First off I will apologize for yet another mock draft in the fanpost section. There is just a flood of these recently but I hope mine will at least give you something to read and think about for at least a few minutes today.
I am not going to include any trade scenarios as IMO they are just too hard to predict but as a twist I will include the two 6th round compensatory picks that Levi alluded to earlier in his article.
Here is the link to Levi's stellar article about compensation picks if you have not read it already :
1st round Pick# 3
Star Lotulelei, DT, Utah 6'3, 325
This is the pick I think the Raiders must make if they are to truly make strides towards creating a hybrid defense. He can play NT, 4-3 DT, and even a bit of 3-4 DE if need be. He is extremely versatile and has been flat out dominant against every team he has played this year. To many in the draft world he is one of the few "elite" talents in this years draft. That sentiment is not shared by all but most seem to think he will be highly successful at the next level.
His stats are not mind blowing by any means which may worry some because he is not from a football powerhouse of a school or conference for that matter. But it is important to note that in the two games Utah played against ranked competition in 2012 he totaled 7 tackles, 2 TFL, and 1 sack. Overall I'd say solid numbers considering he is getting double teamed every play.
Ultimate Star Lotulelei Highlights (via MooseHeadSports)
Round 3 Pick #66
Andrew Jackson, MLB, Western Kentucky, 6'1 265
As part of the overall theme is the shift towards a hybrid defense, the Raiders will absolutely need to draft some linebacking help in this draft. Some would instantly write off Jackson simply because he played for a small school against inferior competition but that would be a mistake. His career stats are are ridiculous: 25 games played, 229 Tackles, 34.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 2 Pass Broken Up, 5 QB hurries,5 Forced Fumbles and 1 interception.
f he had these types of numbers playing in a major conference he would be in the running for first MLB chosen. I think this guy will see his stock rise after the combine. This is a real tweener pick because most scouts have him as a round 2-3 guy which puts him in play certainly.
I think he projects well to either scheme in the NFL but could need a bit of time to develop his coverage skills. There is no proof of his skills lacking just that by analyzing his stats he seems to be lacking in passes broken up and INTs but these are minor flaws. He is a tackling machine with the talent to constantly get into the backfield and disrupt plays.
Andrew Jackson vs Alabama (2012) (via Aaron Aloysius)
Round 4 Pick 96
Xavier Nixon, OT, Florida, 6'6 314
This would be a solid pick in the 4th round if Nixon is still available. He is another one of those players where the jury is still out as he is very inconsistent. When he is at his best he is a borderline late 1st early 2nd round pick but when he is at his worst he falls to the later rounds. For example he dominated LSU and their 1st round pass rushers but was destroyed by Jarvis Jones and Georgia. He has played both LT and RT in his career which is why I like him. He would be a solid pick and would bring instant competition to the RT spot.
There is not much film on him out on the web but you can watch him in some highlights here from the Florida Texas A&M game. He is #73 playing at LT.
Florida O vs Texas A&M D 2012 (via JoshMTD)
Round 6 Pick 162
Tyrann Mathieu, CB, LSU 5'9 175
I kind of hate myself for making this pick. I am in no way a fan of the Honey Badger but at this point in a draft it is worth it to take a couple of home run swings. This guy is a boom or bust player simply put.. Everyone knows what he did at LSU before all the arrests and all the drama. He was an electric playmaker in the return game and a stout defender. If he falls this far in the draft,which is possible,the Raiders need to scoop him up.
Tyrann Mathieu "The Honey Badger" Career Highlights HD (via vReFresh3)
Round 6 ?? Compensation Pick
DJ Harper, RB, Boise St., 5'9 205
This is a guy who I knew very little about until I read a mock draft a few weeks ago and all I can say is I really want the Raiders to draft this guy. He has track speed and has been very productive throughout his career never averaging less than 4.3 YPC. In his first full season as a feature back he rushed for 1137 yards on 228 carries averaging 5.0 YPC. He also added 15 touchdowns. His main knock is that he has had major injuries in his career. He tore his left ACL twice in 2009 and 2010. Another knock is that he has had 6 years of college eligiblity due to his injuries so he is a bit older coming out of college than usual.
Boise State RB DJ Harper 2012 Highlights ᴴᴰ (via CollegeFootballLive)
Round 6 ?? Compensation Pick
Gilbert Pena, NT, Ole Miss 6'2 326
Kind of the opposite of the Honey Badger this is a depth pick. Pena is a very large man that has been quite solid for Ole Miss this year. They went from dead last against the run to 6th overall which is solid progress over the course of one year. He was primarily used as a NT in a 4-2-5 formation so he would need some work to be ready for a 3-4 formation but he could aslo be used as a 4-3 guy as well. Versatility is huge with lineman so thats why I like Pena here.
Sorry for the poor video but this was all I could find in terms of game film. I beleive its from their intersquad scrimmage at the begining of the year.
Gilbert pena sack (via gilbertpena86)
Round 7 193
Dan Giordano, DE, Cincinati 6'3 260
This is another depth pick here for the Raiders. Giordano is not on many people's radar due to his lack of pass rushing ability but he is a very solid overall DE. He is very stout against the run and contrary to popular belief he can get in the backfield and disrupt some plays. He had 51 tackles, 6 TFL, 5 sacks, and 4 QB hurries. He is short on athleticism but makes up for it with a very high motor. He really reminds me of a Matt Shaughnessey type player. He does project more to a 3-4 defense to me based on his proficiency against the run but has played primarily out of a 4-3 which just makes him that much more useful.
Dan Giordano Highlights (via Nick Thaxton)
Round 7 203
Mike Edwards, CB, Hawaii, 5'10 180
With the last pick in the draft the Raiders get a guy that can really help the return game. He averaged just over 30 yards a return on 40 returns and had 3 touchdowns. He was among the final players to be chosen to win the Jet Award which is for best return man although he did not win. He also made the All MWC as KR/PR. He was solid as a CB for the Warriors as well. He had 38 total tackles, 5 TFL, 2 INTs, 15 passes deflected, and 1 FF. He definitely needs to add a bit of weight to play at the pro level but this is a guy who is a playmaker at the return position and the Raiders definitely need some help there. His main knock is that he has some character concerns. He was originally a 4 star recruit and attended Tennessee but was dismissed after being arrested for armed robbery. He eventually ended up at Hawaii by way of a JUCO transfer and has been well behaved since then.
Sadly I cannot find any vido of his kick returns but this video shows him making a nice play and grabbing an INT.
Mike Edwards INT Hawaii Football (via LizKauai)
So that is it for the draft. I think that most of the team's needs were met as they stand now. Plenty of DLine help, a RT, a change of pace back, a MLB, and a couple CBs. I look forward to hearing some comments and please if you have any criticisms list them below and I will work on them. Thanks for the read.