The NFL Draft is just seven days away. The coming week will be full of distracted employees, spouses forgetting their anniversaries and the temporary renewal of hope for fans of perennially disappointing franchises across the country.
For Raiders’ fans, the draft has been a joyous occasion the last few years, bringing the team superstars in Derek Carr, Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper, amongst others. Now on the cusp of reaching the next plateau, one more great draft from Reggie McKenzie could realistically send the team to the Super Bowl.
However, without a top-20 pick this go around, it will take even more impressive evaluation skills than in years past to secure a dynamic player in the first round.
With the NFL Draft finally upon us, here is one final look at how the first round could shake out:
1) Cleveland Browns - Myles Garrett, DE, Texas A&M
If anyone was to shock the world and not take Garrett, it would be the Browns. That being said, they’re taking Garrett.
2) Cleveland Browns (via trade w/ 49ers) - Mitchell Trubisky, QB, North Carolina
Speaking of shocking the world, The Browns trade their 12th and 33rd picks as well as WR Josh Gordon to claim the top two overall selections and their hopeful franchise quarterback.
3) Chicago Bears - Jonathan Allen, DT, Alabama
After picking talented edge-rusher Leonard Floyd last year, Ryan Pace can continue to improve the Bears’ defensive front with this pick.
4) Jacksonville Jaguars - Leonard Fournette, RB, LSU
The Jags follow the Cowboys’ successful blueprint from a year ago and take a dynamic running back with the fourth pick.
5) Tennessee Titans - Soloman Thomas, DE, Stanford
The Titans are thrilled that a monster pass rusher like Thomas falls a few picks.
6) New York Jets - Deshaun Watson, QB, Clemson
I’m not buying all the media attention this week saying the Jets want to move down. With Watson they get a proven winner; hopefully they won’t ruin yet another great prospect.
7) Los Angeles Chargers - Jamal Adams, S, LSU
The Chargers add another blue chip prospect to their defense after acquiring DPOY Joey Bosa with their third overall pick last year.
8) Carolina Panthers - Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
With Fournette gone, the Panthers go younger at the CB position. Getting the draft’s top corner with the eighth pick isn’t a bad consolation prize.
9) Cincinnati Bengals - Cam Robinson, OT, Alabama
Offensive lineman are no longer the “sure thing” picks of the 1st-round, but the Bengals are in desperate need of a day-one starter after their mass exodus in free agency.
10) Buffalo Bills - Mike Williams, WR, Clemson
Sticking with Mike Williams here because it just makes sense. Pairing Williams with fellow Clemson alumni Sammy Watkins gives Tyrod Taylor a real chance to succeed.
11) New Orleans Saints - Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
After Reuben Foster reportedly failed a drug test at the combine, Sean Payton can’t resist the speedy Stanford back.
12) San Francisco 49ers (via trade w/ Browns) - Malik Hooker, S, OSU
49ers acquire the 33rd pick, Josh Gordon AND arguably the draft’s top safety in Hooker by giving up their second overall. An absolute coup for John Lynch in his first draft.
13) Arizona Cardinals - Forrest Lamp, OG, Western Kentucky
This could be the last NFL season for Bruce Arians and Carson Palmer. The duo persuades Steve Keim to bolster the offensive line and give the team the best chance to succeed right now rather than looking towards the future.
14) Philadelphia Eagles - Gareon Conley, CB, Ohio State
The Eagles are tempted to go RB here, but instead bolster their secondary.
15) Indianapolis Colts - Ryan Ramczyk, OT, Wisconsin
Chris Ballard immediately sets to work on something that Ryan Grigson never did—protecting Andrew Luck.
16) Houston Texans (via trade w/ Ravens) - Pat Mahomes, QB, Texas Tech
The Texans give up their 25th pick along with a second and fifth rounder to nab the former Red Raiders gunslinger.
17) Washington Redskins - Jabrill Peppers, S, Michigan
Even after choosing Su’a Cravens last year, the Redskins desperately need an injection of youth and speed at the safety position; Peppers provides both.
18) Tennessee Titans - John Ross, WR, Washington
The combination of Corey Davis’ injuries and Ross’ stellar combine performance results in the Titans choosing the latter.
19) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State
The Buccaneers can’t resist pairing Cook with college teammate Jameis Winston. Hopefully it works out better than that formula did with Roberto Aguayo last year.
20) Denver Broncos - OJ Howard, TE, Alabama
Not only is John Elway one of the best GM’s in the league, he is also one of the luckiest. A top-five talent somehow falls to him at 20th.
21) Detroit Lions - Corey Davis, WR, Western Michigan
If injuries hadn’t kept him out of the combine and his pro day, Davis would’ve easily been a top-15 selection.
22) Miami Dolphins - Garrett Bolles, OT, Utah
The Fins’ O-line was awful last year. They need to do more to protect Ryan Tannehill and open up holes for Jay Ajayi.
23) New York Giants - David Njoku, TE, Miami
Njoku is exactly the kind of short range, dynamic talent that the Giants need on offense to extend Eli Manning’s playing window.
24) Oakland Raiders - Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
The more I look at the tape, the more I favor Davis over Reddick and Cunningham. He is a tough, hard-nosed, athletic, workhorse of a football player. He’s also universally respected off the football field for his love and passion for the game.
25) Baltimore Ravens (via trade w/ Texans) - Derek Barnett, DE, Tennessee
With Elvis Dumervil becoming a cap casualty and Terrell Suggs nearing the end of his career, Ozzie Newsome looks for younger reinforcements who can get to the quarterback.
26) Green Bay Packers (via trade w/ Seahawks) - Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
Laughing at convention, Ted Thompson swaps 1st-rounders with Seattle and throws in a 5th-rounder to leapfrog the Chiefs for Reddick.
27) Kansas City Chiefs - Tre’Davious White, CB, LSU
In a division loaded with talented WR’s, the Chiefs find a dynamic young talent to line up opposite Marcus Peters.
28) Dallas Cowboys - Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC
Jackson likely could’ve gone much higher, so the Cowboys strike gold once again with their first round selection. With Carr and Claiborne leaving in free agency, the Cowboys are in desperate need of help at the position.
29) Seattle Seahawks (via trade w/Packers) - Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
If you believe the noise, the ‘Hawks might be planning for a future without Richard Sherman. I don’t—but the Seahawks would still be ecstatic to get a top-15 talent who tumbled because of injury concerns.
30) Pittsburgh Steelers - Budda Baker, S, Washington
Baker is an excellent athlete and a versatile player in the secondary. The Steelers can use him all over the field.
31) Atlanta Falcons - Sidney Jones, CB, Washington
Jones slides back into the first round with recent reports that he could be back on the field as early as September. Talented corners are in high demand in the NFC South.
32) New Orleans Saints - Malik McDowell, DE, Michigan State
After having to pass on Foster, the Saints go for another defensive prospect with top-10 upside, but an unknown attitude in McDowell.
Which linebacker should the Raiders take with the 24th selection?
This poll is closed
Reuben Foster (failed drug test and all)