Raiders

Raiders Day 3 2018 NFL Draft Tracker

Raiders Day 3 2018 NFL Draft Tracker

Day 3 of the NFL Draft is fast furious. Keep track of who the Raiders add to their roster right here.

NICK NELSON
College: Wisconsin
Height: 5-foot-11
Weight: 200 pounds
Selection: Fourth round (No. 110 overall)
Scouting report: Nelson is regarded as a solid cover man, despite the fact he didn’t have an interception in college. He had more than 40 passes defensed -- he had 21 last year -- so his ball skills are pretty good. Analysts say he’s a hard worker who works well as a press corner. He can be grabby, but that tendency can be coached out of him. Nelson is dealing with an injury suffered in a private workout. He required surgery on his meniscus, per NFL Network, but didn’t have a full repair and will miss six weeks. Nelson has experience ss a punt returner, including score in that role. 
Projected role: His knee issue could keep him out most of the offseason program, which will hinder his early development but certainly shouldn’t count as a major deal. He should compete for snaps with a host of other cornerbacks, though the Raiders don’t need him to step in and play right away if Gareon Conley is healthy, Rashaan Melvin lives up to his billing and Daryl Worley is in good standing with the league. Others will be fighting for time as well, including Shareece Wright, Leon Hall, Dexter McDonald and Antonio Hamilton.
Quotable: “I feel like I would have been a late first, early second if not for the injuries based on my talent."
-- Nelson, on how injuries impacted his draft status
Quotable: “It was only a six-week process. This is my second one so about four more weeks. I'll be good to go in the summer. By fall camp, I'll be 100 percent."
-- Nelson, on his rehab timetable

MAURICE HURST
College: Michigan
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 292 pounds
Selection: Fifth round (No. 140 overall)
Scouting report: Hurst is this draft’s best interior pass rusher. Period. You’ll be hard-pressed to find someone arguing that point. This first-round talent plummeted down the draft board due to a heart condition that got him sent home from the NFL scouting combine. He was cleared to participate in his pro day, and flashed tremendous skill supported by excellent game tape. Hurst visited the Raiders a few weeks ago, and their doctors must’ve cleared him medically to keep him on the draft board. If he proves healthy, this is a straight steal in the fifth round.
Projected role: Hurst should compete to be the team’s starting three technique remains healthy and able to play. He hasn’t missed a game due to his illness, and will be a frontrunner to start and play significant snaps at a vital spot along the defensive line. Paul Guenther’s defense thrives with a solid interior pass rush. Hurst could provide that, and could help divert attention from Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin off the edge.
Quotable: “It’s tough going into this thinking you’re one of the top players in the draft and just having to wait. You think you’re better than people that go ahead of you, and that’s tough. But I’m happy to be in a good fit, with the right organization." 
-- Hurst, on dropping in the draft due to a heart issue he doesn’t believe will impact his career

JOHNNY TOWNSEND
College: Florida
Height: 6-foot-1
Weight: 210 pounds
Selection: Fifth round (No. 173 overall)
Scouting report: Analysts say Townsend has a powerful leg and sending booming punts downfield with ease. He had the highest gross punt average in the nation last year, with could serve well when combined with solid coverage. That has been an emphasis for the Raiders in free agency. He gets the ball out quick, making him tough to block. His power and accuracy is there but his hang time is often lacking, meaning he has a tendency to outpunt his coverage.
Projected role: The Raiders needed a punter after cutting Marquette King. Townsend will fill that vacancy unless his offseason goes horribly wrong, though that’s certainly unexpected. Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie said Townsend was the Raiders target, and they were not bothered when JK Scott was taken the pick before by Green Bay. Special teams coach Rich Bisaccia conducted a private work out with Townsend, and clearly feels comfortable Townsend can be an NFL punter.
Quotable: “It’s an unbelievable opportunity. I’m going to have to come in and compete and I’m going to have to bring my ‘A’ game throughout this whole process. Just having the opportunity presented to me is just unbelievable. I’m just going to take it and run with it.”
-- Townsend on being drafted by a team desperately needing a punter

Azeem Victor
College: Washington
Height: 6-foot-2
Weight: 230 pounds
Selection: Sixth round (No. 216 overall)
Scouting report: Victor was used as a quality NFL prospect before he suffered a leg injury during the 2016 season. He reportedly put together lackluster game film and gained some weight. He was suspended twice last year, once for a failed drug test and again following his DUI arrest in Nov. 2017. There’s a talented football player in there, someone who plays with power and aggression. He’s quick to diagnose plays, an important trait for inside linebackers. He also offers value on special teams. Victor is said to struggle in man coverage and can get stuck on blocks.
Projected role: The Raiders need immediate help at middle linebacker, but it’s hard to imagine a sixth-round pick stepping right into that role. He should help on special teams right away, and will certainly be allowed to compete for snaps. He’ll also have to stay on the proper path to contribute, which is a question mark after his issues while at Washington.
Quotable: “I want to show everybody that I have no off-the-field issues, I’m a great character guy, and that I can play some damn good football. I think that’s about it.”
-- Victor, on making a good first impression with Raiders

MARCELL ATEMAN
College: Oklahoma State
Height: 6-foot-5
Weight: 216 pounds
Selection: Seventh round (No. 228 overall)
Scouting report: Ateman doesn’t separate with speed. He ran a 4.62-second 40-yard dash at the combine. He uses a big frame to make plays down the field. He finished 2017 with 59 catches for 1,156 yards and eight touchdowns. He missed all of 2016 with a foot injury, but is healthy again. He’s excellent high pointing passes, with sure hands in all situations. He’s a good improviser, and can run any route. Critics knock his speed and overall athleticism and his ability to free himself from press coverage.
Projected role: The Raiders have a strong receiver set with Amari Cooper, Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant. Seth Roberts remains on the roster, and is slotted as the fourth receiver. Ateman must cover well on special teams and fight for time on offense. He has the skills to be a contributor in time.
Quotable: ““Just play big, get separation, working on my routes, just been working on getting separation. Just been working on coming in out of my breaks. Using different releases at the line to get separation. I’ve been working, I’ve been putting in and will continue to put in and just compensating for that like you said and just playing up to my size and making plays.”
-- Ateman, on making plays despite less-than-ideal speed

NFL draft rumors: Dwayne Haskins moved up Raiders' board, is option at No. 4

NFL draft rumors: Dwayne Haskins moved up Raiders' board, is option at No. 4

The 2019 NFL Draft is less than 12 hours away and no one has any idea what is going to happen when commissioner Roger Goodell steps to the podium.

While there is a ton of intrigue surrounding the Arizona Cardinals, who hold the No. 1 overall pick, a lot of questions also surround what the Raiders plan to do at No. 4 overall.

For months it has appeared that Oakland would take Alabama defensive tackle Quinnen Williams if he is still on the board, but there have been a number of leaks in the past week that suggest the Raiders have other plans.

Some have reported that head coach Jon Gruden loves Oklahoma quarterback Kyler Murray. The Raiders could either try to trade up to grab the Heisman Trophy winner or cross their fingers that the Cardinals pass so they can snatch him at No. 4.

But what if the Silver and Black have their eye on a different top-tier quarterback?

Reports leaked last week that Oakland has been "super impressed" by Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins, and NFL Media's Ian Rapoport reported Thursday morning that Haskins has moved up the Raiders' draft board and is an option at No. 4.

This is most certainly a draft day smokescreen from the Raiders.

But with news leaking that Washington owner Daniel Snyder has taken over the team's first-round approach in search of a quarterback, it's possible Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock are trying to force the Redskins, who reportedly love Haskins, to trade up in order to get their man. 

It could be that the Raiders assume Williams, Murray and Nick Bosa will go in the top three, leaving them with a choice between taking defensive tackle Ed Oliver or trading down.

The Raiders likely could get a haul for the No. 4 pick, and if the top three guys are off the board when they go on the clock, it would be a wise move to trade down in order to recoup more assets.

[RELATED: Follow all NFL draft rumors, news and notes here]

Of course, maybe they do really like Haskins and the draft will go off the rails four picks in.

Raiders run rehearsals to prep Mike Mayock for first NFL draft as GM

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AP

Raiders run rehearsals to prep Mike Mayock for first NFL draft as GM

Mike Mayock doesn’t like mock drafts. He did one per year for NFL Network, a practice initially done kicking and screaming.

Those were designed to satiate fans while working his old job. This week’s mock draft was of a different kind, specifically designed to prepare for his new one.

The preeminent NFL draft analyst was named Raiders general manager last New Year’s Eve and will run his first NFL draft representing a team at any level of scouting or a personnel department.

Head coach Jon Gruden ultimately has the final say on players selected, but Mayock helped set the Raiders' draft board, and will be the team’s liaison negotiating trades during a three-day event that begins with Thursday night’s opening round.

It’s the first time he’ll be under fire with the Raiders on the clock or trade offers made on the fly, and Mayock wanted to prep for that. The Raiders stacked their draft board, and planned to set up some actual mock drafts with calls coming in so Mayock and Gruden could see how they react in real time.

“The week of the draft, I think we’re going to spend an awful lot of time in there, in our war room, in our draft room with the people that are going to be there, kind of going through every scenario that we can,” Mayock said on April 11, at his pre-draft press conference. “I’m going to have people calling in on the phones and trying to get Jon and I rattled and proposes. Let’s be honest, I haven’t done it before. So, if I’m going to evaluate myself, I have to make sure I’m prepared.”

That endeavor started on Monday, per NFL Network. The Raiders planned to work on specific scenarios that required quick answers and an ability to adjust properly.

“There’s two minutes left on the clock and three phones are ringing. What is the process?” Mayock said. “How are we going to react as a team? Where is everybody even sitting in the room? What’s the feedback? How quickly am I going to get the information on the trades and the point values? So, there’s a whole bunch of stuff and I’ve kind of got it, I said to Jon, it’s game week. We want to get in there and practice our game plan no different than the team would for a Sunday game.”

The Raiders pared the room down before preparing for draft day. Mayock told his scouts to head home on April 19, the final weekend before the draft and asked them not to return. That decision created some waves, though it’s understandable considering all the information had been gathered – other teams don’t let scouts see the draft board – and it was a terribly-kept secret that major turnover was coming to the scouting department. Even director of college scouting Shaun Herock – like most scouts, he was hired by previous GM Reggie McKenzie -- was asked to leave and is expected to work elsewhere in 2019.

The Raiders have closed ranks to keep things quiet and remain unpredictable heading into a pivotal NFL draft where they own three first-round picks and four in the top 35 overall.

A leak still got out, however, with NFL Media’s Mike Silver reporting that Mayock made some early trades and took picks without red flags in the early going.

Mayock wasn’t going into this completely green. He has great NFL connections and has covered the draft long enough to know how it’s run inside draft rooms. It was still important for Mayock to feel as prepared as possible heading into this big moment.

“Over the last 18 years or whatever, I’ve got pretty good feedback for what happens, how it happens, the pressures, the time frames,” Mayock said. “I’ve talked to a lot of people in this building about how they’ve done it in the past. Where’s everybody sitting? What’s up on the boards? I’ve changed some things already with what’s going to be up in the room and some of the information available to us and how we’re going to process that information. I think the important thing, Michael, is at the end of the day is just some of these practices, putting some pressure on ourselves and hoping that if we put enough pressure on ourselves Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday under a bunch of different kind of conversations and trades, that when Thursday night comes and Friday Saturday, we’re more than prepared to deal with anything.”

[RELATED: Haskins reportedly moved up Raiders' draft board, option at No. 4]

Gruden is confident that, when the clock starts and calls come flying in on trades and scenarios – they certainly, with the Raiders owning three first-round picks – Mayock will execute well.

“He is such a great communicator and has so many connections in the league, it helps to get deals done,” Gruden said. “He is not afraid, he's got the guts and he has the knowledge to pull the trigger. That is what I really like.”