In his first two mock drafts, Todd McShay had the Raiders first going with their second Ohio State cornerback as their top pick in consecutive drafts with Denzel Ward and then going with versatile linebacker Tremaine Edmunds out of Virginia Tech in his mock 2.0. But just like so many others have of late, he has settled on Georgia linebacker Roquan Smith as their pick.
Oakland has needs all over on defense (CB, LB, edge rusher) and not enough available cap room to make huge upgrades in free agency. Smith would be a good building block for the Raiders’ defense, as a rangy weakside linebacker with fast eyes and terrific closing speed. He’s also a great leader and possesses tremendous football character.
With free agency a week from today and NaVorro Bowman appearing to be headed to the open market, it makes sense why more and more mock drafts have locked onto Smith as the pick. Though McShay has him as a weakside linebacker and should the Raiders go that route, he would likely be playing middle linebacker.