The Raiders have 11 picks heading into the draft, and with plenty of issues on both sides of the ball, what they'll do at No. 10 is wide open.
The obvious option is to grab the best defensive player. Even though they have a transcendent pass-rusher in Khalil Mack, the Raiders had a mediocre defense last year, and more talent is needed on each level of that unit. Whether they add a lineman like Marcus Davenport or Vita Vea, a linebacker like Roquan Smith or Tremaine Edmunds, or a defensive back like Denzel Ward or Minkah Fitzpatrick, expect the Raiders defense to get better in Round 1.
Unless, of course,.
Change the way you listen to NFL news, subscribe to the Pick Six Podcast with Will Brinson and you'll be the most informed fan at your NFL Draft party. Subscribe: via iTunes | via Stitcher | via TuneIn
You can check out every pick, mock draft and class analysis for all 32 teams in.
|1||10||Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia|| |
|2||41||James Washington, WR, Oklahoma State|| |
|3||75||Tim Settle, DT, Virginia Tech|| |
|4||110||Chad Thomas, DE, Miami|| |
|5||146||Jaryd Jones-Smith, OT, Pittsburgh||from SEA/OAK|
|5||159||Traded to Seattle||from NE/CLE/KC|
|5||173||Bo Scarbrough, RB, Alabama||Compensatory|
|6||185||JK Scott, P, Alabama|| |
|6||212||Traded to Seattle||Compensatory|
|6||216||Allen Lazard, WR, Iowa State||Compensatory|
|6||217||Eddy Pineiro, K, Florida||Compensatory|
|7||228||Kahlil McKenzie, DT, Tennessee|| |
The Raiders have a ton of picks to give Jon Gruden the players he wants, and taking the draft's premier linebacker at No. 10 would give a huge boost to the defense. Smith gives defensive coordinator Paul Guenther his Vontaze Burfict, minus the character issues.
Washington gives the offense some depth behind their top two receivers and also serves as Jordy Nelson insurance. Settle is a massive force on the defensive line and would be a great value in the third round. Thomas has the tools to succeed, and he could develop into a key member of the pass-rush rotation.
The Raiders trade up in the fifth to land Jones-Smith, who could wind up taking over as starter at right tackle with the right development. The team grabs a couple cheap options for special teams in Scott and Pineiro, and a potential red-zone weapon in Lazard, in the sixth. With their final pick, the Raiders grab Reggie McKenzie's son to compete for a roster spot.