The Oakland Raiders are the talk of the offseason largely due to their four draft picks in the top-40. They’ve got a ton of needs so getting the best player available at any position really fills team needs.
Round 1: LSU Linebacker Devin White (4)
It is not often that a backer with Devin White’s size, speed and production comes along.He runs a 4.4 40-yard dash, jumps nearly 40 inches and is listed at six feet.
This might be a bit of a reach but the Raiders still need speed at linebacker. That is something they won’t find at the backend of the first round when they pick again.
Oakland finally gets a LB they can model their defense around. He should compliment the saavy and washed LBs the Raiders currently have on the roster. White can play inside or outside and he is only getting better as he learns the position.
Of course, the Raiders trading out of this pick is not out of the question. They could also take a pass rusher but my bet is they wait to see who slides into the backend of the draft, cough Montez Sweat.
Round 1: Michigan Edge Rashan Gary (24)
Gary is the player everyone loves to hate in this draft. However, he is also a unique combination of size, speed and athleticism. He is the best player available and the Raiders would be lucky to get him here.
At six-five and over 280, Gary finished his three year career with 9.5 sacks. Multiple reports say he wasn’t nearly as dominate as he should have been but that is usually the case with Michigan linemen.
Either way, he’s got the high-upside the Raiders like along with scheme versatility. There’s a chance Oakland might wait for more edge rushers with their next too picks but Gary is a good value.
Round 1: Iowa Tight End Noah Fant (27)
If the Raiders keep all three picks in the first, I got to believe at least one pick will be an offensive weapon. Oakland has too many receivers on the roster to warrant one this high and a lot of people predict running back here. However, tight end is a position of need and everyone is talking about how talented this class is.
Thus, getting Fant this late is an ideal situation. He’s got the size, speed and route running ability to be at least Jared Cook. Fant would slide right into that role and might actually improve the position and red zone play. Oakland already employees plenty of blocking tight ends so a receiving one makes sense.
Still, I wouldn’t rule out a defensive back in this spot either.
Round 2: Temple Corner Rock Ya-Sin (35)
Again, this is an ideal scenario. The Raiders get a corner who can actually tackle due to his wrestling resume. There are knocks on his technique since he only played one season of D1 football. However, he has the size and ball skills to also move to safety. Oakland gets the best player available and it happens to be at a position of need. Still, the Raiders could consider a running back in this spot.
Round 4: Penn St. RB Miles Sanders (106)
Here’s another great value pick for the Raiders. Currently, the running back position is a bit awkward. They have two big runners with Crowell and Warren paired with smaller guys like Richard and Washington. Sanders is king of a blend of both. He’s got size and agility as well as playmaking ability. Not only can he crack the Raiders rotation but he may become the starter. This could be the steal of the draft. They could also take an offensive linemen here if there is a surprise player available.
Round 5: Oklahoma Linemen Dru Samia (140)
The Raiders need some offensive line depth and that is what they get here. Samia was four year starter and he is a Cali native. That’s bonus considering Samia brings versatility to play guard or tackle in the league. He probably makes more sense as an athletic zone guard but he has the size and experience to play tackle if necessary.
Round 7: Edge Oregon Justin Hollins (218)
Hollins brings the size and speed teams want on the edge. He was a three year starter and could develop into a more consistent player with the right coaching. Oakland could do far worse than adding a second edge player to their rotation in the seventh round.
Round 7: Fresno St. receiver Keesean Johnson (235)
Presuming the Raiders keep Derek Carr as the franchise QB, why not get him a receiver from his alma mater? Johnson has the size and experience that make worthy of a draft selection. There is some question about his speed and athleticism at the next level but he should add a jump ball target to the Raiders. This is much like when they took Marcell Ateman last year. It isn’t exactly a position of need but it is probably the best selection they can make.