Alabama NFL draft prospects 49ers, Raiders fans should watch vs. Clemson

Alabama NFL draft prospects 49ers, Raiders fans should watch vs. Clemson

Fans at Levi's Stadium will be in for a treat full of future NFL talent in Monday night’s College Football Playoff National Championship.

We've already identified two Clemson prospects whom 49ers and Raiders fans should watch. When it comes to Alabama, though, the Crimson Tide are full of players who soon will be playing on Sundays. 

It all starts with a defensive lineman both Bay Area teams will take a long look at with their top pick in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft. 

Quinnen Williams, DL 

Williams will be the top draft prospect on the field in the championship game. His draft stock has soared during his sensational redshirt sophomore season, and there's almost no chance of him lasting past the Raiders at No. 4 overall. 

Teammates pay Williams the ultimate compliment for a defensive lineman by calling him a “300-pound bar of soap."

The 49ers and the Raiders don't need an interior lineman per se. Williams, however, might be too good to pass up. He could bring an Aaron Donald level of talent to the Bay Area, and has 67 tackles (18 for loss) and eight sacks this season. 

Deionte Thompson, Safety

Thompson is considered the top safety in the country. His patience has paid off into a huge season for the Crimson Tide.

According to Charlie Campbell, NFL teams have recently cooled off on Thompson. The Raiders should hope that's true. If they can snatch the safety who has 75 tackles, two interceptions and six passes defensed this season at No. 24 overall, that could be a steal of a pick.

Jonah Williams, OT

The former Folsom High School star is considered the top offensive lineman in the draft. He hasn't allowed one sack in his junior season, and faces a big test against Clemson's Clelin Ferrell, who just happens to be the last player to get past Williams and take down the quarterback. 

If Nick Bosa, Quinnen Williams and Josh Allen all are selected in the top three picks, there's a chance Jon Gruden and Co. could go with Jonah Williams. Derek Carr was sacked 51 times in 2018 as rookie Kolton Miller struggled and Donald Penn, who turns 36 in April, played in just four games because of injury.

Raekwon Davis, DL

Even if the Raiders go with a defensive lineman at No. 4, they easily could add another one with one of their two other picks in the first round. Davis was expected to grab the spotlight this season until Williams burst onto the scene.

At 6-foot-7 and 316 pounds, he's quite the impressive athlete. 

Davis has 15.5 tackles for loss in the last two seasons with 10 sacks. 

Irv Smith Jr., TE

Jared Cook had a career year for the Raiders with 68 receptions, 896 yards and six touchdowns. But he's also a free agent and turns 32 in April. The Raiders could be watching their future tight end Monday. 

Smith, who’s 6-foot-4 and 241 pounds, has 40 receptions for 667 yards and seven touchdowns this season. He could be a target for the Raiders near the end of the first round or if he slips to the second. 

Josh Jacobs, RB 

Jacobs is RB2 -- and sometimes RB3 behind Najee Harris -- on the Crimson Tide, but he could be RB1 in the draft. In Alabama's Orange Bowl win over Oklahoma, he showed why. 

The junior finished his monster night with 15 carries for 98 yards, plus four catches for 60 yards and one touchdown. He has 593 rushing yards and 15 total touchdowns this season (11 rushing, three receiving, one return).

Damien Harris, RB

Ahead of Jacobs in terms of carries in Alabama's loaded backfield, the elder Harris is more of a known product. The senior has over 3,000 yards in his college career, and carries the ball with plenty of tenacity. 

As The Draft Network notes, "Harris can grind out tough yards and wear down tacklers late into football games." He's gone through four years at Alabama and will be ready to contribute at the next level. 

Here's how 49ers and Raiders fans who want to see these prospects can watch Alabama-Clemson live on TV and online:

When: 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on Monday, Jan. 7
TV Channel: ESPN
Live Stream: Watch ESPN

NFL rumors: Raiders hosting former Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict

NFL rumors: Raiders hosting former Bengals linebacker Vontaze Burfict

The Raiders are continuing to cast a wide net in hopes of adding a veteran linebacker to what is a thing group right now. 

On Tuesday, the Raiders are hosting Vontaze Burfict, NFL Media's Tom Pelissero reported. The veteran linebacker was cut by the Bengals on Monday, and has a long relationship with Oakland's defensive coordinator Paul Guenther. 

Guenther served as Burfict's defensive coordinator in Cincinnati for four seasons from 2014-2017. 

The 28-year-old Burfict has been in the spotlight for his multiple suspensions and acts of dirty play.. He's been suspended three times in his seven-year career, and missed the first four games last season due to violating the league's PED policy.

In 2018, Burfict played in seven games and finished with 33 tackles. 

[RELATED: Raiders have to help Paul Guenther after spending heavily on offense]

The news comes one day after the Raiders reportedly hosted linebackers Manti Te'o and Aaron Lynch. The Raiders currently have a trio of Marquel Lee, Jason Cabinda and Tahir Whitehead to trot out as their linebackers.

Mike Mayock reveals why he's OK with Raiders' NFL free agency spending

Mike Mayock reveals why he's OK with Raiders' NFL free agency spending

Mike Mayock always will be associated with the NFL draft. So it should come as no surprise that the former NFL Network draft analyst had to be convinced to improve the Raiders through free agency and trades.

NBC Sports' Peter King spoke with the Raiders general manager over the weekend and wrote about what Mayock told him in his Football Morning In America column.

So I’ve known Mayock for some time, and when we spoke Saturday night, he sounded like the same driven prospect-knower I’ve come to rely on in the last few years. “I’ll be honest,” he said. “I never believed in big spending in free agency. For years, that is not where my head was. But Jon Gruden and I spent a long, long time examining our team. We had so many team needs. We figured, we can go out and spend a little money on several positions. Or this year, we can look at three, four, five, six guys who can make a difference on the field and, as importantly, in the locker room. If we can get the guys we want, we should do it. We find a way to get Antonio Brown, Tyrell Williams, J.J. Nelson at receiver. We get a tackle, Trent Brown, 25 years old, who doesn’t even know how good he can be, who was lock-down, shutout in the playoffs for New England. We got Rodney Hudson at center, with a good young tackle, Kolton Miller, as the other tackle. We can line up and compete right now offensively.”

With the signings of Trent Brown, Williams, Joyner, Jon Feliciano, Josh Mauro and Nelson, the Raiders added just over $40 million to their 2019 salary. When you add the nearly $15 million that Anotnio Brown will make in 2019, Oakland has added $55 million worth of players for the upcoming season.

[RELATED: How AB trade almost didn't happen]

That definitely goes against Mayock's previous mindset. But as he's probably learning, you need veterans on the team in order to compete. And Gruden isn't about to throw away another year playing a bunch of rookies.