As we noted recently, the Raiders’ need areas are many, with none really jumping out as the glaring biggest need. The one position Pro Football Focus recently said was the Raiders biggest need was cornerback. But that’s not where they see the Raiders going with their top pick in their most recent mock draft.
In their mock draft 2.0, PFF has the Raiders taking Penn State running back SaQuon Barkley at 10th overall.
Running backs must be able to contribute in the passing game, and that’s just what Barkley can do after leading all college running backs with 632 receiving yards. He is dynamic with the ball in his hands and will add a three-down weapon to the Raiders’ offense as they transition to new head coach Jon Gruden’s scheme. Even if they ‘win’ the coin flip with San Francisco, Barkley would still be in play at pick No. 9.
Running back is certainly one of those need areas we mentioned for this team. Though how much of an immediate need is dependent upon whether Marshawn Lynch returns.
As for Barkley himself, many mock draft gurus have him gone by the time the Raiders pick at either 9 or 10. Mel Kiper had him going to the Browns at 4th overall in his first mock yesterday. In case you were curious, he has Raiders taking Georgia LB Roquan Smith at 10.
We’re still a few months away from the draft, so you can bet a lot will change by that time.