On this day, just 10 days before the draft, I offer to you my final mock draft of the 2010 year. I've come a long way from my first mock draft this year, which included MLB Rolando McClain of the national champion Crimson tide and a no name quarterback in the 7th round from Florida Atlantic named Rusty Smith. That particular draft got over 4,300 reads on when I released it back on January 15th. Since I wrote that article, I've only written one other Raiders mock draft, the post NFL Rookie Combine mock draft in March. Now, I am writing my last in hopes that someone who has some sort of influence in the Oakland war room will see the logic in my picks and at least take one of the guys that I've wasted parts of my life I'll never get back researching.
Let me not waste any more time with my fruitless jibber-jabber, and give you my final in depth perception of what will happen for Oakland on NFL Draft Weekend.
With the 8th pick in the 2010 NFL draft the Oakland Raiders select Mike Iupati, guard, Idaho.
Hey, if they are going to reach out for a draft choice, you can't go wrong with this guy. I actually watched a segment on 60 minutes recently where they analyzed a small community that produces more NFL players than any other community in America. They call it "Football Island" a.k.a. American Samoa. Players like Troy Polamalu, the all-pro safety from the Pittsburgh Steelers, along with Haloti Gnata the DT from the Baltimore Ravens, Jonathan Fanene DT from the Bengals, and about 30 other NFL players are from the tiny Island of 68,000 people.
As you can see, the AFC North division has a run on the NFL Samoans, and it is time for the Raiders to get in on the mix. If there is going to be an offensive lineman taken in the first round by Oakland this year, you can bet your last dollar that Tom Cable will be a heavy influence on whom he is. I'm sure that Cable's pick will be Iupati, the left guard from the Idaho Vandals.
There has been a trade; the Oakland Raiders have traded their 2010 second round pick (39th overall) along with MLB Kirk Morrison to the Minnesota Vikings for their 30th overall pick and their fifth round draft choice in 2010. With the 30th overall pick in the draft, the Oakland Raiders select Bruce Campbell, OT, from Maryland.
Hey, I bet you didn't see that coming did you? Here is the thing though, Bruce Campbell is not even currently ranked on Scouts Inc.'s Top 32 players for this draft, but at this point in the draft, he is the best tackle left on most boards. With the bottom feeders coming up in front of the in the second round, teams in desperate need of offensive line who aren't expected to go offensive line in the first round, like the Rams, Chiefs, Lions, and Bucs, the Raiders realize that they can get that draft combine freak late in the first and shore up the offensive line right out of the gate this year.
Like him or not, Bruce Campbell is a phenomenal athlete with tremendous upside. He looks more like a Greek god than your typical offensive lineman, and he is very quick. So with the top two picks in the draft, the Oakland Raiders have substantially upgraded the right side of their offensive line.
Video of Campbell (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VnMm7AcJ7RI)
With the 69th pick in the 2010 NFL draft, the Oakland Raiders select Brandon Spikes, ILB from the Florida Gators.
That's right guys, you heard it here first. Spikes is on a steady decline since the end of his college season. To look on your draft board and see this former projected 1-2 pick there at this point in the draft is reminiscent of looking in the fourth round last year and seeing Louis Murphy. Sure, Spikes ran a horrible 40 time at his Pro Day, but we all know he is faster than that; he is from the speed state, remember?
On top of that, his collegiate accomplishments speak for themselves and he fits the mold of the NFL type 4-3 middle linebacker. He would complete the transformation of the linebacker crew in Oakland. With the addition of Spikes, along with Trevor Scott and Kamerion Wimbley flanking him the Raiders are now a combined four inches taller and 44 pounds heavier than last year's starters. Spikes can come in from day one and bring an attitude and hitter's mentality that Kirk Morrison hasn't shown during his time with the team.
Video of Spikes(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J734kA0DISg)
With the 106th pick in the 2010 NFL draft, the Oakland Raiders select Cam Thomas, DT from North Carolina.
AT 6'4" 331 lbs., he is just the right guy to plug the gaping holes that have perplexed this team's run defense over the past three years. His stock is on the rise ever since the Senior Bowl. His head coach, Butch Davis, comes from a background of NFL defensive coaching, so the Tarheels' defense is very much pro style. And Thomas likes getting his nose dirty in the middle of that defense.
"I love Guerilla warfare baby," he said, "That's where you earn your stripes. I got my stripes. I can anchor that whole thing. Not everybody can play that position." You have to admire the guy's attitude. You also have to love his name on twitter: Triplefatgoose. Thomas is a massive man who moves the whole line where ever he wants. Early in the fourth round, he is too good to pass up.
Are you keeping up with this Raider Nation? So far, the Raiders have addressed both the offensive line issues and the run defense with their first four picks in the 2010 draft. Now, it's time for Mr. Davis to get a little creative and select some of those late rounds heroes the team has been able to draft lately. Coming up, it's the three fifth round picks (one from New England and one from the earlier trade with Minnesota) and then the two sevenths.
With the 138th pick in the 2010 NFL draft, the Oakland Raiders select Perrish Cox, CB from Oklahoma State
It's another case of a high talent guy falling in the draft here, similar to the Brandon Spikes situation. Only this time, it's one of the very few guys who I've seen play some substantial time as a man to man coverage cornerback in college. 6'1" 195 pounds, not quite the speed that Davis covets with his 4.54 forty yard dash, but Cox is a playmaker, and could be a solid nickel cornerback for Oakland straight out of the gate. Cox had to hold a private workout for scouts because he was told by his schools officials that he was not allowed to participate in the schools pro day after being suspended for the cotton bowl for violating team rules (curfew violations, twice). This is a large part of the reason for his recent decline on draft boards.
Nevertheless, Cox is a great football player. He has those Davis intangibles and like I said he worked in a lot of man to man coverage at Oklahoma State. If he falls to this pick, then Oakland should definitely take him here. He is also very dangerous as a return man in special teams.
With the 158th pick in the 2010 NFL draft, the Oakland Raiders select Clifton Geathers, DE from South Carolina.
How about this pick in the middle of the fifth round, a 6'7" 299 pound defensive end with 37 ¾" arms and 11 inch hands. Yeah, Clifton Geathers has the potential to be that guy who lines up at both end and defensive tackles like a new version of Richard Seymour. He is a notable run defender, who needs to work on his pass rushing, but hey, the Raiders need more help in run defense, not pass rushing. It's a match made in heaven.
IF he is given the opportunity to compete at the next level, he will be the fourth member of his family who has played ball in the NFL. Talk about running in the family. Geathers is a project player, but with the talent surrounding him in Oakland, he will be given the opportunity to succeed without bearing the pressure to perform from day one.
With the 167th pick in the 2010 NFL draft, the Oakland Raiders select Marshall Newhouse, OT from Texas Christian University.
Yeah, so what if the Raiders used two picks from the Minnesota Viking on offensive linemen, you got a problem with that? I sure don't. Anyway, Newhouse has already visited the Raiders complex, and that means that the Raiders are interested. I would suspect that if he is here this late in the fifth round, they won't let him get away.
Marshall is fast for his size and his stock is on the rise. He is considered a versatile player who projects as a guard at the next level, but Newhouse is quite athletic and could potentially play the right tackle position. On the line or blocking against the linebackers, Newhouse has shown nice footwork and good strength to the NFL scouts this off season.
With the 215th pick in the 2010 draft, the Oakland Raiders select Chris Hall, Center from Texas.
The fifth year senior started 35 games for the Longhorns in his college career. He was a finalist for the Remington Award (NCAA's Best Center) for the second straight season. Hall is the offensive line's signal caller in the nation's third ranked scoring offense. Hall started at all five positions on the O-Line for Texas during his sophomore year at Texas until finding a home at center late in that same year.
Hall has issues in one-on-one situations, like when he faced Oklahoma's Gerald McCoy and even against other defensive tackles. Quicker tackles are said to be able to shed him quickly and get to the next level. But in Oakland, there are a lot of 3-4 defenses in the division, so he could be a value pick for the Raiders early in the seventh round.
With their final pick, the 251st pick of the 2010 draft, the Raiders select James Ruffin, DE from Northern Iowa.
This guy is a good athlete, standing 6'3" and bearing a weight of about 264 pounds, Ruffin ran a 4.73 forty for the scouts. He also has shown a 33" vertical leap, a 9'5" board jump and 27 repetitions on the weight bench.
He is a Division I-AA standout from a small school that could have a big impact on a team that can give him a chance to develop. The Raiders might just be that team. With the last pick in your draft, why not draft an AL Davis player. Ruffin has a good motor and a ton of motivation to prove himself.
So, during the course of my final mock draft, the Oakland Raiders have upgraded both lines, the linebackers, and the cornerbacks. They still need to go out and get a third tailback through the undrafted free agents, or post draft waiver wires, along with the hope that one of the fullbacks currently on the squad can step up. In my opinion, Marcel Reece could be that guy, he has a ton of upside. Who knows, maybe Oren O'Neal makes a triumphant comeback. Point is, I don't think either of these positions, nor WR or QB should be high on the priority list in Oakland's draft this year. Feel free to grade my overall draft below.
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