Trading Down, Mock Draft, 53 Man Roster, and Offseason Dream

The Raiders are almost certainly trying to trade down. I'm going to draft mostly defense, since I don't see a way we can overhaul the offense this year at all. Here's a look at trading down twice in the first round to gather picks later on:

First, trade Oakland's #3 overall for Arizona's #7, #69, #103, and #140. By moving down down 4 spots, we can pick up the Cardinals 3rd, 4th, and 5th rounders. I'm pretty sure the Cardinals would take this trade. The rise of Lane Johnson and Eric Fisher to potential top 5 picks hurts the Cardinals a lot, since their offensive line is in total shambles. With this trade they'll definitely be able to snag one of the three. Although this seems like a lot to give up, remember the Browns gave up a 4th and a 5th to move up one spot from 4 to 3 last year, so this deal could definitely happen.

Then, trade the Cardinals #7 pick for the Panthers #14 and #44. By giving up their second round pick, the Panthers could move up to shore up their biggest weakness: defensive tackle. If we expect Joeckel, Fisher, and Lane Johnson to go in the top 7, and probably Dion Jordan too, one of either Star Lotulelei or Shariff Floyd will almost certainly available for the Panthers to draft at #7.

This leaves the Raiders with the 14th overall pick, one 2nd, two 3rds, two 4ths, one 5th, three 6ths, and one 7th. Here's how I hope this could play out:

#14: Sheldon Richardson, DT. I think Richardson is not far behind Floyd and Star as the third rated DT, and his ability to penetrate through multiple gaps and collapse the pocket should help the outside passers immensely. He needs to gain a little weight and strength, however, but the new breed of DT's (aka Geno Atkins) aren't the biggest or strongest, but rather too quick for interior offensive linemen. Almost reminds me of Lamarr Houston in a way.

#44: Damontre Moore, DE. This is an incredibly risky pick, but in the middle of the second round I could see it happening. He's the only character-issue guy in this mock, though. He's a natural pass rusher, and although his athleticism isn't amazing as shown in the Combine and his Pro-Day, his game tape shows a incredibly active and talented edge defender.

#66: David Amerson, CB: What I like about Amerson is his height, speed, and amazing ball skills. He can get beat deep, and in general he needs some more consistency, but he fits the mold of cornerback that the NFL is moving towards, and he's an interception machine. Unlimited potential here.

#69: Corey Lemonier, DE: The reason I'm drafting two DE's in this mock is because I think Lamarr Houston could thrive from moving to DT on obvious passing downs, like 3rd and longs. Corey Lemonier fits more of an OLB mold right now, but his natural pass-rushing ability is too good to pass up. If he had stayed in school one more year I think he would've been a first rounder in 2014.

#100: Aaron Dobson, WR. It is kind've wishful thinking to think Dobson will last to the fourth round because he's a stud. He has great hands (didn't drop a catch all year), tall at 6'3", and runs a sub-4.5 40, which is great for somebody that big. He has the talent to become a #1 wideout.

#103: TJ McDonald, S: He's huge at 6'2". He is a big hitter, and he's a plus in coverage. Can't believe pundits have him falling to the fourth or later, maybe because of the Taylor Mays comparisons, both coming from USC.

#140: Dion Sims, TE: This guy's a great blocker, which is something we really lacked last season. But not only that, he runs crisp routes and rarely drops balls. He'll probably be forced to start on this squad, but at least he won't be a liability.

#172: Kyle Juszczyk, FB/TE: This guy's a great blocker as well, and was the leading receiver for Harvard last year. But why another fullback? The reason is that Owen Schmitt sucks, and having an H-back like Juszczyk could give us lots of options in the running game. My hope is for him to become a kind of Delanie Walker for the 49ers, a Swiss Army Knife player that can block from anywhere as well as be a receiving option too. It may be too much to ask for a 49ers-style running attack, but we need some more creativity in the running game after the Knapp debacle.

#176: Ricky Wagner, T: Wagner has fallen down the draft boards considerably during the offseason. He's probably not going to be able to play Left Tackle in the future, but that doesn;t mean he could be an upgrade at Right Tackle over Khalif Barnes.

#205: Miguel Maysonet, RB: I really liked this guy before Assassin's miniseries, and he could be good enough to swipe the #2 running back slot away from Rashad Jennings, who I don't think is that good anyways. He's a powerful runner with great vision, and he has just enough quickness to hit the hole.

#209: Brandon Kaufman, WR: OK, I stole this pick from Assassin. Kaufman is super tall, has great functional speed, and reliable hands. That enough is worth a draft pick.

So here's what I project the 53 man roster to look like:

Quarterback: Matt Flynn, Terrelle Pryor, Vince Young (or some other shmoe).

Running Back: Darren McFadden, Miguel Maysonet, Rashad Jennings

Fullback: Marcel Reece. Kyle Juszczyk

Wide Receiver: Aaron Dobson, Denarius Moore, Juron Criner, Rod Streater, Jacoby Ford, Brandon Kaufman

Tight End: Dion Sims, David Ausberry, Richard Gordon

Offensive Line: Jared Veldheer, Tony Bergstrom, Stefen Wisniewski, Mike Brisiel, Khalif Barnes, Ricky Wagner, Lucas Nix, Alex Parsons

Defensive Line: Lamarr Houston, Andre Carter, Damontre Moore, Corey Lemonier, Jason Hunter, Sheldon Richardson, Pat Sims, Vance Walker, Christo Bilukudi

Linebackers: Kaluka Maiava, Kevin Burnett, Nick Roach, Miles Burris, Omar Gaither (to be resigned)

Cornerbacks: David Amerson, Tracy Porter, Mike Jenkins, Phillip Adams, Joselio Hanson, Chimdi Chekwa

Safeties: Usama Young, Tyvon Branch, Brandian Ross, TJ McDonald, Reggie Smith

ST: Sebastian Janikowski, Marquette King, Jon Condo

There it is! Thanks for reading!

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