It seems there may some hive mind happening lately with regard to mock drafts. Just in the past three days, a slew of mock drafts are all predicting the Raiders will be picking Georgia middle linebacker Roquan Smith with their pick at either 9 or 10 in April’s draft.
According to our mock draft database, eight of the ten mock drafts to come out since February 19 have Roquan Smith as the Raiders’ pick.
Today alone saw several mock drafts including from Sports Illustrated, USA Today, and ESPN all have Smith as the pick. The ESPN mock comes from Mel Kiper who had this to say about his prediction.
This match makes too much sense, so I’m sticking with it. Smith could be the centerpiece of Jon Gruden’s Raiders defense, playing inside linebacker. He had 137 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks last season, and he was a force in the College Football Playoff, making plays from sideline to sideline.
Over at Sports Illustrated, Albert Breer had this to say about his prediction:
The Raiders would be lucky in this scenario—their biggest hole would be filled by the best available player. Smith is a heat-seeking sideline-to-sideline linebacker who could man the Oakland middle for a decade.
There’s no doubt Smith is a tremendous talent. But whether middle linebacker is the Raiders’ “biggest hold” will depend on whether they re-sign veteran NaVorro Bowman, who led the team in tackles despite being signed after week six and starting just the final ten games.
You can check out our updated mock draft database to see who is being predicted to go to the Raiders.