1st Round (5 overall): Trade with Rams for 13th overall pick, 45th overall pick and 77th overall pick
If the Rams fall in love with someone that might not fall to 13, then this trade could actually happen. The Raiders will be looking to trade down if all three Quarterbacks and Jadeveon Clowney are not available because they have so many needs. Depending on how desperate the Rams are, they will be willing to give up both a 2nd and a 3rd round pick since they are getting two top 5 picks.
1st Round (13 overall): Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M
Measurables: 6-5, 231 lbs
40-YD Dash: 4.53
Vertical Jump: 37"
2013: 12 TD, 1394 Yards, 20.2 AVG, 69 REC
2012: 5 TD, 1105 Yards, 13.5 AVG, 82 REC
2013: First-Team All-American, First-Team All-SEC, Biletnikoff Award Finalist, Maxwell Award Semifinalist, Walter Camp Award Semifinalist
2012: First-Team All-SEC
What do Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall, A.J. Green and Vincent Jackson all have in common? They are all 6-4 or taller. Mike Evans is a monster Wide Receiver from Texas A&M listed at 6-5, 231 lbs that has a 37" vertical. Just his size alone makes him a match-up nightmare for NFL Cornerbacks (average height of 5'10). Many scouts consider Evans one of the best Wide Receivers in the 2014 NFL Draft. He has great control of his body and catches the ball at it's highest point. Evans has reliable hands and is a solid route-runner. He plays physical making him tough to press.
The biggest knock on Evans is his speed. But, Evans increased his 40-YD Dash at the combine posting a 4.53 (was previously 4.58). If he also has a good pro-day, his stock with continue to increase.
The Raiders have lots of talent at Wide Receiver but no one has proven reliable. His great hands and size would help bring stability to the team and would help a Quarterback brought in. NFL Analysts compare Evans to Vincent Jackson, who had much success against the Raiders for years. Elite Receivers are hard to fine, which is why the Raiders must pounce on Mike Evans.
Mike Evans vs Alabama 2013 (via JPDraftJedi)
2nd Round (36 overall): David Yankey, OG, Stanford
Measurables: 6-6, 315 lbs
40-YD Dash: 5.48
2013: First-Team All-American, First-Team All-PAC-12, Lombardi Award Semifinalist, Outland Trophy Semifinalist
2012: First-Team All-American, First-Team All-PAC-12, Morris Trophy
David Yankey was the leader of a Stanford Offensive Line that was one of the best in the nation (22nd rushing offense, 11th in sacks allowed, 7th in tackles for loss). It is no coincidence that Andrew Luck, Stepfan Taylor and Tyler Gaffney have starred behind Yankey's blocking. He has great size for an Offensive Guard at 6-6, 315 lbs, yet he also displays quick footwork. Yankey can pull well and also sets up quickly for Pass-Pro.
The biggest concern with Yankey is that his hand punches must be stronger and he needs to keep his pads lowered. He will occasionally stop his feet after contact.
Lucas Nix was the worst starting Offensive Guard in the NFL. Add David Yankey to an Offensive Line that already features Jared Veldheer, Stefen Wisniewski and Menelik Watson, and the Raiders have one of the best Offensive Lines in the NFL.
2013 David Yankey Highlight (via StanfordFball)
2nd Round (45 overall from Rams): Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State
Measurables: 6-3, 273 lbs
40-YD Dash: 4.84
2013: 7.5 Sacks, 47 Tackles, 19 TFL, 3 FF
2012: 9 Sacks, 44 Tackles, 17.5 TFL, 1 FF
2013: All-American Honorable Mention, Second-Team All-PAC-12
2012: All-American Honorable Mention, First-Team All-PAC-12, Ted Hendricks Award Semifinalist
Scott Crichton is a dominant Defensive-End from Oregon State. Crichton is a very instinctive player that relies on anticipation to make plays. He uses his hands effectively but can also bull-rush. Crichton has a great motor and always looks like he is working hard. He does not give up on his pursuit.
While Crichton possesses good size at 6-3, 273 lbs, he is not incredibly athletic. This limits his potential in the NFL. Although he may not be the next Jared Allen, he can develop into a solid Defensive End with his work ethic. His coach Mike Riley stated, "He has a great ability to stay focused and he'll be driven to get better -- he won't be distracted by the bling of the NFL" (NFL.com). Riley also thinks that Crichton can be utilized best in a 4-3 defense which is what the Raiders run.
Last year, Left Defensive-End was one of the weakest positions for the Raiders. In the AFC West against Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers and Alex Smith, a good pass rush is a necessity. With Crichton playing Right Defensive-End, Oakland can move Lamarr Houston back to the left side where he is more comfortable. Crichton's hard work would motivate the rest of the team and while he does not have the potential to be a "star", he is a safe pick to be a solid Defensive-End that can provide stability to an ailing Defensive Line.
Scott Crichton Oregon state DE highlights (via TheBeaverskickass)
3rd round (67 overall): DaQuan Jones, DT, Penn State
Measurables: 6-4, 322 lbs
40-YD Dash: 5.35
2013: 48 Tackles, 3 Sacks
2012: 1/2 Sack, 22 Tackles
2013: First-Team All-Big Ten, invited to the Senior Bowl
DaQuan Jones was the leader of a Penn State defense in 2012 that was 16th nationally in scoring defense (19 ppg). He is a massive Defensive Tackle that is 6-4, 322 lbs. NFL.com analyst Gil Brandt called DaQuan Jones, "The best senior Defensive Tackle in the nation" (NFL). Jones looked much quicker off the snap this year than he did last year (Jones lost 25 lbs in the off-season). He has impressive size but can struggle at times getting leverage because of his height. The Raiders need help on the Defensive Line and Jones would definitely plug up the middle.
Daquan Jones vs Michigan (2013) (via Nick Page)
3rd Round (77 overall): Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois
Measurables: 6-2, 226 lbs
40-YD Dash: 4.97
Hand Size: 9"
Arm Length: 30-1/4"
2013: 53 TD, 5050 YDS, 66.0 Comp%, 9 INT, 7.1 YD/A
2012: 31 TD, 3,823 YDS, 61.3 Comp%, 15 INT, 8.9 YD/A
2013: Walter Payton Award Candidate, invited to the Senior Bowl, invited to the Shrine Bowl
2012: Walter Payton Award Finalist
Finally, the Raiders get their Quarterback. Jimmy Garoppolo is an efficient Quarterback from Eastern Illinois. Garoppolo has decent size for a Quarterback at 6-2, 226 lbs. He has one of the quickest releases of any Quarterback in the 2014 NFL Draft. Garoppolo displays good pocket presence and footwork and does not panic under pressure. He has the best production of any Quarterback in the draft. He shows tremendous leadership and takes control of games. At the Combine, Garoppolo had nice accuracy and touch on all of his throws. I have him as the 4th best Quarterback, even over Derek Carr. Former GM Bill Polian agrees as he recently tweeted that he thinks Garoppolo will be a 1st round pick. With Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles and Johnny Manziel, it is unlikely. But it goes to show how much potential Garoppolo has.
Garoppolo has also impressed many coaches with his quick release. At his pro day, Garoppolo had a private workout with 49ers Head Coach Jim Harbaugh. Afterwards, Harbaugh was asked what he thought of Garoppolo's release: "Quick release, yes." This is a great trait to possess because by getting the ball out his hands quickly, Garoppolo will limit the amount of times he is sacked. In 2013, Garoppolo was only sacked 19 times. To compare, Johnny Manziel who is known for his evasiveness was also sacked 19 times.
The biggest question mark with Garoppolo is his competition. At Eastern Illinois, Garoppolo played in the FCS, a less competitive league; but, he was unstoppable. Garoppolo is not the only Quarterback from Eastern Illinois to have success (Tony Romo did it in 2002). If Romo can have success at the next level, then why can't Garoppolo? The last aspect of Garoppolo's game that needs improvement is his velocity on throws. But, I find leadership, accuracy and footwork the most important qualities of a Quarterback and Garoppolo is tremendous at all three.
Matt McGloin and Terrelle Pryor are not going to lead the Raiders to a Superbowl. I think McGloin is a solid backup but does not have the potential to be a game changing Quarterback. Quarterback is the most important position on a team and Garoppolo would provide the Raiders stability at the position for the first time since Rich Gannon.
Against Illinois State, Garoppolo had 7 touchdowns:
EIU Football Wins 57 to 24 over Illinois St. 91413 (via pantherathletics)
For more information on Jimmy Garoppolo, visit my scouting report on him:
Measurables: 5-11, 197 lbs
40-YD Dash: 4.62
Vertical Jump: 34.5"
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 Seahawksmentality of stacking the secondary with long, tall Cornerbacks. Bashaud Breeland is one of those Cornerbacks that has ideal size. At 5-11, 197 lbs, Breeland physically will be able to match up with many 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 he 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. In a year or two, he will contend for a starting spot.
ACC Must See Moment | DB Bashaud Breeland's Incredible Leaping Interception | ACCDigitalNetwork (via ACC Digital Network)
6th Round (165 overall): James Gayle, DE, Virginia Tech
Measurables: 6-4, 259 lbs
40-YD Dash: 4.7
2013: 6 Sacks, 44 Tackles, 10.5 TFL, 34 Hurries
2012: 5 Sacks, 43 Tackles, 11 TFL, 27 Hurries
2013: Third-Team All-ACC, invited to the Senior Bowl
2012: Second-Team All-ACC
James Gayle is an edge rusher for the Virginia Tech Hokies. Gayle has tremendous quickness and speed. He is solidly built listed at 6-4, 255. Gayle shows great effort on his pursuit and plays hard. Gayle also has three years of experience as a starter.
Although Gayle has played three years in the ACC, he only has a small variety of pass moves. He also struggles to change direction and is a poor open-field tackler. Gayle is a one dimensional player which is why his stock will fall come draft day.
That being said, Gayle is an excellent edge rusher. He reminds me of a poor man's Barkevious Mingo in that he is sleek, quick and fast. The Raiders need all the help they can get rushing the Quarterback as their leading pass rusher was Lamarr Houston with a meager 6 sacks.
James Gayle Virginia Tech Highlights (via James Gayle)
7th Round (196 overall): Colt Lyerla, TE, Oregon
Measurables: 6-4, 242 lbs
40-YD Dash: 4.61
Vertical Jump: 36"+ (highest among Tight Ends)
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. At the Combine, he ran a 4.61 40-YD Dash (3rd best) and had a 36" Vertical Jump (highest by 4 inches). Lyerla also tied for first in the Broad Jump with an incredible 10'8". 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.
Colt Lyerla 2012 Highlights (via madmike1951)
7th Round (212 overall from Arizona for Carson Palmer): Tim Flanders, RB, Sam Houston State
Measurables: 5-9, 207 lbs
40-YD Dash: 4.75
2013: 14 TD, 1430 YDS, 5.9 AVG
2012: 17 TD, 1642 YDS, 5.7 AVG
2013: Invited to the Shrine Bowl
Tim Flanders is the star Running Back for Sam Houston State. Flander's measurables are not the most impressive as he is only 5-9, 207 lbs. Houston's 4.75 40-YD Dash is also slow. So then why draft him? Because Houston is quick, shifty and has excellent vision. He has drawn comparisons to Danny Woodhead and Darren Sproles.
Montana Head Coach Robin Pflugrad even compared Flanders to Barry Sanders: "Yea, he looked like Barry Sanders to me tonight. He has some gears. He's got a great jump cut. He looks like Barry Sanders on the jump cut; there's nobody else I can compare him to" (SHSU Official Athletics Website).
Another knock on Flanders is that he has not played elite competition. Yet, he had a solid week at the Shrine Bowl and was a star against Texas A&M. Flanders also has 1,063 carries which causes wear and tear on his body and might make him less durable in the NFL.
The Raiders have three big Running Backs in Rashad Jennings, LataviusMurray and Marcel Reece. If the Raiders sign back Darren McFadden, they will have a fourth. What they don't have is a shifty back that can be used in different situations. That is exactly what Flanders would give the Raiders as he could fit into the same role Danny Woodhead does with the Chargers.
Against Texas A&M, Flanders had 170 total yards and 3 touchdowns:
Tim Flanders (RB) Sam Houston State vs Texas A&M (2013) (via phillyjimmyphilms)