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Mel Kiper explains why he switched Raiders pick from Jack Conklin to Eli Apple in his mock 2.0

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ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper spoke to the media on conference call Monday, in which, among other draft related questions, he laid out his thinking with his mock draft picks for the Raiders in round one.

Last week Mel Kiper released his mock draft 2.0. In his first mock draft of the offseason, he had the Raiders selecting Michigan State offensive tackle Jack Conklin in the first round, but switched his pick to that of Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple in his second version, while passing up on Clemson cornerback Mackensie Alexander, who many mock draft gurus have going to Oakland at pick 14.

Here he explains his thinking.

"When you look at Oakland, I thought it would definitely be Conklin again, for the second mock as it was for the first mock." said Kiper. "But the more I thought about Philadelphia one pick ahead, could they pass Conklin up? I didn't think they could. So, once I gave Conklin to Philly, I tried to find a corner that was viable. By viable I mean that didn't necessarily look like he was a guaranteed mid [first round], and a lot of people may not have him there, it may raise a few eyebrows now, but come late April it won't. It's a real possibility.

"Apple is a big corner, he's a great athlete, he did real well against some top receivers. He's only a third-year sophomore. I think that's the kind of pick Oakland has traditionally made over the years. You look at where they could go now, they have several directions, it would be a force if Conklin is gone, I think, to take an offensive lineman that high. I think they're satisfied with [Latavius] Murray at running back, so I don't think [Ohio State running back Ezekiel] Elliott will be in the discussion. And then it got down to cornerback/safety, not a safety to think about."

"It got down to really Apple, Mackensie Alexander, but with his height and his lack of even intercepting a pass in two years pushed him down a bit. So, I don't think Apple would be an out of the question pick, because I think after all is said and done, we get to late April, April 28, he's going to be way up there on a lot of boards."