The Raiders drafted three Clemson products last year, but Clelin Ferrell, Hunter Renfrow and Trayvon Mullen weren’t the only members of that 2019 group with championship pedigree. They also brought Josh Jacobs from Alabama, while LSU product Foster Moreau was used to winning in college.
Counting Johnathan Abram, who played at Georgia and Mississippi State, six of the eight 2019 draft picks to make the regular season roster played at Clemson or the SEC.
We wrote earlier Friday about how the Raiders could repeat history and load up on prospects from elite programs again this year.
We decided to see how that could play out, with the Raiders addressing needs at their top selections only taking talent from the very best football schools.
Just for fun, here’s a three-round mock draft from only selections from elite programs:
No. 12 overall: WR Jerry Jeudy, Alabama
-- I’m more of a CeeDee Lamb fan, and he would count coming from Oklahoma, but I think he’ll be off the board by the twelfth pick. Jeudy’s an excellent route runner with some high-level comps and polish who could walk in and be the No. 1 receiver. The Raiders should be able to plug him in and play well right away. And, yeah. Jeudy over Ruggs.
No. 19 overall: CB Trevon Diggs, Alabama
-- Another Alabama product joins the squad. He’s tough as nails, with all the traits required to be a quality NFL press-man cornerback. We’d like him with a slight trade down, but there’s no moving around the draft board here so we’ll fill a big need knowing the Raiders won’t pick against until 80. Clemson’s A.J Terrell could’ve been the call here, too.
No. 80: WR Chase Claypool, Notre Dame
For those griping that the Fighting Irish aren’t a championship-caliber program, they have at least 10 wins in four of the last five years and made the playoffs in 2018, so take that. For those griping that Claypool won’t be around at No. 80, you may have a case. But this is my mock draft, so he’s there in this reality. Claypool’s a massive human and still fast and tough hauling in deep passes. And he’s a good run blocker. Gruden will love that. If both receiver picks pan out, the position is set for years.
No. 81: DT Davon Hamilton, Ohio State
-- The Raiders need a long-term solution devoted to stopping the run from the inside. Hamilton could do that right away and has enough athleticism to possibly develop a pass-rush presence despite being 330 pounds. They could match him with a quality three-technique – Maliek Collins, if he’s around more than just a year – and be set on the inside.
No. 91: OG Jon Simpson, Clemson
-- It just didn’t feel right not having a Clemson guy on the list. The Raiders find an interior lineman of the future with a year or two to develop. Richie Incognito is 36 and Gabe Jackson’s making serious bank, so the massive mauler could compete for a starting job in the relatively near future.