1st Round (5 overall): Teddy Bridgewater, QB, Louisville
Measurables: 6-3, 205 lbs
40-YD Dash: 4.67
2013: 31 TD, 4 INT, 3970 YDS, 171.1 RAT, 84.5 QBR, 71.0 CMP%
2012: 27 TD, 8 INT, 3718 YDS, 160.5 RAT, 77.6 QBR, 68.5 CMP%
2013: Russell Athletic Bowl MVP
2012: Big East Offensive Player of the Year, First-Team All-Conference, Honorable Mention All-American
Teddy Bridgewater is the best Quarterback in the 2014 NFL Draft. Bridgewater is very accurate and has quick footwork allowing him to navigate the pocket. Bridgewater also has a strong arm and can reach almost any spot on the field. He is extremely good when blitzed and has shown the confidence stepping into pressure to make a throw. Surprisingly fast, Bridgewater can escape the pocket when provided and tuck it if absolutely necessary.
The only knock on Bridgewater is that he has a small frame. Weighing only 205 lbs, NFL scouts are afraid he is not durable enough for the NFL. That being said, after Bridgewater is given an NFL meal plan, his frame should grow.
It is possible Bridgewater may fall to the Raiders because Texans Owner Bob McNair has expressed interest in Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel. The Rams don't need a quarterback and will probably draft Jake Matthews to strengthen their line. Jacksonville has expressed interest in Derek Carr and might draft Clowney, then hope Carr falls to the second round. The Browns reportedly like Manziel so if he is available, they will draft him. That leaves Teddy Bridgewater available for the Raiders where they would be crazy not to draft him.
2nd Round (36 overall): Jordan Matthews, WR, Vanderbilt
Measurables: 6-3, 206 lbs
40-YD Dash: 4.55
2013: 7 TD, 1477 YDS, 117 REC, 13.2 AVG
2012: 8 TD, 1323 YDS, 94 REC, 14.1 AVG
2013: First-Team All-American, First-Team All-SEC, Biletnikoff Award Semifinalist, 2013 Maxwell Award Watch List
2012: First-Team All-SEC, Third-Team All-American, Biletnikoff Award Watch List
Jordan Matthews tore up the SEC in 2012. The very next year, he did it again. The best teams in the nation made Matthews their number one priority to stop, but Matthews proved unstoppable. Matthews has a solid frame at 6-3, 205 lbs. He has very reliable hands and is a polished route runner. Matthews is the cousin of Hall of Fame Wide Receiver Jerry Rice. But, Matthews does not have break-away speed. While a 4.55 40-YD Dash is not terrible, it will make it hard for Matthews to find separation in the NFL.
Matthews has fallen in most mock drafts lately because of a poor Senior Bowl but I think he is one of the most reliable Wide Receivers in the entire draft. While the Raiders have a lot of young potential at Receiver, no one has proven reliable. Matthews would add a large receiver with good hand that can potentially become a number one Wide Receiver.
3rd Round (67 overall): Jeremy Hill, RB, LSU
Measurables: 6-2, 235 lbs
40-Yd Dash: 4.55
2013: 16 TD, 1401 YDS, 6.9 AVG
2012: 12 TD, 755 YDS, 5.3 AVG
2013: First-Team All-SEC, All-Bowl Team
Jeremy Hill is a powerful Running Back from LSU. He is a strong downhill runner that is not afraid to lower his shoulder. Hill has a large frame at 6-2, 235 lbs which should keep him durable in the NFL. Hill only runs a 4.55 but has deceptive speed and looks faster on film. He shows good vision and makes fluid cuts allowing him to find the hole. Hill has solid hands which make him a dual-threat back. Off the field, Hill has some issues. He pleaded guilty on battery charges last April but has since showed no problems.
While Rashad Jennings is a solid back, he is the only reliable back the Raiders will have assuming they cut Darren McFadden. Jeremy Hill would come in as a potential starter and would provide the Raiders much needed depth at Running Back.
4th Round (103 overall): Bashaud Breeland, CB, Clemson
Measurables: 6-0, 195 lbs
40-YD Dash: 4.4
2013: 4 INT, 74 Tackles, 2 Sacks, 13 Pass Breakups
2012: 32 Tackles, 1 Sack, 3 Pass Breakups]
2013: 2nd-Team All-ACC
Large Cornerbacks are becoming very valuable in the NFL. Teams are beginning to mimic the Seattle Seahawks mentality of stacking the secondary with long, tall Cornerbacks. Bashaud Breeland is one of those Cornerbacks that have ideal size. At 6-0, 195 lbs, Breeland physically will be able to match up with most of the Wide Receivers in the NFL.
Breeland's long arms help him high point jump balls. He covers a lot of range in the secondary and has quick feet allowing him to break on balls. Breeland has impressive instincts and often baits the Quarterback into throwing the ball. While Breeland needs to work on his open-field tackling but his pass defense is solid.
Although the Raiders currently have DJ Hayden, Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins, depth never hurts. I think the Raiders might let Jenkins go this year which would make Breeland the #3 Cornerback. I believe in a year or two, he will contend for a starting spot.
6th Round (165 overall): Aaron Lynch, DE, Notre Dame/ USF
Measurables: 6-6, 244 lbs
40-YD Dash: 4.75
2013 (USF): 6 Sacks, 30 Tackles, 4 QBH
2011 (Notre Dame): 5.5 Sacks, 33 Tackles, 14 QBH, 1 FF
2013: First-Team American Athletic Conference
2011: First-Team Freshman All-American
Aaron Lynch has the potential to be a top 35 talent in The 2014 NFL Draft. He is a physical machine listed at 6-6, 244 lbs. Top-ranked Defensive End Jadeveon Clowney is 6-6, 249 lbs. While Clowney is definitely the more talented and polished of the two, Lynch and Clowney have an almost identical frame. Lynch has a perfect body for an NFL Defensive End.
At Notre Dame, Lynch was dominant and looked polish in terms of technique. This year at USF, he took a step back both in stats and technique. Lynch has a very quick first step and is a very effective pass rusher. His motor is a concern as he occasionally take plays off or lets up on his pursuit. Lynch is a high-risk, high-reward pick but for a 6th round pick, he is definitely worth the gamble. He has the potential to be a star with the Raiders and would provide them a much needed pass rusher.
7th Round (196 overall): Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon
Measurables: 6-4, 246 lbs
40-YD Dash: 4.5
2012: 6 TD, 392 YDS, 25 REC, 15.7 AVG
2011: 5 TD, 147 YDS, 7 REC, 21.0 AVG
2012: PAC-12 All-Conference Honorable Mention
Last year, Colt Lyerla was considered one of the top Tight Ends in College Football. That all changed when Lyerla was arrested for cocaine possession and kicked off Oregon's football team. Lyerla has many off-field issues which will lower his draft stock.
But, Lyerla is one of the most athletic players in the entire 2014 NFL Draft. He is 6-4, 246 lbs and runs like a deer. Lyerla has soft hands and is also extremely good at receiving. In space, Lyerla is tough to tackle because he is so fast, yet so big. On the line, Lyerla is a strong blocker who uses his hands well allowing him to be a dual-Tight End.
Lyerla is another high-risk, high-reward but in the 7th round where most picks do not start, he is worth the selection. Lyerla has a chance to become a top-10 Tight End in the NFL. While Mychal Rivera was a nice surprise, the Raiders need depth at Tight End and Lyerla could add not only depth, but potentially another starter. Reggie McKenzie said, "You shoot for playmakers", and that is exactly what Colt Lyerla is.