Monday was the National Championship game. That ended the college bowl season, giving us our last glimpse of many of the draft’s top prospects. With their bodies of work now complete, who would you like to see the Raiders take at the fourth overall pick?
Missing on a top five pick can set your organization back years, so it’s imperative that Jon Gruden and new general manager Mike Mayock strike gold with this pick.
This year’s draft class is littered with talent along the defensive line; a major area of need for the Raiders.
The list of top defensive line talent includes Nick Bosa, Quinnen Williams, Josh Allen, Clelin Ferrell, and Ed Oliver. Bosa is ranked as the top prospect on many draft boards, making it highly unlikely he falls to the four spot. Any of the other prospects could potentially be there.
Here is a profile of each prospect.
Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
Williams rise to the top of draft boards has been quite remarkable. Williams, a redshirt sophomore craved out himself a small role as a rotational player along Alabama’s dominant defensive line in 2017.
In 2018, Williams worked his way into a starting position. Williams was one of the most dominant defensive of players in all of college football. He was awarded the Outland Trophy, an honor presented to the nation’s top interior offensive or defensive lineman. He also received first team All-American honors.
Williams finished the season with 71 tackles, 19.5 tackles for loss, eight sacks, and 12 quarterback hurries.
Josh Allen, OLB, Kentucky
After Kentucky’s Citrus Bowl victory over Penn State, Senior linebacker Josh Allen proclaimed himself the top pick in 2019 draft. His three sack and one blocked punt performance in the game certainly didn’t hurt his case.
Allen finishes his career with 31.5 sacks (17 in 2018), 220 tackles, and 42 tackles for loss. He was recognized for his stellar play in his Senior season by winning several awards and honors including first team All-American, SEC defensive player of the year, Bronko Nagurski award (most outstanding defensive player), Chuck Bednarik award (national defensive player of the year), Ronnie Lott trophy (defensive impact player of the year), and the Jack Lambert award (top linebacker).
Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
Two time national champ and captain of this years team, Clelin Ferrell would fill an immediate need for a Raiders pass rush that generated a league worst 13 sacks.
Another highly decorated prospect, Ferrell was named 2018 ACC player of the year, consensus All-American, and Ted Hendricks award winner (nation’s top defensive end). He will leave Death Valley with 27 career sacks, 166 tackles, 50.5 tackles for loss, and five forced fumbles.
Ed Oliver, DT, Houston
A month or two ago, Oliver’s name was mentioned as a potential top pick in the draft but following a knee injury that forced him to miss the team’s final five games (Oliver opted not to play in the bowl game) and some issues surrounding his character after a sideline dispute with his coach, he has seen his stock drop on some big boards.
Despite those minor issues, there is no denying his talent. Oliver is being compared to 2017 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, Aaron Donald.
As stout as Oliver was in 2018, his best season might have been in 2017 when he registered 73 tackles, 5.5 sacks, and 16.5 tackles for loss. That season he was named a consensus All-American (2017, 2018), Outland trophy winner (nations most outstanding interior lineman), and AAC defensive player of the year.
Who do you think the Raiders should draft with their first pick?
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