Evan Silva

Draft Analysis

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NFL Draft Needs: Raiders

Tuesday, April 3, 2018


Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is the Senior Football Editor for Rotoworld's NFL Page, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) leads Rotoworld's college football and NFL draft coverage. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential draft-day solutions.


For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.

 

 

Raiders Team Need No. 1: Defense

 

Silva’s Analysis

 

Literally every position group on the Raiders’ defense needs upgrading. Oakland doesn’t get enough pass rush from anyone except Khalil Mack, and the Raiders’ run defense has been middling at best for years. Free agent Navorro Bowman improved Oakland’s linebacker play late last season, but he has not been re-signed. Secondary additions CB Rashaan Melvin, CB Leon Hall, CB Shareece Wright and S Marcus Gilchrist are short-term solutions at best.

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Raiders Team Need No. 2: Offensive Tackle

 

Silva’s Analysis

 

LT Donald Penn is 35 and coming off Lisfranc surgery. In-house candidates to replace departed RT Marshall Newhouse are Vadal Alexander, David Sharpe and Breno Giacomini. 2016 seventh-round pick Alexander failed to beat out Newhouse and has struggled in pass protection. Sharpe got destroyed in two late-season spot starts filling in for Penn. As a member of the Texans, Giacomini was the worst starting offensive lineman in football last year.

 

Raiders Team Need No. 3: Pass Catcher

 

Silva’s Analysis

 

Jordy Nelson is coming off the worst season of his career at age 33, and the Raiders have stuck with ineffective slot man Seth Roberts for far too long. Oakland lacks young talent in its pass-catcher corps beyond so-far inconsistent Amari Cooper.

 

 

Norris’ Mock Draft

 

Round 1 (10): LB Roquan Smith, Georgia - Roquan is a top five prospect in this class and perfectly fits a need for the Raiders. I wonder if Jon Gruden, who is now calling the shots, sees Derrick Brooks in Roquan’s game. He is a building block at the second level, anticipates plays on the edge or inside and then makes the tackle at or behind the line of scrimmage.

Round 2 (41): CB Donte Jackson, LSU - Gareon Conley has a lot to prove in 2018, but adding Jackson at defensive back will help create a young core in the secondary. Few corners entering each draft have outside corner height to go along with slot corner experience. Add on his straight-line speed to close and Jackson will intrigue in the top two rounds.

Round 3 (75): T Jamarco Jones, Ohio State - Jones might be one of the best pass protectors in this class. I’m not sure if we’ve heard an answer as to why he elected to not attend the East-West Shrine Game or Senior Bowl, but on the field, Jones has experience and could potentially grow into a long-term starter at left tackle.

Round 4 (106): WR Cedrick Wilson, Boise State - There’s a lot to like about Wilson’s game. He is smooth in his routes and breaks and made his living on short crossing routes and winning at the catch point in contested situations. His ability to play the ball in the air is impressive.

 

Round 5 (159): iOL Dejon Allen, Hawaii - One of my favorite late round blockers in this class. Played tackle in college, but he’s another mauling finisher up front.

 

Round 5 (173): DL Lowell Lotulelei, Utah - Interior help to hopefully aid the play of linebackers. Lotulelei looked like a future star early in his career, but he plateaued in his final years.

 

Round 6 (185): EDGE Ade Aruna, Tulane - One of the most athletic edge rushers in this class. Profile suggests he’s a straight-line player. Possible practice squad contender.

 

Round 6 (212): WR Jeff Badet, Oklahoma - Channeling Al Davis, the Raiders double up at receiver and select one of the fastest players in this draft.


Round 6 (216): DL Kahlil McKenzie, Tennessee - I had to. The son of Reggie McKenzie actually fills a potential depth need for the Raiders up front.

 

Round 6 (217): CB Arrion Springs, Oregon - Played on both sides of the formation. These late round selections are often viewed as priority free agents.

Round 7 (228): TE Jordan Akins, UCF - Late Senior Bowl add. Made a few acrobatic catches.



Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .
Email :Evan Silva



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