I have been thinking a lot about what the raiders should do with this pick and why they should do so. They are sitting at 3 so they are in a great spot to land a difference maker. The real question is which player would be most beneficial to the Raiders. There are a few players that I think fit the bill.
I will be basing this off that the Raiders will not be trading their pick away.
I'd like to begin with a few players the Raiders should not draft with this pick.
Luke Joeckel | 6'5, 310 pounds | Offensive tackle | Texas A&M
This is a player who could possibly go number one or fall down to as low as 4 or 5. With the chance that he does fall to the Raiders I do not believe they should select him with their pick. Our line is by no means great but I would not say it is our biggest weakness. I'd say we need to bring in a RT and a G in our line but those are positions we can either draft later or get in free agency. I've seen some people say move Veldheer to RT and draft Joeckel but I disagree with that whole idea.
Manti Te'o | 6'2, 255 pounds | Middle linebacker | Notre Dame
This is probably the worse thing we could do at number three. I have seen a few mock drafts with this pick prior to the scandal of course. Te'o shouldn't even be the first linebacker taken in the draft. I'd be very disappointed to see the Raiders trade down and take this guy. I did not think this guy was worth the three pick before the BCS game and even less now now after that game and the scandal. The Raiders would be foolish to draft this fool.
Any Quarterback in this draft class
Yea I know this is not a specific player but I have seen a few mocks with Geno Smith here or even one with Tyler Wilson here. Any one of these quarterbacks would not make the Raiders better by a significant amount. I know people are split on Carson but he kept us in some games last year and is still an improvement over anyone we have had in the past few years. The coaching staff has said multiple times Carson is their guy. Pryor is in the mix too at quarterback but I am unsure what the coaches think of him. I would not be against them drafting a QB later in the draft, but with this pick I think it would be a terrible mistake.
With that over with I'd like to move on to the three players I think the Raiders should strongly consider drafting and would be thrilled to see be taken by the Raiders.
Star Lotulelei | 6'4, 320 pounds | Defensive tackle | Utah
A man as big as he is should not be able to move like he does on the football field. Somehow he is able too though which is why he is going to be a top 5 pick come the draft. Star is a superstar on the defensive line. He is versatile enough that he could easily transition from 4-3 to 3-4. This is important because of how Tarver seems to like having a hybrid defense. Seymour and Kelly are as good as gone in my opinion. I do not think they will be back and I do not want them back. Kelly especially does not deserve a penny of his contract next year. With those two guys gone it would a huge hole at the DT position. Star would obviously fill a big need with him being drafted. If the Raiders are able to obtain Desmond Bryant, they could have a formidable duo in the middle. The only bad thing about drafting Star is that he might not be there for the Raiders. Star has the biggest chance, of the three players I have listed, of being drafted before the Raiders are up. This is also why I believe the Raiders should consider all three of these players because even if two of them go prior, they can still draft one of them.
Damontre Moore | 6'4, 250 pounds | Defensive end | Texas A&M
This guy might be a little small for a typical DE but its also a reason why I like him even moore. This guy was the understudy of Von Miller at Texas A&M while Von Miller was there. Our rivals have Von Miller so why can't we have our own version which is what Moore would be for us. The difference between them is Moore is a DE where Miller is an OLB. Moore does have the versatility to be an OLB in a 3-4 as well which would work for an hybrid looks Tarver wants to do. Moore has a high motor as he led Texas A&M in tackles last season which is very impressive for a DE. Him and Houston both would work well making tackles down the field that normally a DE would not make. Oh and did I mention he is arguably the best pass rusher in this draft class? Pass rush is a huge need for the Raiders obviously and this would be the guy to fill that need. Some people would say he is too small for DE in the NFL. While this does make sense I have too things to say to anyone who feels that way. Firstly, with NFL training and coaching I believe he could add extra muscle to his frame to increase his size. Secondly, I believe that with a smaller end we could have similar success to a team like Seattle who has the big run stopping end(Red Byrant) and the pass rushing end(Chris Clemons). Houston and Moore could become the Raiders version of that if not better version. As far as Moore's draft position, I believe he will be there at number 3 for the Raiders unless someone trades up in front to grab him. He will almost surely be drafted in the top 5 so if the Raiders trade down it is unlikely he will fall.
Bjoern Werner | 6'4, 272 pounds | Defensive end | Florida State
The scary thing about this guy is that he has only been playing football for a few years. Werner is a 4-3 end who can do just about everything. He can stop the run and rush the passer as well as anyone in the draft. Werner also has the ideal size for an NFL DE. Werner also showed during his time in college that he can rush the passer as an OLB in the 3-4 which would also fit well with Tarver's defense. Werner has gotten a late start compared to others in football but has also shown that he has excellent instincts to play football at an NFL level. Werner would be an excellent fit to be the other end in Oakland's defense across from Houston. Werner is an excellent pass rusher as well as run stopper which would help the Raiders with a huge weakness on their defense. Werner's only weakness to me is that he still looks raw and a little inexperienced some times. In college it did not show as much but in the NFL he will need to work on his technique. Otherwise I think the sky is the limit for Werner who is also German born. Of the three players, I believe he is the only one that could possibly fall out of the top five but he will not fall out of the top 10 for certain. I think any team that drafts him after 5 is getting a steal honestly. If the Raiders want to trade down a few spots, this may be who they want to land in the draft. Taking him at number 3 is not a reach though as he has Top 5 talent.
So out of these three guys who do I think the Raiders should take? It is still hard to say but I think it depends also on what happens with free agency and who the Raiders resign. Matt Shaughnessy is clearly not going to be the starter at the other end from Houston since he was not good at applying pressure at all. He even lost snaps to Andre Carter who was outplaying him. Defensive Tackle also will be interesting to see what they do as Seymour and Bryant are free agents. I do hope they retain Bryant as he looked to be like a solid player. As far as Kelly goes, I think they should cut him but it is not up to me.If they could find someone as a DE or DT in free agency obviously that would change who we look at in the draft.
Last season's run defense was bipolar because we shut down the Chiefs and Jamal Charles. Then Doug Martin ran circles around the defense. The pass rush was inconsistent all year however with no one really being a constant threat to get to the quarterback.
So with that all said, if I had the number three pick in this year's draft I would draft Damontre Moore simply because in a division with Peyton Manning, Phillip Rivers, and the new Chiefs quarterback you must get to the quarterback to win the game. However, if Star and Damontre are both there I could do a coin flip between them. Werner I see as an excellent player to fall back on just in case the other two are not there. If the coaching staff feels that Werner or Star would work better then I would not oppose that. These three players are difference makers on the defensive side of the ball and would automatically make the Raiders improve.
Who do you guys think the Raiders should draft? I'll add in a poll for you guys and add some other names in there even if I don't agree with them. I am not going add the trade down option simply because this question pertains to if the Raiders stay at number 3. If you think the Raiders should trade down and target someone else let me know in the comments. Also my grammar is not perfect so if there are any glaring mistakes feel free to let me know.
Lets just all agree whoever the draft can help the Raiders improve next year.