With 11 players already covered, and the NFL Draft finally just around the corner, we wanted to close out our series by placing the ball in the court of our writers.
Shock us. Surprise us. Throw us a curveball.
Other than the 11 guys mentioned — who's someone on your radar? Obviously there are guys not covered who would be predictable picks at No. 14 should they fall (Jalen Ramsey, Myles Jack, etc.) — but who is a guy who should be there at 14 that hasn't been covered?
Jeff Spiegel: Jarran Reed, DT, Alabama
This is a deep class at the defensive tackle position, so it will be tempting to pass on one in the first round, but Reed may be too intriguing to pass up. The thought of an exceptional interior defender eating up blocks alongside Khalil Mack, Bruce Irvin and Aldon Smith would be terrifying for opposing teams — as would the idea of running against Reed and Dan Williams inside.
According to Pro Football Focus, Reed had the second-best run defense grade in the country last season, and the leading run-stop percentage as well. Oakland has plenty of pass-rushers on the outside, and the addition of someone like Reed on the inside would not only add a sense of completion to the line, but could help mask their deficiencies at middle linebacker.
Marcus Allen Krause: Jason Spriggs, OL, Indiana
Picking Spriggs at 14th would be a bit of a reach but I do not believe he will be available in the 2nd round because he fits multiple teams that need linemen help at the end of the round. Preferably, if the Raiders are interested in Spriggs, a trade down would be the best option, but that takes a team wanting the 14th overall pick for it to work.
I would not be upset with the Raiders reaching for Spriggs anyway at 14 because he is an extremely impressive athlete for a 6'6, 300lb lineman. He was a tight end before moving to Left Tackle for the Hoosiers. He was a semi-finalist for the Outland trophy and was 2nd team All-Big10 which is a big accomplishment considering the conference is known for it's talented offensive linemen.
Spriggs is incredibly athletic but he needs to build his strength up to take the abuse of the defensive monsters in the NFL. He wouldn't be forced into the starting line up right away for the Raiders though and Mike Tice would make sure he is ready when his name would be called. He killed the combine as a workout warrior and earned his way into the 1st round, I would have no problem if the team taking a chance on him was the Oakland Raiders.
RDreamer: Vernon Butler, DT, Louisiana Tech
The Raiders have already had success taking defensive tackles from Louisiana Tech, having selected Justin Ellis a few seasons ago and seeing him become a big (pun intended) part of their defensive line rotation. But this year there is a new La Tech DT in the draft who is an even better prospect than Ellis, and his name is Vernon Butler.
We here in Raider Nation like to think Justin Ellis is big. He is, at 6'2" and 321 pounds. Well, Butler is bigger at 6'3" and 323.
Butler is stout against the run and has a variety of pass rush moves in addition to being able to line up as a 3-tech tackle. While Ellis is an integral part of the Raiders defensive line, he's had injury troubles and hasn't been a consistent pass rusher in the middle. Vernon Butler is the best prospect La Tech has produced in years and would solve both of those issues. Butler has a similar skillset to Sheldon Rankins, but is some 30 pounds heavier. Lots of people have predicted the Raiders to take a tackle such as Rankins, Jarran Reed, Chris Jones or Jonathan Bullard but Vernon Butler has, I believe, a higher ceiling than any of them.
Tyler Green: Laquon Treadwell, WR, Ole Miss
The Raiders currently have a solid receiving corps, but Treadwell may be too talented to pass and Michael Crabtree isn't getting any younger.
The Raiders offseason was focused on improving the defense and offensive line, but no attention was given to the offensive skill positions. Treadwell fits the Alshon Jeffery mold as a physical receiver that wins at catch point. His addition would give the Raiders a phenomenal redzone threat as well as a bigger receiver. Treadwell ranks fifth on my Raiders Big Board as he could take the Raiders passing game to a whole new level. Placing him over Sheldon Rankins and Shaq Lawson was difficult, but the defensive line is the deepest position in the 2016 NFL Draft and the Raiders can find great value there in the middle rounds.
Levi Damien: Trade down
I'm usually not a big fan of just throwing out the idea of trading down because it is highly dependent upon what they could get in return as well as dependent upon what is on the board when they pick -- something none of us will know until the Raiders are on the clock. And while there are a few players we didn't cover in this series, I have or will cover several of them in my Raider Draft Radar series. Here is my reasoning for this move:
The Raiders have a need along the defensive line and we are looking at one of the deepest Dline classes we've seen in some time. They also have a need at safety and no safeties are expected to come off the board until the late first round at least, and perhaps the second round.
Combine that with the possibility a guy like Memphis QB Paxton Lynch could still be on the board and with several teams in need of adding a quarterback there could be some suitors willing to give up some good compensation to swap first round picks with the Raiders.