Now that Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie found himself a trade partner and was able to obtain a second-round pick, it’s time to look at some potential second-round selections for Friday’s session.
The selection of D.J. Hayden helps fill one void on the team, but many others still remain present. One of the biggest holes still lies on the defensive line, which seems like the most obvious route for the Raiders to take on day two.
With the Raiders sitting with the tenth selection of the second round tomorrow, there is still a good selection of defensive linemen available for the Raiders, both at defensive end and defensive tackle.
Demontre Moore, DE, Texas A&M
Moore dropped out of the first round after being an early top-10 selection to some analysts. Moore has played both as a hand on the ground defensive end and as a standing-up hybrid linebacker. He uses his motor and strength to get to the quarterback as he doesn’t quite have the quickness to get around the blocker at a consistent basis. That being said, Moore is still one of the better defensive players available and could be a valuable pass rusher that the Raiders desire.
Jesse Williams, DT, University of Alabama
Williams has played both as a 5-technique defensive end and then as a nose tackle inside. He has a very good motor and finishes every play if he can. The Australian isn’t the best pass rusher but has enough quickness to chase down a ball carrier trying to reach the outside. If Williams falls to the Raiders, he would be a solid choice for the defensive line.
Johnathan Hankins, DT, Ohio State University
Like Williams, Hankins has experience both at the defensive end position and the defensive tackle position. He also fits Reggie’s mold as he is always talked up by coaches regarding his football character. He will not be the biggest factor as a pass rusher but does have the ability to fold the pocket. He uses his 6-foot-three frame to locate the ball carrier and track them down. Hankins possesses the type of versatility that it appears the Raiders are searching for, and this would be a very good selection for McKenzie.
Cornellius “Tank” Carradine, DE, Florida State University
Carradine is an interesting draft prospect because of his torn ACL that has limited his work heading into the draft. Carradine is strong and uses great leverage against blockers and uses his strong hands to shed blockers. If the Raiders are looking for a pass rusher, this certainly would not be a bad decision.
Meanwhile, the Raiders can also decide to take a different route by selecting another need, such as on the offensive line.
Larry Warford, G, University of Kentucky
Warford is a solid offensive guard that would be an upgrade. The big guard uses quick feet to keep the opposing pass rusher in front of him. Meanwhile, he flashes quickness that enables him to get out front and block in front of the rusher.
Menelik Watson, OT, Florida State University
Watson doesn’t have the best technique but gets by because of his amazing athleticism and quickness. There’s no doubt that coaches and Raiders fans would enjoy an upgrade at the right tackle position after the struggles of Khalif Barnes last season. Watson is one of the best offensive tackle options still available after a heavy offensive line first round.
Though the Raiders signed a plethora of linebackers in the offseason, they may choose to spend their second-round pick on one of the better linebackers available.
Kevin Minter, ILB, University of Alabama
I know it may be a little early for Raiders fans to comprehend selecting another inside linebacker from the Crimson Tide, but Minter is one of the better linebackers left. Though he only has one season as a starter with Alabama, he made the most of it as they won the National Championship, while recording 130 tackles and a team-high 15 for a loss in his 13 games started.
Manti Te’o, ILB, Notre Dame University
We all know the story about Te’o and his (lack of) girlfriend, but he’s still there in the first round which comes to a bit of a surprise. Te’o may not be the quickest linebacker and may struggle getting to the outside, but he does provide leadership and is a solid tackler over the middle. Though I believe Reggie would pass on this, but he could be solid trade bait if he is still around that late in the second round.
The Raiders could also choose to use the pick on a safety or a skill position, if they believe it’s the best move.
Eddie Lacy, RB, University of Alabama
The Raiders could always look for a backup running back for oft-injured Darren McFadden. The Raiders would find the bruising back they’ve been missing with a selection of Lacy, though I believe the Raiders address bigger needs with their second round pick.
With Flynn currently on a one-year tryout with the Raiders and uncertainty still with Terrelle Pryor, the Raiders could certainly decide to take a quarterback in the second round. The two best quarterbacks in the second will be USC’s Matt Barkley and Syracuse’s Ryan Nassib.
With such glaring holes on the defensive line, it would be wise to believe that McKenzie and the front office will address that void next, especially with solid prospects most likely still available by their selection.