This week NFL Network’s most respected draft expert hopped on conference call to answer the media’s questions. Some of those questions were about what the Raiders might do with the tenth overall pick.
On best case scenario at 10 and trading down:
MAYOCK: I’ll tell you what, it’s been kind of fascinating watching Coach Gruden and Reggie and everybody working the free agent period. I think they were probably more active than anybody. What they’re trying to do, I think, was sign a bunch of one-year contracts to fill a bunch of needs so that when the draft day came, they could deal from strength and pick the best player on their board.
They’re sitting at 10, and I think if they went offense at 10 -- I look at how much money they have invested in their offensive line. I look at Donald Penn at age 35, and I think a guy like Mike McGlinchey, who’s clearly the number one tackle in the Draft, would have to be of interest. I think on the defensive side, there’s a bunch of playmakers that are considered top ten picks that could fit in with them. Chubb will be gone. I think the two insider linebackers, Roquan Smith is outstanding. I think [Tremaine] Edmunds from Virginia Tech is outstanding. Both safeties, [Minkah] Fitzpatrick and [Derwin] James, are unbelievable.
If you wanted to look corner, it would be Denzel Ward. So I think the only offensive guy that would fit the profile would be McGlinchey, but I think they’re going to have the choice of one of those defensive players, and they’re all special. As far as trading back . . . where they are in the top ten, I think they’re getting a special player. Depending how far they want to -- how far they’re willing to drop is really what it comes down to.
On players the Raiders may be looking at in later rounds:
MAYOCK: That’s a hard one. I’ll tell you somebody who will have some influence in that, though, is the Raiders special teams coach Rich Basaccia, who goes back with Jon to winning a Super Bowl in Tampa Bay, and when you get into that third day, I think the smart head coaches and general managers lean on their special teams coach a little bit.
On whether the Raiders will look to find interior pass rush and who they could look at:
MAYOCK: I’ve heard a lot of Vita Vea to Oakland. People want to place him there. And the way I look at the Raiders, again, is at 10, they can get a significant player at 10, and it doesn’t have to be an interior sub rusher or an interior rusher.
They signed Tank Carradine, who’s going to be on outside guy, or Armani Bryant, who can be an inside-outside guy. I think they’ve got to get Vanderdoes going a little bit, but there’s no doubt that, again, I think they can take a safety, they can take a corner. If you want to get a sub rusher, it doesn’t have to be in the first round. They’ve got 41 and 75. You can drop down a little bit.
There are some people I think Justin Jones from North Carolina State could be at 75 or even in the fourth round, a difference maker. A guy like Nate Shepherd, Fort Hays State, in the third round. It’s not a great interior defensive line class, but there are some different guys throughout it, PJ Hall, people call him a nose tackle. You can get him in the fourth round. He ran 4.75 at 310 pounds from Sam Houston State. I think there’s going to be some better value for them at 10, and I love Vita Vea, but I’m just not sure what he gives you as a rusher in your sub package, which you’re in 60 to 70 percent of the time.