I am going to make two different mock drafts that I think the Raiders will try to plan for. Tell me which one you would be most satisfied with and which one you think has a higher chance of actually happening. I have Oakland picking 4th overall after: Houston, Rams (via Redskins), and Jags.
Comp Picks (speculation)
Philip Wheeler-4th round pick
Desmond Bryant-4th round pick
Brandon Myers-6th round pick
7th round pick from Arizona via Carson Palmer trade
Mock Draft 1
1st Round: Anthony Barr, DE/OLB, UCLA (6'4/248)
The Raiders have no true pass rusher on the team and are thus forced to blitz excessively, which has obviously given us a disadvantage. Here, we get a legit DE/OLB pass rushing hybrid who can immediately step in and play the Von Miller type role. Barr gives us versatility on defense. Barr is a RB who played defense for the first time last year and recorded 13.5 sacks. This season he has 10 sacks, but to go along with 62 tackles (20 tackles for loss) and 5 forced fumbles and 4 fumble recoveries. Running a 4.48 40 (via CBS), Barr is the perfect combination of size and speed and will only get better.
2nd Round: Cyril Richardson, OG/OT, Baylor (6'5/340)
Lucas Nix is a scrub who shouldn't even be in the league IMO. Regardless, the Raiders need OL help, especially with all the uncertainties and injuries we encountered this year. Richardson has done a great job blocking for Baylor in both the running and passing game. He was conveniently their starting LG this season and in fact was RG3's blindside protector before. He could immediately be plugged in at LG, or perhaps with Barnes and others.
3rd Round: Bishop Sankey, RB, Washington (5'10/203)
Honestly I would be ecstatic if we were able to land Sankey in the early third round. He is simply a workhorse who can really do it all and was one of the best RBs in college football this season finishing with 1775 yards at 5.8 ypc and 18 TDs. Fortunately, Sankey is very under-appreciated and could thus end up slipping to the early third. McFadden is as good as gone and the coaches would be smart to give Latavius Murray and Sankey more of the rock.
4th Round: Jaylen Watkins, CB, Florida (6'0/187)
Mike Jenkins, Tracy Porter, and Philip Adams will all be free agents and playing in a division with Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers, and all sorts of electrifying receivers, we need all the secondary help we can get. I think Reggie will go after some quality CBs in FA (Talib?) but taking a CB in the mid rounds would be smart. Watkins recorded 54 tackles with seven passes broken up in his senior season. He had some miscues against Miami, but generally played well. Watkins would be starting for most teams in the country and did well filling in while Marcus Roberson was injured. Watkins is a sleeper prospect who has a good athletic skill set - it runs in his family - and could be a mid-round steal.
4th round (comp): Logan Thomas, QB, Virginia Tech (6'6/262)
This is a brief timeline of Thomas' college career:
2011: Had an exceptional season. Thomas set the school record for rushing touchdowns by a quarterback in 2011, running for 627 yards and 11 scores. The first-year starter completed 60 percent of his passes for 3,013 yards with 19 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He portrayed a skill set similar to Cam Newton.
2012: Thomas was an utter disappointment, particularly in terms of accuracy completing only 51% of his passes for 2,976 yards and 18 TDs with 16 INTs. He added 726 yards on the ground with 9 TDs, but his passing was awful.
2013: This season, Thomas made a lot of improvements regarding accuracy, decision making, and pocket presence. He had an up and down year, but a lot of it was attributed to terrible receiver play. He finished completing 57% of his passes for 2,861 yards with 16 touchdowns and 13 interceptions (only nine excluding a disastrous game against Duke).
Reggie would be smart to take a QB he likes some point in the draft after the first three rounds as the Raiders continue to search for their answer at QB. The big armed QB has the size, arm and mobility to be a starting quarterback in the NFL, he could be a project that really pays off.
4th round (comp): Ben Gardner, DE, Stanford (6'4/277)
Gardner is well respected by coaches and has a straight up knack for getting to the QB and causing havoc in the backfield. In just 8 games this season, he had 4.5 sacks, 9 hurries, and 7.5 tackles for a loss. Our current DE opposite of Houston is Jason Hunter who many scouts don't even consider NFL caliber. We've been forced to start a multitude of different DTs there so Gardener would be a big help. He's probably going to go higher, but maybe a torn pectoral muscle could shy teams away.
6th round: Deandre Coleman, DT, Cal (6'5/315)
Vance Walker, Pat Sims, and Daniel Muir will all be FAs. We're gonna need some DT depth and Coleman was an elite run stuffer for the Golden Bears and really their lone bright spot this season. He also chipped in with 2.5 sacks
6th round (comp): Kerry Hyder, DT, Texas Tech (6'2/281)
See above. Hyder had 60 tackles, 11.5 tackles for a loss, two forced fumbles and two sacks this year.
7th round: Isiah Lewis, S, Michigan State (5'10/205)
7th round (via Cardinals): Chad Abram, FB, FSU (6'0/229)
Abram is a young Vonta Leach clone, but with FB being a dying breed he is sure to fall. He is a hard noised converted safety who does a lot for FSU including pass blocking, run blocking, pass catching, and running.
Mock Draft 2
1st round: Blake Bortles, QB, UCF (6'4/230)
Perhaps this scenario is more likely if Dennis Allen gets fired and a knew staff comes in, wanting their own guy to develop. Even without this happening, the FO would surely have to consider drafting a QB in the first and Bortles certainly fits the Raiders mold. Todd McShay calls Bortles a mix between Joe Flacco and Ben Roethlisberger. Bortles has good size, a strong arm, and accuracy. He has a high football IQ and he possess strong character. He also has mobility as well as good pocket presence. The Raiders won't be able to win without a franchise QB.
2nd Round: Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt (6'3/206)
Historically, when a team takes a QB in the first, they take either a weapon or a LT in the second, (Luck-Fleener, Tannehill-Martin, Ponder-Rudolph, are a few that happened recently). Luckily for Raiders, these draft is stacked at WR, potentially allowing WR Jordan Matthews to be available in the early second. Matthews is an excellent route runner with terrific hands. He's broken an unbelievable amount of SEC records. He's strong and consistent but his one knock is his speed. Hopefully this allows the Eric Decker type player to be available.
3rd round: Will Sutton, DE/DT, Arizona State (6'1/304)
The Pac 12 defensive player of the year would be a big help. As stated, Sims, Walker, and Muir are all FAs. Sutton had a monstrous junior season as he had 63 tackles, 23.5 tackles for loss, and 13 sacks. He was one of the best pass rushers in college football, he also finished with 5 pass break ups. The speed mismatch for guards had a down senior season mainly due to being double teamed a lot more. He has the ability to play DE and DT in a 4-3.
4th round: Cassius Marsh, DE, UCLA (6'3/268)
After a strong junior season, Marsh had a slow start to the year but nonetheless finished the year strong. He had a really nice game vs USC. He has a nice combination of speed and quickness. He had 6 sacks this season and 8.5 sacks last year. As stated in the Ben Gardner report, the Raiders could use the depth here.
4th round (comp): Ross Cockrell,CB, Duke (6'0/190)
See explanation for Jaylen Watkins. Ross was a key component in Duke's exceeding season. The physical corner had 12 pass break ups (Duke record), 3 INTs (including a clutch one in the final drive of a 28-21 win vs Wake Forest) and 40 tackles, which include a sack, 2 tackles for a loss, and a forced fumble.
4th round (comp): Nickoe Whitley, FS, Mississippi State (6'0/205)
see explanation for Isiah Lewis. Here, the Raiders would be one of the premier coverage safeties of the draft. Whitley finished the year with 5 picks and 2 pass break ups. He had two INTs vs the highly successful Auburn and had a good outing against Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M. He has a knack for making big plays as well (see Arkansas game).
6th round: Deanthony Thomas, RB, Oregon (5'9/170)
Due to injuries and several concerns through his junior season, the speedster may end up falling off draft boards. Nonetheless, he'd be a great value pick in the 6th round. He has 4.24 wheels, and has great elusiveness and ball vision. He could fill a numerous amount of roles including, Returner, slot receiver, pass catching back, or change of pace back.
6th round (comp): Zac Kerin, C, Toledo (6'5/300)
Here we pick up center depth as I doubt we retain Gurode and it came to a point where we had to play RG Mike Brisiel there. Kerin is the leader of an OL that only gave up 5 sacks, fewest in the country. He can also play OT and OG.
7th round: Brandon Thomas, OG, Clemson (6'3/315)
Here, the Raiders would probably have found their stopgap at LG (Barnes?) and would like an upgraded depth over Lucas Nix and Lamar Mady. Thomas has been a vital and very consistent part of Clemson's high powered offense the past 35 consecutive games he's started.
7th round (via Cardinals): Larry Webster, DE, Bloomsburg (6'7/250)
The converted small school basketball star is obviously quite the athlete standing at 6'7 and running a best 4.56 40. As a result, he's had 26 sacks in two seasons (13.5 and 12.5 respectively). He has a good work ethic, meaning he could get stronger, and already has a quick natural burst, long arms, and flexible ankles. With his frame and athleticism, he could develop into quite the pass rusher making this a great value pick.
Which draft would you prefer?