The 2019 draft provides the Oakland Raiders who are armed with the 4th pick, the 24th pick, and the 27th pick in the first round a unique opportunity to build their franchise properly through the draft.
Pass rush and edge play was a huge liability for the Raiders defense. Last season they accumulated a lowly 13 sacks as a team — easily dead last in the NFL. Minus the three gimme sacks Bruce Irvin got early in the season, the 1 sack from Arden Key is all they got from the edge position.
With the best players available being at a position of need, one would be hard pressed to find a better fit for the Raiders, than defensive line. It would be the most prudent, to give new defensive line coach Brentson Buckner a physical and violent defensive lineman to work with.
Their pick at 4th overall will afford the Raiders an opportunity at a premium defensive lineman. Out of Nick Bosa, Josh Allen, Clellin Ferrell, Ed Oliver, or Quinnen Williams one of these highly desired commodities will be available with pick number 4.
The options with what to do with their two lower first round picks are not so cut and dry. Here are five strategies which can be applied.
1. Package them to trade up
Picks 24 and 27 are tremendous draft capital to have. Should a player they really like fall out of the top ten, they may be able to move up to grab him. The more that we analyze how many needs this team has, the less likely it seems they will as they need to draft as many players as possible.
2. Pick a player with one and trade back with the other
If we’re talking about having as many picks as possible, this would be a good option. Especially if a team in the second round is itching to get back into the bottom of the first round. A lot of quality talent in this draft could be found on day two.
3. Wide receiver and Linebacker
The rush on wide receivers should be hot and heavy in between pick 20 and all the way into the second round. One or more of these noteworthy receivers: Deebo Samuels, Kelvin Harmon, AJ Brown, or Hakeem Butler should be available at 24.
Failing to address the linebacker corps until day three of the draft has proven to be a costly mistake in recent years. With a new GM in town there will be premiere talent at the core of this defense and someone like Michigan’s Devin Bush could be on the board.
4. Triple your defense
The first round is loaded with an abundance of defensive talent. The Raiders could very easily take three premium defenders and add another defensive lineman/edge. Needing at least two to field on defense at all times they could definitely use a third.
They also have the option of adding to the defensive backfield and picking up either a corner or a safety or potentially both.
5. Double up at receiver
Seth Roberts has a cap hit of $4.65M this year and Jordy Nelson will be 34 in the 2019 season. With Amari Cooper traded to Dallas the Raiders are in desperate need for 3-4 wide receivers. The need for premier talent at the position is something that neither Jon Gruden, nor Mike Mayock is going to ignore for very long. You can’t restock the cabinets if they are already full.
Tight end could be one of those receivers too. Jared Cook led the team in receiving yards this season. For the first time ever, a Gruden coached passing game focused primarily on the tight end. Cook is also a free agent and 33. A fresh set of legs on a brand new tight end would help Carr score down in the red zone.
Wild card: Grab an O-lineman
As a whole, the Raiders allowed 52 sacks in 2018. It simply isn’t going to work. The offensive line was lacking a push in the run game as well. Selecting an interior lineman or catching a nice tackle should one fall in the round, will do the offense justice.
Which of these strategies would you like to see the Raiders implement with their picks at 24 and 27?
This poll is closed
Package them to trade up
Pick a player win one and trade back with the other
Wide receiver and Linebacker
Triple your defense
Double up at receiver
Other (specify in comments)