I guess if you want people talking about your mock drafts, you should always make some interesting predictions. For Pro Football Focus, they stick so closely to their player grades that it makes for picks that just about no one else in the mock draft world has. And they’re on their 4th version now, covering the first three rounds.
First of all, they love Baker Mayfield. For that reason Steve Palazzolo has had him going number one overall to the Browns from the start. They also have quarterbacks going 1-2-3 and then Maurice Hurst at fourth overall.
The Hurst pick is curious because most other mock drafts I’ve seen of late including Mel Kiper and Dan Kadar don’t even have Hurst going in the first round due to his heart concerns. I have been of the mind that Hurst being cleared by doctors for his pro day was all that was needed to alleviate those concerns for the draft. Others seem to disagree. But certainly not PFF, who has him going way higher than Hurst was projected even before the heart situation.
What’s also interesting is they don’t have the Broncos going quarterback despite their clear need at the position. PFF doesn’t like Josh Allen much. They have him going to Denver, but not until their pick at 40 overall in the second round.
Anyway, here is what his top ten looks like:
- Browns - Baker Mayfield, QB, Oklahoma
- Giants - Sam Darnold, QB, USC
- Jets - Josh Rosen, QB, UCLA
- Browns - Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
- Broncos - Derwin James, S, Florida State
- Colts - Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa
- Buccaneers - Saquon Barkley, RB, Penn State
- Bears - Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
- 49ers - Harold Landry, DE, Boston College
- Raiders - Bradley Chubb, DE, NC State
Chubb was who Palazzolo had going to the Raiders in his last version too, which covered just the first round. They see him as the league’s second best pass rusher, behind Harold Landry. While there are rumors Landry could go top ten, most still see Chubb as the better prospect, likely top five.
For that reason, sure, it would be a tremendous find for Chubb to be there and the Raiders would kinda have to take him for that reason.
The same seems to hold true for the Raiders’ day two picks; prospects that would be shocking if they were available at that spot. Enough so, you have to say the Raiders would need to consider it.
41. OAKLAND RAIDERS
RB Ronald Jones II, USC
Perhaps the best pure runner in the draft, Jones posted the top rushing grade in the nation at 95.5 last season. His has speed, vision and a willingness to finish runs that will have him stealing carries from the veterans currently residing in the Oakland backfield.
Notable players still on the board: Alabama DT Da’Ron Payne, Alabama LB Rashaan Evans, Oregon OT Tyrell Cosby, Oklahoma OT Orlando Brown,
75. OAKLAND RAIDERS
CB Darius Phillips, Western Michigan
Phillips adds another piece to Oakland’s overhaul in the secondary and he has the ability to cover the slot. He graded at 80.0-plus overall in each of the last three seasons.
These picks only really fill one of the Raiders current major needs — cornerback. Other positions such as defensive interior, linebacker, and right tackle go unaddressed. But those first two picks sure would be a Best Player Available scenario.
Well, that’s fun.