Before his time at NFL Network, Daniel Jeremiah was a scout for three NFL teams. In 2012, he was hired to work under Mike Mayock to cover the NFL Draft. After working with the new Raiders general manager for seven years, Jeremiah has taken over as the NFL Network’s senior draft analyst. So, who does Jeremiah predict Mayock will select in his first draft as Raiders general manager?
4. Quinnen Williams, DT, Alabama
The Raiders should take the best player available with needs all over the field.
Notes: With Kyler Murray, Joey Bosa, and Ed Oliver off the board, the Raiders are left with an interesting debacle. Should they take arguably the best player in the draft in Quinnen Williams, or address their dire need at edge rusher and draft Kentucky’s Josh Allen?
I believe if Williams is on the board, Mayock and Jon Gruden have to make him the pick, and Jeremiah agrees. The NFL is facing a shortage of quality offensive centers and guards, so having a star defensive tackle is extremely valuable. It is difficult for offensive coordinators to game-plan around elite interior lineman because they can’t simply chip a running back or tight end like they can to combat a star edge rusher.
Pairing Williams with Maurice Hurst would give defensive coordinator Paul Guenther two talented defensive tackles, while also having Jonathan Hankins and P.J. Hall to rotate. With three more picks in the top-35, the Raiders can still add an edge rusher to pair with defensive end Arden Key, while also drafting the best interior defensive line prospect since Aaron Donald.
24. Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
Fant would be an upgrade over Jared Cook, the tight end they just lost in free agency
Notes: With T.J. Hockenson off the board, Jeremiah pegs the second best tight end in the 2019 NFL Draft to the Silver & Black at 24 overall. Fant is an athletic freak that uses his 4.5 40-yard dash speed to create matchup nightmares for defenses. Jon Gruden’s offense boasts depth at the tight end position, but it lacks the star presence that Jared Cook provided.
Adding Fant to an offense already consisting of Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, Ryan Grant, and Jalen Richard would give Derek Carr a plethora of talented pass catchers, and leave him with no excuse to underperform in 2019.
27. Chris Lindstrom, OG, Boston College
GM Mike Mayock gets a year pass on donating to his alma mater by taking a fellow Golden Eagle! All jokes aside, Lindstrom is highly regarded and has a good chance of being picked in the 20s of Round 1.
Notes: Jeremiah predicts that Mayock and Gruden draft the best offensive guard in the draft to make-up for the loss of Kelechi Osemele. The four-year starter from Boston College flashes a mean streak, and projects as an immediate NFL starter. Adding Lindstrom and Trent Brown should help an offensive line that severely disappointed last season.
Derek Carr has showed he can be one of the better quarterbacks in football when he has time to throw. But Carr’s biggest weakness since college is that he panics under pressure, and that was the case in 2018. If Mayock and Gruden decide that Carr is their franchise quarterback, then improving the offensive line is the ultimate priority because it will significantly affect the level of play from their quarterback.