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Football Outsiders projects Raiders finish last in AFC West, pick top five in 2017 draft

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With all the optimism surrounding the Raiders this offseason following a resurgent 7-9 season in 2015, not all projections align with those expectations.

Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Friday ESPN came out with their ‘way too early' 2017 mock draft. Normally mock drafts this long before the actual draft are relatively meaningless because none of us really knows who the top college prospects will be a year from now, what each team's position needs will ultimately be, and what order they will be in. It's that last bit about the final draft order that was interesting about this future mock draft.

While it was Todd McShay who chose the players, he was using Football Outsiders 2016 record projections to find the draft order. And there the Raiders were at fifth overall, taking cornerback Jalen Tabor out of Florida.

The rest of the AFC West seems to fair pretty well in the draft order. They like the Chiefs to win the division and head to the AFC Championship game, with the Chargers just missing the playoffs in the 18th spot, and the Broncos third in the division in the 14th spot.

This, of course, would mean they see the Raiders -- whose 7-9 record last season was third in the division -- falling back to their previous form being that the team had top five picks in each the previous three drafts.

It's also interesting considering these projections don't line up with the Vegas oddsmakers who have the Raiders Super Bowl odds in the middle of the pack at 14th which is where they were in the draft order last week. They also had their odds go up twice this offseason, and most expect the Raiders to be poised for a playoff push. But FO sees a serious regression.

I don't know how FO comes by their projections, so I can't speak on that. But it's certainly...um...interesting.