Reggie McKenzie and Jon Gruden were wheelin’ and dealin’ on the opening night of the NFL Draft. Oakland first traded back to the 15th overall pick with the Arizona Cardinals acquiring a third and fifth round pick in the process. They then flipped that third round pick to the Pittsburgh Steelers for wide receiver Martavis Bryant.
While many fans were critical of the Raiders moves in the first round, Friday is a new day and brings a fresh opportunity for the Silver and Black to capitalize. Who are some of the top prospects still available for Oakland entering the second round?
Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
Second overall pick Saquon Barkley is a generational running back, but the gap between him and Guice is not very far. Definitely not 30-picks and counting far. The LSU tail back closely resembles Raiders current running back Marshawn Lynch as both pride themselves in punishing defenders. Guice would rotate with ‘Beastmode’ this season, and take over as the lead back in 2019 when Lynch’s contract expires.
Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
On the field, the First-Team All-American is a top-ten talent and easily the best pass rushing defensive tackle in the draft. But a heart condition that kept him from competing in the NFL Scouting Combine has dropped him to the second round and perhaps further. Hurst might be worth the risk for the Raiders as he fits Paul Guenther’s 4-3 defensive scheme perfectly and compares to Pro Bowl defensive tackle Geno Atkins.
Harold Landry, DE, Boston College
Arguably the best edge rusher not named Bradley Chubb is still available for the taking. Landry has a great combination of speed and explosiveness that allows him to effectively bend around offensive tackles. This helped him combine for 21.5 sacks over the past two seasons at Boston College. Imagine pairing him with Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin.
Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
It is surprising Jackson is still on the board as he is coming off a stellar season in which he led college football with 8 interceptions and 26 pass breakups. He allowed a lower passer rating (36.5) than had quarterbacks just thrown the ball at the ground every play according to Pro Football Focus. Jackson has the best ball skills and instincts in the cornerback class, but he could be sliding due to just one year of production and poor tackling technique. He would compete for a starting job with Gareon Conley and Rashaan Melvin if the Raiders were to pick him round two.
Orlando Brown, OT, Oklahoma
NFL Network’s Mike Silver reports it is very possible that Oakland takes another offensive tackle in the second round as Gruden ‘really wants to upgrade the position’. If this situation were to unfold, Oklahoma’s Orlando Brown could be the pick. Before a historically poor performance at the combine, Brown was in the running to be the first tackle drafted.
Other players to keep an eye on
Isaiah Oliver, CB, Colorado
Ronald Jones III, RB, USC
Harrison Phillips, DT, Stanford
Connor Williams, OT, Texas
Tyrell Crosby, OT, Oregon
Christian Kirk, WR, Texas A&M
Dallas Goedert, TE, South Dakota State
The good news for Raiders fans is there is plenty of talent left making for an exciting day two of the NFL Draft.