The Raiders have 10 picks in this year’s NFL draft, including three in the first round and four in the top 35.
Those selections will form the most important class in recent memory, one head coach Jon Gruden hopes will expedite a rebuilding process still in its infancy. Gruden has torn the roster down, and needs quality from this NFL draft to get it back up and running well.
The Raiders have several needs and offense and defense, which must be addressed over the entire draft. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller gives us one scenario for how a Raiders draft might play out in his early seven-round NFL mock draft.
Here are his Raiders selections:
First round (No. 4 overall): EDGE Rashan Gary, Michigan
First round (No. 24 overall): RB Josh Jacobs, Alabama
First round (No. 27 overall): CB Trayvon Mullen, Clemson
Second round (No. 35 overall): S Deionte Thompson, Alabama
Third round (No. 66 overall): LB Tre Lamar, Clemson
Fourth round (No. 99 overall): WR David Sills, West Virginia
Fifth round: QB Gardener Minshew, Washington State
Sixth round: LB Kendall Joseph, Clemson
Seventh round: WR Keelan Doss, UC Davis
Seventh round: RB Bryce Love, Stanford
NOTE: Exact draft selections are currently unavailable for the fifth round and beyond because compensatory draft picks haven’t yet been added to the draft order.
The Raiders would be happy to address so many issues in this draft, including every level of their defense. They need quality and depth almost everywhere, and this class could build a foundation for it. Edge rusher is the team’s most pressing need and they only came away with one – two might be required, depending on free agency – though Gary provides ideal size and athleticism to be a solid pro. His stats don’t pop, but he could develop into a dominant pro.
Taking a first-round running back seems high, although the Raiders need a long-term replacement at feature back even with unproven Chris Warren III in the stable.
Adding a third first-round defensive back in the past four seasons could be viewed as extreme, but teams need three good ones and the Silver and Black are one short.
Thompson would be a steal in the second round and fill an immediate need at free safety, and Mullen could be an asset at middle linebacker.
Receiver sits just behind edge rusher in the needs department and waiting until the middle rounds to add a pass catcher is a risk, but the positional depth in this draft is excellent.
Miller assigned three players to the Raiders who Gruden saw up close at the Senior Bowl, though only Doss was on his North squad. Miller has half the Raiders draft class coming from national championship participants Alabama and Clemson, who played for the title last month at Levi’s Stadium.
Bay Area fans would know Love’s value watching him play in Palo Alto. That would be a popular third-day pick.