcer in the box and a reliable tackler in space.
Most importantly, the Raiders bring in a long-term solution at the safety position with short-term contracts for Nelson and Nate Allen on the books.
Round 3, Pick 75: Su'a Cravens, OLB/S, USC
The University of Southern California hybrid linebacker-safety falling to the third round should shock you more than Joseph, off a major injury, in the second. Cravens will probably hear his name called in the second round, but the simulation wrapped a gift at this spot.
Cravens draws criticism as an undeveloped hybrid due to his split time between two positions. Skeptics also point to his slender size as an obstacle in the NFL. Smith, who currently plays weak-side linebacker, stands at 6’0", 226 pounds, and he’s less athletic than the USC tweener who’s 6’1”, 226 pounds.
Don’t make the mistake in categorizing Cravens as too small to play outside linebacker in the pros. The league continues to morph into a quick-paced sport with tight ends galloping down seams for long-distance receptions.
Oakland must change with the league and add a weak-side linebacker who’s more comfortable in pass coverage in multiple schemes.
Cravens logged four interceptions as a true freshman safety. In the following two seasons, he racked up 10.5 sacks at the linebacker position. He’ll become an asset in intermediate coverage and hover around the line of scrimmage as a surprise blitzer.
Round 4, Pick 114: Jonathan Williams, RB, Arkansas
The Arkansas running back doesn’t garner as much publicity compared to Louisiana Tech’s Kenneth Dixon and Utah’s Devontae Booker, but he has the skill set to become a three-down tailback.
Williams shared the backfield with fellow draftee Alex Collins for two seasons. The latter took over as the sole running back when the former suffered a foot injury that required surgery.
Nonetheless, Williams possesses more skills as an NFL running back compared to Collins. He’s able to catch out of the backfield, which doesn’t show up in his statistics. Though, when targeted as a receiver, he’s a reliable pass-catcher in short routes. He’s a compact ball-carrier who breaks through arm tackles and finishes with toughness near the goal line.
Williams isn’t a dancer with the football. He’s decisive in his direction. He knows when it’s time to juke or simply mow over a defender in the open field. As a footnote to his skill set, he’s a willing pass-protector for the quarterback.
Round 5, Pick 143: Scooby Wright III, LB, Arizona
It’s tough to ignore a former NCAA Defensive Player of the Year in the fifth round. Arizona’s Scooby Wright III deserves consideration at this point in the draft.
Linebacker Ben Heeney should start at middle linebacker or inside linebacker in a 3-4 setup. Unfortunately, the rookie stands as the only pure middle linebacker on the roster after the front office cut ties with Curtis Lofton during the offseason.
The Raiders need depth at the position. Wright’s skill set projects as a downhill thumper on early downs. He logged 164 tackles, 31 for a loss and 15 sacks as a sophomore. No one can deny his production on the field when healthy.
In a 3-4 package, Heeney and Wright would bring insurmountable energy in the middle of the defense. As a depth player, the Arizona linebacker could make significant contributions in run support and special teams in Week 1.
Round 5, Pick 154: Isaac Seumalo, OG, Oregon State
The Oregon State guard translates into a younger version of Khalif Barnes in the NFL due to versatility.
Isaac Seumalo has played four positions across the offensive line during his collegiate career, per Zierlein. At 6’4”, 303 pounds, he’s a capable backup center to Rodney Hudson who missed a few games in the previous season.
If the Raiders need to reconfigure the offensive line due to injuries, Seumalo’s skill set can clean up the mess at nearly every position.
Offensive lineman Jon Feliciano doesn’t seem ready for action on a consistent basis. As a result, the Oregon State prospect may see action as the first off the sideline for fill-in duty at guard or center.
Seumalo is smaller than the offensive linemen on the interior, but he’s technically sound in his footwork and understands complex blocking schemes.
Round 6, Pick 194: Daniel Braverman, WR, Western Michigan
McKenzie likes digging for gems at smaller schools. Wideout Daniel Braverman should catch his eye during the fifth round with two selections at Nos. 143 and 154.
Braverman resembles Indianapolis Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton to a lesser extent.
The quick-twitch wideout offers quarterback Derek Carr a midfield target to frustrate defenders with delayed instincts. Braverman shows blazing speed with compound routes to shake off defensive backs in coverage. He blossomed as junior with 108 receptions, 1,367 yards and 13 touchdowns. He's also an experienced kick and punt returner.
Despite a solid three-wide receiving set featuring Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree and Seth Roberts, Braverman would become the best option for bubble screens and short outs toward the sideline with his ability to escape tacklers.
Round 7, Pick 234: Kevin Byard, S, Middle Tennessee State
Here’s another small-school prospect who should catch McKenzie’s attention. Middle Tennessee State product Kevin Byard fits into the secondary as a versatile safety who can play both strong and free safety positions.
Byard logged 318 tackles and 19 interceptions through four years as a starter. He offers solid tackling technique and a ball-hawk mentality on the field. His 5’11", 226-pound stature may turn off some general managers, but his film and production show a player who’s always around the football.
Byard fits appropriately as a nickel safety responsible for reading the quarterback and making an impact play at crucial moments. He’s a late-round steal for anyone willing to roll the dice on a Middle Tennessee State prospect with tremendous upside.
Draft results were simulated using Fanspeak.com.
All college statistics are provided by: Sports-Reference.com.
Free-agent acquisitions provided by: ESPN.com.
Player measurements provided by: NFL.com.
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