Raiders

NFL draft: Quinnen Williams, three other Alabama prospects declare

NFL draft: Quinnen Williams, three other Alabama prospects declare

The annual tradition of talent coming from Alabama to the NFL began to take place on Friday, with four underclassmen, all of whom could go in the first round, declared for the draft

Here's how the Crimson Tide quartet could fit into the Bay Area, especially for the Raiders. 

Quinnen Williams, DL

Williams may have been the most dominant player in college football as a redshirt sophomore. The 6-foot-4, 295-pound defensive lineman won the Outland Trophy, given to the country's best interior lineman, and finished the season with 71 tackles (19.5 for loss), eight sacks, and 12 quarterback hurries. 

The No. 1 ranked player in college football by Pro Football Focus was a terror to opposing offenses. Though he didn't have a huge day in the box score in the CFP National Championship, Williams could easily be the 49ers pick at No. 2 or to the Raiders at No. 4. 

https://twitter.com/DLineVids/status/1069205654487756800

Jonah Williams, OL 

The former Folsom High School star started every game of his three-year career at Alabama and can play either tackle position on the offensive line. He was a unanimous All-American and hasn't given up a sack since 2017. 

"To have someone like him blocking on my left side at tackle, I mean I have the utmost trust in him," Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa said of Williams before the title game. 

If Ohio St. edge rusher Nick Bosa, Quinnen Williams and Kentucky EDGE Josh Allen all are selected in the top three picks, there's a chance Jon Gruden and Co. could go with Williams to anchor the offensive line. Derek Carr was sacked 51 times in 2018 while rookie Kolton Miller struggled and Donald Penn, who turns 36 in April, played in only four games due to injury.

Irv Smith Jr., TE

Smith enjoyed a breakout season as a junior and was one of Tagovailoa's favorite targets. He caught 44 passes for 710 yards and seven touchdowns. 

With Jared Cook turning 32 years old in April and hitting free agency, Smith could be a replacement near the end of the first round for the Raiders.

Josh Jacobs, RB

Jacobs had the second-most carries (120) on the Crimson Tide and finished the season with the third-most yards (640) on the team, but he could end up as the top running back in the draft. 

The Raiders have no long-term answer at running back and both Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin will free agents. Jacobs scored 15 touchdowns on 1,315 total yards.

Raiders report card: Grades for offense, defense in 28-10 loss to Chiefs

Raiders report card: Grades for offense, defense in 28-10 loss to Chiefs

OAKLAND – The Raiders’ hot start cooled off quickly and eliminated hopes of upsetting the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday at Oakland Coliseum.

MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes put things out of reach with 28 unanswered points in the second quarter to lock down a 28-10 victory over the Raiders.

The Silver and Black split back-to-back home games and head into a long road stretch at 1-1, following a disappointing performance that proved they don’t match up with the NFL’s elite.

“I tip my hat to the Chiefs,” head coach Jon Gruden said. “They made some great plays, a barrage of plays, in about a five-minute period that really turned this game around. It was a difficult game on a short week for us. I’m proud of our team. We did not quit. We turned the ball over a couple of times in the second half. We had some pre-snap penalties on both sides that are inexcusable.”

Here’s the Raiders report card following a Week 2 loss to an old AFC West rival.

Rushing offense

Josh Jacobs is an excellent player. That much is clear through two games, with the first-round draft pick showing great burst, vision and toughness despite being a defensive focal point. The Chiefs worked hard to slow him down and he still churned out 99 yards on just 12 carries, buoyed by a 51-yard jaunt in the second half.

The run blocking proved solid on the right side, anyway, and should be used consistently to help move the chains and keep the Raiders on schedule. Jacobs cramped up during the second quarter, and might’ve generated some offense during a key moment in this game. The attack fell flat then while the Chiefs surged ahead.
Grade: B

Passing offense

Quarterback Derek Carr couldn’t sustain his hot start, and sputtered some with Jacobs out and Tyrell Williams missing some time with a hip issue. While the Raiders longed to move on completely from Antonio Brown, his loss can still be felt in the air attack. The Raiders don’t have a capable No. 2 receiver at this point, with Ryan Grant struggling in a starting role.

Tight end Darren Waller had six catches for 63 yards but should’ve been targeted even more. Hunter Renfrow made some rookie mistakes, and the backs aren’t involved much in the passing game.

Carr’s interception in the end zone, on first-and-goal no less, was a case of the quarterback trying to do too much. The second was a bad pass interference call that was less Carr’s fault. The quarterback must be better, however, over the course of four quarters.

After the first quarter, Carr was 17-for-26 for 127 yards and two picks. That’s not good enough.
Grade: D-plus

Rushing defense

It’s hard to find fault with this effort, which looks far better than last season. The Raiders allowed just 32 yards on 22 carries, a 1.5-yard average. Johnathan Hankins is anchoring that effort, with help from Josh Mauro and Maurice Hurst.

The Chiefs ran a lot and didn’t get much from it. That’s a good thing that bodes well for the defense if it can eliminate big plays that plagued them in this contest.
Grade: A

Passing defense

This was a disaster in the second quarter. The secondary wasn’t on the same page often enough. The pass rush couldn’t affect Mahomes, and gave him time to make magic happen down the field.

The Raiders couldn’t stop anything during a game deciding stretch, and still have major problems covering tight ends.

Part of that is Kansas City being an offensive juggernaut, but the Raiders must do better at cornerback and safety after giving up so much so quickly against the Chiefs.
Grade: F

Special teams

The return game will suffer if Dwayne Harris (ankle) is out for any length of time. A.J. Cole put two punts inside the 20 and had a 60 yarder. Daniel Carlson hit his only field goal attempt. Allowing a 20-yard punt return is never good, but it’s hard to blame special teams for this outcome.
Grade: B

[RELATED: Carr reflects on breaking Stabler's record]

Overall

Kansas City brought the hammer down in the second quarter, all the time required to put this game out of reach and expose some shortcomings the Raiders must shore up before facing Minnesota next week. Gruden came up with a solid game plan, but Chiefs counterpart Andy Reid made better adjustments and found ways to create favorable matchups exploited for big gains.

The Raiders don’t have the talent required to make up for big mistakes. They must play sound over four quarters, and didn’t do that Sunday afternoon at Oakland Coliseum.
Grade: F

What went wrong in Raiders' second-quarter meltdown against Chiefs

What went wrong in Raiders' second-quarter meltdown against Chiefs

OAKLAND – The Raiders scored twice on as many first-quarter drives. They forced Kansas City to punt on both of their series, taking a firm two-score lead into the second period.

That’s when the wheels came off.

Kansas City turned the game on its head during the second quarter, with 28 unanswered points and a Raiders run of three-and-outs.

That disastrous combo sunk the Raiders’ upset bid and set Sunday’s 28-10 loss in motion.

The Raiders were left to identify what went wrong during a pivotal period that ended any shot of a realistic upset chance.

Well, a lot.

Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes took yards in massive chunks, including four touchdowns from at least 27 yards out. The reigning NFL MVP was 12-for 17 for 278 yards and four touchdowns in the second quarter alonne, averaging 16.3 yards per attempt over that stretch. 

Slot cornerback and team captain Lamarcus Joyner believes there was a recurring theme in the deep-shot onslaught, one that gave two scores away without resistance.

"I think it was just a communication thing,” Joyner said. “I think the guys in this room, one, you look at the one-on-one matchups you want for the most part. We had two plays that we gave to them by miscommunication. Got a lot of new guys in the system, we just have to communicate and we're going to get better.”

The first touchdown of this stretch was a blown coverage, plain and simple. Demarcus Robinson was wide open for a 44-yard touchdown strike, with no one in his vicinity until Gareon Conley came off his man to make a tackle.

The second touchdown drive was the backbreaker, a 14-play, 95-yard drive that ended with a 42-yard strike to Mecole Hardman on, I joke you not, third-and-20. That’s not a typo. The Raiders forced a third-and-long thrice on that drive and gave up big plays each time. There was a third-and-4 early in the drive where Clelin Ferrell’s neutral-zone infraction gave K.C. an automatic first down.

Mahomes had all day to throw during this stretch, including the 3rd-and-20 debacle, leaving the defensive front to shoulder blame for that play and an entire quarter gone wrong.

“We just have to get home. That’s basically it,” edge rusher Maxx Crosby said. “The back end can only hold up so long. We had to keep getting pressure and, in that second quarter, they started throwing the ball deep and winning some 50-50 balls. That’s on us up front. We just have to get home.”

The third score came courtesy of Andy Reid creating a matchup the Raiders tried to avoid like the plague. The Raiders had Daryl Worley shadow tight end Travis Kelce, with him playing deeper than ever in certain packages with four cornerbacks and a single-high safety. On touchdown No. 3, Kelce shifted outside and got locked up one-on-one with shorter safety Karl Joseph. The Chiefs smelled blood, and threw an easy score to Kelce down the left sideline.

Momentum shifted irrevocably at that point and the downtrodden Raiders were ripe for another haymaker. The offense went three and out, and Mahomes went deep again. Robinson was wide open again for a 39-yard score that concluded the scoring.

Raiders execution was a major part of that disaster, but the reigning MVP had something to do with it.

“Well, we had a breakdown in one coverage, I know that, but a couple of those were just incredible throws and catches also,” head coach Jon Gruden said. “You have to tip your hat to them. We didn’t get enough pressure. We let Mahomes move around back there and cock his arm, and when he gets an opportunity to do that he can drop them in there no matter where they are. I tip my hat to them and we have to do a better job next time.”

[RELATED: Carr expresses frustration after loss]

This stretch didn’t deflate the Raiders defense, which took confidence from shutting the Chiefs out in the second half. Joyner pushed against the notion Kansas City went into cruise control, saying a few plays led to big problems.

"We eliminated the mistakes in the second half. I didn't see them back off at all,” Joyner said. “I felt like they were doing the same plays. I mean, if you look at the film, they really scored two big touchdowns off miscommunication. If you look at the film, there's other than a few plays when they beat us while we were in man-coverage and we were on our stuff, so I wouldn't take anything away from my defense. Because if they can put 50 on you, they will."