Hello Raiders fans, as we lead up to the draft Thursday night, it’s time for my 7-round mock draft. The Raiders sent scouts home, and have been rumored to be prepared to make a “surprise pick” at 4 overall. There are a few scenarios where a player like Nick Bosa or Quinnen Williams potentially falls to 4 overall but most likely they should be gone before the Raiders make their selection.
Looking at Mayock’s top 10 prospects going back to 2013 it seems he favors size and athletic ability more than anything. If you look at the Buccaneers drafts from 2002-2009, Gruden would frequently take a WR with one of his first picks. So in predicting this “surprise pick” I’ve narrowed it down to a few players.
Round 1, Pick 4: Hakeem Butler, WR, Iowa State
Before you get too upset, think of the possibilities here. Butler has the potential to become the next Calvin Johnson type receiver in the NFL. At the very least he should pan out similarly to Mike Evans. Both Johnson and Evans were 6’5 225+ pound receivers taken in the top 10 of the NFL draft. Butler is the same size but comes into the NFL even more advanced as a route runner, considering he’s played in an air raid scheme that asked him to line up at every WR position, a skillset Jon Gruden covets. Butler has even been working out with Calvin Johnson this off-season as he prepares for his NFL career. His addition to the already crowded re
Round 1, Pick 24: Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State
If one player epitomizes a Gruden Grinder in this draft its Kansas State offensive lineman Dalton Risner. Risner started at center, right guard, and right tackle during four years at Kansas State earning All-American honors twice. Noted for his nasty attitude and physical play style, Risner hasn’t given up a sack for the last two seasons at right tackle. Many predictions point to Risner being better suited as a guard in the NFL and this is likely where he’ll latch on with the Raiders if taken. Getting a skilled offensive lineman who can play multiple spots along the line adds value to Risner’s stock.
Round 1, Pick 27: Jerry Tillery, DL, Notre Dame
With all the top rated edge rushers off the board here, Tillery makes sense for the Raiders to target at the end of round 1. The 6’6 290lb defensive tackle is more of a pass rusher than a traditional run stuffer in fact his pass rush grade per Pro Football Focus was tied with Quinnen Williams among all interior defenders. Tillery has the length and body type to play base defensive end, and he may be suited better there on run downs before sliding inside and adding to the defensive tackle rotation on passing downs. Hurst and Tillery providing push up the middle would make the interior rush something to behold.
Round 2, Pick 35: Anthony Nelson, DE, Iowa
Levi tells me Nelson isn’t going as high as I have him mocked, but this is one player I’d bet on getting drafted higher than the narrative predicts. Nelson first off is huge, standing at 6’7 and 270lbs, he has the length that Paul Guenther loves. After his combine performance, Nelson has been compared to Pro-Bowlers from JJ Watt, to Joey Bosa to Chandler Jones in terms of athletic testing. Nelson is a player who can step in right away as a run defender and pass rusher. Nelson isn’t flashy but has the tools and blue collar demeanor that should make him successful in the NFL for the next 8-10 years.
Round 4, Pick 106: Germaine Pratt, LB, NC State
Round 4 linebackers are the type of player who usually end up on the roster bubble and special teams. Pratt has a tough scheme change ahead of him in the NFL, only playing linebacker for 2 seasons after converting from safety, the 2018 ACC leader in tackles was asked to play as a hybrid linebacker/pass rusher in a role that simply isn’t used in the NFL. For this reason Pratt could fall to the 4th round, but with his ability to knock ball carriers backwards, nose for the ball, and added value as a blitzer (6 sacks in 2018), Pratt could be one of those late round LBs Guenther has always talked about developing.
Round 5, Pick 140: Alexander Mattison, RB, Boise State
Mattison is one of the most polarizing runningbacks in this class. Some think he’s the best, some think there’s no way he is able to replicate his success at Boise State in the NFL. The type of plays that Mattison put in his highlight reel are pretty spectacular, weaving through defenses, stepping through arm tackles, and even leaping over defenders, Mattison won’t be denied on his quest to tote the rock to the promise land. Maybe his long speed is lacking
Round 7, Pick 218: Iman Marshall DB, USC
Few corners put up the type of tackle production that Marshall posted at Southern Cal. Racking up a whopping 218 tackles in 48 games played, Marshall fits the physicality that Guenther seems to be looking for in cornerbacks. There is also discussion if Marshall would be better suited as a free safety in the NFL because his production on the ball (passes defensed and interceptions) doesn’t quite match what NFL teams are looking for on the outside. Having a versatile defensive back in the secondary can never hurt your team and would provide insurance at multiple positions.
Round 7, Pick 235: Hunter Renfrow, WR, Clemson
Raiders fans have been clamouring for a true slot receiver for years. Renfrow is not a flashy player but his knack for making a big play in a big moment helped power Clemson to 2 National Championships in 3 years. Renfrow showed he is a highly skilled route runner at the Senior Bowl, putting opposing defensive backs in the spin cycle and uncovering with ease. Size concerns are legitimate and Renfrow’s hands and arms measured amongst the smallest at any position in this draft process. He is a gamer and would compete for a spot in this crowded WR room.