Sadly the Raider’s hunt for a 2017 Super Bowl title is over, as they fell to the Texans in the AFC Wild Card round. All in all, a 12-4 season is a smashing success, and losing to the Texans without Carr or Penn is nothing to be ashamed about. The silver lining? Instead of picking 32nd after winning the Super Bowl, the Raiders now have the 24th pick. After hitting home runs on back to back top 5 picks in Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper, the Raiders took Karl Joseph 14th last year, and the jury is still out on him. If the Raiders want to take the next step forward and be a true Super Bowl contender, Joseph emerging and this years 1st round breaking into the NFL with a bang needs to happen. So lets look at the possibilities.
I see the Raiders needs as such, ranked from smallest concern to biggest concern
2nd-7th round picks
- Tight End
- Right Tackle
- Defensive Tackle
- Free Safety (Reggie Nelson was ok this year, but he’s getting old and slow. Wouldn’t hate a 2nd round FS choice)
Possible 1st Round Selections
- Slot WR
- Middle Linebacker
So yeah, I think the Raiders 1st rounder needs to be either a
- 3rd WR, as Seth Roberts just ain’t getting the job done
- MLB, were set on the edges but Malcolm Smith hasn’t been what we hoped
- Cornerback, Amerson and Smith just weren’t good enough this year. We need to inject some talent at corner.
So Let’s go over the names the Raiders should target. I am no NFL Draft Expert, so I am going to simply look at a wide variety of internet mock drafts and go over the proposed selection.
The Pick: Zach Cunningham, LB, Vanderbilt.
A+ pick. Cunningham is my #1 hope for this pick. To be fair, I really wanted Leonard Williams over Amari Cooper in 2015, but yeah I’m all in on Cunningham. I’m a huge sucker for good players on bad teams, and an even bigger sucker for highlight films with good fucking music, and “Rise and Shine” by J. Cole is a banger. Really hope to see Cunningham in black and silver soon. Anchor Down!
The Pick: Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida.
I prefer Cunningham, but generally speaking I’m down for SEC linebackers. Those usually work out. So yeah, this Davis kid works too. Points off for not having a highlight film with a banger in the background though.
The Pick: Teez Tabor, CB, Florida
Good move using a Logic song. Already in on this kid. Anyways, getting away from the background songs, Teez is a sick name, and the Raiders really need a CB, so I’m down for this pick. Big Time SEC flavor to this exercise right now. Admittedly, watching highlight films is not a good way to scout, but this kid looks like a monster. Was also a big time recruit out of High School, so the talent is there. My current big board is Cunningham, Tabor, Davis.
The Pick: Malik McDowell, DL, Michigan State
DL wouldn’t be my focus in the 1st round, but this McDowell kid seems like a real beast so I don’t have an issue with this pick. Khalil, Mario Edwards Jr. and Malik would make for an ok D-Line I guess. Good luck being a QB in the AFC West.
The MMQB (Peter King)
The Pick: Quincy Wilson, CB, Florida
So Florida should have been waaaaay better right? Thats now 3 1st round picks, and this Wilson kid doesn’t make it to the Raiders in most mock drafts. I am 100% in on this kid, he looks like a stud, but like I said he is going top 10 in most mocks, Peter King seems a bit off here. Quincy Wilson and Zach Cunningham are my top 2 right now.
The Pick: Desmond King, CB, Iowa
Generally I’ll take the SEC Corner over the B10 Corner, but this King kid has been a star for 2 years now. Always popping up in my twitter feed. I can’t compare him to Wilson/Tabor, I’m no CB scout, but I can say I would be pretty pleased with any of these 3. King looks like a dependable NFL CB, which David Amerson was’t this year.
Bleacher Report (Matt Miller)
The Pick: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Ohio State
Seems like corner is the consensus here. Lattimore is now the 4th different corner named. After reading way to many mock drafts putting this piece together, it seems this is a very strong draft for corners, so lucky for the Raiders. This Lattimore kid is very young, but seems like a playmaker. Would be very pleased with this pick.
So those are the main guys I’m seeing across all Mocks. Davis, Cunningham and Tabor are especially prevalent, each connected to the Raiders in multiple mocks. In case you want more though, heres some guys not specifically connected to the Raiders in any mock,but at a position of need and in the same range.
Marlon Humphrey, CB, Alabama
Last time we picked an Alabama player it was Amari Cooper so I’m down.
Sidney Jones, CB, Washington.
A+ song so I’m sold. Seriously though, Washington’s young defense impressed vs. Alabama, so I wouldn’t hate seeing a Washington defender picked up.
Gaeron Conley, CB, Ohio State
As stated before, its seemingly a nice year to need a corner.
Adoree Jackson, CB, USC
People would enjoy this I’m sure. Not sold on him as a cover corner though.
*The Raiders need is a slot WR, not necessarily an outside guy with Coop and Crab locked up.
John Ross, WR, Washington
Saw this kid compared to DeSean Jackson somewhere. That would work. Anything but Seth Roberts again.
*Latavius is a free agent*
Christian McCaffrey, RB, Stanford
Ever heard of him? I don’t see it, the Raiders need a better downhill runner than Tay Train if anything, Richard seems set at the 3rd down back, receiving back role. If anything I think they use a mid round pick on one of those guys and try to make him work at slot. None the less, #5 in Silver and Black would be awesome.
Joe Mixon, RB, Oklahoma
He is more than likely going untouched in the 1st round, but I have seen multiple outlets call the Oakland native a “1st round talent”. Just mentioning it.
BEAST. Saw this man live at the ND vs. Texas game and there was nobody in the country tackling him 1 on 1. Not sure I want a 2 down back at #24, but Foreman is seriously a monster.
OJ Howard, TE, Alabama
Another established college name. Clive Walford has been a solid receiver, but he’s just not an every down TE. Howard could be that.
Raekwon McMillian, LB, Ohio State
Cunningham and Davis are always off the board before Raekwon, so the Raiders are going to have to be pretty committed to taking a LB to end up with McMillian.