April and the draft are closing in and the Raiders are one of the teams who should be most excited about it by having a top 3 pick. The team has a lot of holes and that's why it's hard to agree with one Mock Draft. Not many picks for the quantity of holes the team has.
In no particular order, the team has the most glaring needs at RT, RG/LG/C (depending on what we do with Cooper Carlisle), CB, DL. In this mock draft I will lay out an idea of what i think we should do and which holes I think we should fill first. Many are thinking of a Star defensive player (see what I did there ;) ) but I see it differently.
1st Round- 3rd overall pick traded to St Louis Rams for 16th and 22nd overall picks.
While that would seem like a lot, a lot of people are talking about the Rams having a huge hole in their offensive line. Even with Eric Fisher being a top tier left tackle in this draft, the undisputed best LT here is Luke Jockel. With the Eagles (holding the 4th overall pick, right after Oakland) taking Joeckel almost for sure if it falls on their hands, the Rams will probably not risk it and will trade the farm for one of the most important pieces of their offense.
16th overall pick: The Raiders draft DJ Fluker, RT/RG, Alabama. 6'6'', 335 lbs.
The Raiders have many holes, but the game is won in the trenches, and the offensive trenches are the most important. If your offense can score, you have hope. If your defense stops the other team many times but your offense can't score, no matter how good they are they will get tired and you'll lose .He may not pan out as a RT prospect but he is absolutely fit for a RG in the NFL in a power blocking scheme, which the Raiders will have. I'm expecting Cooper Carlisle to stay move back to RG, and Little Wiz to move back tohis natural LG position once we get back to our old blocking scheme.. So our biggest needs would be finding a RG/C/RT, I don't believe Brisiel will fit into our new scheme, he was brought in as a ZBS specialist. I think Reggie said he was bothered by a bum ankle (although true) and he wasnt as good as he may have been to increase his value a bit.
22nd overall pick: The Raiders draft Barret Jones, C, Alabama. 6'4'', 305 lbs.
It would be great to have 2 of that dominant line of Alabama keep their chemistry and keep growing together and at the same time get an intelligent signal caller for the offensive line. Wiz is that, but he is just so god at LG it's kind of wasting talent, and Barret Jones is like a clone of Wiz at C, intelligent and more of a technician than a mauler, and a C like that doesnt hurt anyone, even in a PBS (which Alabama ran, too). Our line, after these 2 picks would look like this from left to right: Veldheer, Wisniewski, Jones, Fluker, Barnes. All PBS blockers, all in their most natural positions. Like him or not, when Khalif Barnes is the worst offensive lineman you have, you have a very good line. The turnaround this offense can have running the blocking scheme they run best, with improvements on 2 of their 3 positions of need on the line would be impressive to say the least.
No 2nd Round draft pick.
3rd Round- 67th overall pick: The Raiders draft Jamar Taylor, CB, Boise St. 5'11'', 196 lbs.
Projected 3rd rounder. The early pick is probably what will save us from him still being on the board by then. Reports from the Senior Bowl say he is amazing in press coverage, always tight coverage and has good instincts. Boise State finished the regular season ranked fourth in the country in pass defense and surrendered just three passing touchdowns all year. Taylor earned First Team All-Mountain West honors in 2012 with 51 tackles (including 3.5 for loss and 2.5 sacks) and a team-leading nine passes broken up and four interceptions, was the single biggest reason for this success. The guy is a beast. He could potentially be a no.1 corner, even if he is a 3rd rounder (as of now). The CB position could be improved with nothing less than a 3rd rounder. Im very high on him.
4th Round- 99th overall pick: The Raiders draft Jordan Hill, DT, Penn St. 6'2'', 294 lbs.
A good fit for a 4-3 DT and his development could be swifter if he comes to a team like Oakland that likes a good rotation. He should really be a projected 3rd rounder by how he plays, it's just that he is just a little bit undersized. A First Team All-Big Ten in 2012, Hill was 4th on his team with 64 tackles, second with 4.5 sacks, and tied for 3rd with 8.5 tackles for a loss. Coach Dennis Allen said that his North team was deep in talent at the defensive line position, and Hill will be working with DA this Senior Bowl, so the Raiders will have a chance to scout him better than other teams.
The Texans are in awful shape when it comes to their OLine, they will be the first to tell you. After letting their right side of the line go last year with both Brisiel and Eric Winston to the Chiefs, they have suffered form a terrible YPC from Aarian Foster when he goes to the right, and having a lot of pressure to the right side too. Having a guy back who arguably can perform better than he did with us since he will heal, and having chemistry with their line won't hurt them. Brisiel's value is maybe a 5th or 6th rounder at best with his salary, but the Texans are in NEED. His salary wouldnt be that much of a problem either since the Texans have a little bit over 24 million in cap room, and we'd free ourselves a little bit too.
The Raiders draft Tyrann Mathieu, LSU. 5'9'', 178 lbs.
Seriously, I'm not in favor of it, but it's just pot. I mean, he already said he will stay away from it anyway, aside from that minimal problem, he is a playmaker. He is an amazing football player whose size doesnt really matter. He just makes plays, period. He can contribute as a CB/FS, punt/kick returner. He has swagger, he has that savy a Raider and a DB should have, nothing wrong with gambling a 5th rounder (for Mike Brisiel) on a potentially great player. I doubt anyone takes him before the 5th round at all, he is a 5th rounder at best, but most have him going around the 6th or even 7th round. If he is there, get him, no doubt.
6th Round- 163rd pick in the draft: The Raiders draft David Bass, DE, Missouri Western St. 6'4'', 263 lbs.
He plays in Division 2 and would most likely would be part of a good rotation at best in 2013, but he has been very good. The level of competition he faces is easy for him, thats another way to look at him. With a 6th rounder, it isnt sacrificing much to gamble on him, since he has good upside. This is a pick maybe everyone will disagree with me, but I like him, he can be like the Christo Bilukidi of this year. Projected 6th rounder.
7th Round- 195th pick in the draft. The Raiders draft Michael Clay, OLB, Oregon. 5'11'' 222.
This guy is extremely undersized to play LB in the league. To fit the prototypical LB he would have to be at least 3 inches taller and 20 lbs heavier. He is a good player though, and lit's the 7th round. Players can usually bulk up 10-15 lbs when they come into the NFL if they are undersized. There are other players in the NFL that are promising at 5'11''. For example, rookie standout at Philly Mychal Kendricks at MLB and a good rookie contributor at Pittsburgh Sean Spence at OLB. His ceiling may not be a Pro Bowler, but adding a good role player that can help back up the Miles Burris/Philip Wheeler combo can't hurt. If he isnt good, well, 90% of 7th rounders are not. He finished 2012 with 101 tackles, 10 tackles for a loss and 3 sacks. Nominated for the Lombardi Award at he beginning of the college season.
206th pick in the draft (Louis Murphy trade). The Raiders draft Steve Williams, CB, Cal. 5'10'', 185 lbs.
A 2012 All-Pac-12 honorable mention he was a solid CB for the Golden Bears throughout his college career. He led the team with 3 INTs this season, 10 pass breakups and 13 passes defensed. Teams don't throw at him so much so that is maybe one of the reasons his stats are not very flashy. He is a Jr so he is entering the draft early, he is young so he will have to be polished. May end up on the practice squad but if he makes the team his polishing could take less time as a 5th or 6th CB.