With the draft quickly approaching, Silver & Black Report wanted to get some of the Oakland Raiders beat writers together to see how they could imagine the Raiders’ draft going based on some of the team’s needs.
For the sake of this piece, all picks were made under the assumption that the team does not trade out of the position. Check out the picks below:
Chris McClain, Silver & Black Report | @ChrisMcClain
No 5: Taylor Lewan, OT, Texas A&M: The Raiders reportedly prefer Lewan over Matthews and will likely get a chance at “their guy” if they stay at No. 5. It will be interesting to see if this is the case if fellow offensive tackles Jake Matthews and/or Greg Robinson are still on the board. Oakland will likely want to draft DE Jadeveon Clowney, LB Khalil Mack or WR Sammy Watkins but they could all very likely be off the board. The Raiders continue to address their offensive line by selecting one of the premier offensive tackles in this year’s draft.
No. 36: Kony Ealy, DE, Missouri: The Raiders continue to address the trenches by selecting defensive end Kony Ealy out of University of Missouri. Ealy could be just what the Raiders defense needs as they struggled to apply pressure on opponents’ quarterbacks without blitzing. Ealy is an athletic defensive end that has a tremendous amount of upside. His athleticism gives defenses flexibility in using him, something both Dennis Allen and defensive coordinator Jason Tarver appreciate.
No. 67: Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois: The Raiders need a quarterback but chose to address their trenches with their first two picks. Garoppolo is an excellent prospect who displayed his talent in the East West Shrine Game and the Senior Bowl. Playing at Eastern Illinois, Garoppolo didn’t always have the chance to play against elite talent but put up solid numbers and possesses a game that could translate well to the NFL. The pick would give the Raiders a young quarterback that they can groom under veteran Matt Schaub, something Garoppolo would need before starting in the NFL.
No. 107: Jared Abbrederis, Wisconsin: Reports have surfaced that Abbrederis may be considered the best route-running wide receiver in the draft. Abbrederis would give the Raiders a reliable hands-catching receiver that can be successful in the slot and reading the opponents’ defenses. Abbrederis will need to bulk up his 6-foot-1, 195-pound frame to better handle the beating in the NFL.
No. 219: Victor Hampton, CB, South Carolina: The Raiders did a solid job of filling the voids at cornerback with Tarell Brown and Carlos Rodgers, but both are only on one-year contracts. Hampton possesses raw, athletic talent but will need to develop his technique to reach his full potential. Hampton has was involved in an incident in April causing concern and further putting his draft stock under inspection, though he has since been exonerated.
No. 235: Dexter McDougle, CB, Maryland: Oakland continues to look for additional defensive back help by taking a cornerback they’ve expressed interest in throughout the pre-draft process. McDougle has already met with the Raiders in a workout and he appears to be in their sights. The 5-foot-10 cornerback lacks the ideal height but uses his speed and technique to stick with wide receivers in coverage.
No. 237: Austin Wentworth, OG, Fresno State: Wentworth is a three-year starter with tackle experience but will likely be kicked inside for his time in the NFL due to his slower speed. Wentworth could be a good pick for Tony Sparano and the Raiders to develop and continue to build their offensive line.
Steve Corkran, Contra Costa Times/Bay Area News Group | @CorkOnTheNFL
No. 5: OT Taylor Lewan, Michigan: The Raiders quest to rebuild both lines continues as the Raiders get the offensive tackle they like the best among a deep group. Lewan is one of four standout offensive tackle prospects expected to go in the top half of the draft. The Raiders get the one that they feel can be a cornerstone of their line for years to come.
No. 36: WR Davante Adams, Fresno State: The Raiders passed on wide receivers Sammy Watkins and Mike Evans in the first round, but they find it too tough to pass on Adams in the second round. In Adams, the Raiders find a player that has the ability to turn into the No. 1 receiver the Raiders lacked since Randy Moss left after the 2006 season.
Levi Damien, Silver & Black Pride | @LeviDamien
No. 5: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson: There are several players who have a good shot to be gone by the time the Raiders pick who, if they were still on the board, the Raiders must take them. Watkins and Khalil Mack top that list. So, really this comes down to who I believe is more likely to be there. Watkins would instantly give the Raiders the number one receiver they have not had since Randy Moss in 2005. And that acquisition proved disastrous. The last great drafted Raiders receiver was Tim Brown in 1988. They’re well overdue for another.
No. 36: Scott Crichton, DE, Oregon State: One of the last great pass rush prospects in this draft. The Raiders didn’t draft a defensive end last draft until their final pick – David Bass – and they cut him before the season. They need to build the future at defensive end right now.
No. 67: Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Eastern Illinois: Has the potential to be one of the best quarterbacks in this draft. He put up big numbers at Eastern Illinois and simply needed to show his skills on a big stage which he did at the East West Shrine game. That earned him an invite to the Senior Bowl where he continued to impress. With all the top quarterbacks gone by the second round, the Raiders get their heir apparent to Matt Schaub right here.
No. 107: Terrance Mitchell, CB, Oregon: Completely shut down his side of the field for the Ducks last season. It was his opposite starting cornerback Ifo Ekpre Olomu – a fantastic corner in his own right — who made all the big plays because quarterbacks were busy staying away from Mitchell. Mitchell’s speed came into question when he ran a 4.63 40-yard-dash at the combine. But he came back in an individual workout in his hometown of Sacramento, and ran a 4.43. The Raiders were on hand to witness that workout.
No. 219: Marcel Jensen, TE, Fresno State: A well-rounded tight end. He blocks well, has a good set of hands, and plays special teams. His skill set makes him an attractive option and would keep him on the field a lot. The Raiders picked two tight ends late in last year’s draft and have David Ausberry returning as well after spending last season on injured reserve. There isn’t a sure thing among them and competition is needed.
No. 235: Matt Feiler, OG, Bloomsberg: Tony Sparano loves his sleeper offensive linemen. Five times in his ten years as an offensive line coach, OC, or head coach he has taken an offensive linemen in the sixth or seventh round. He also likes versatility. And this 6-6, 330 pounds college offensive tackle looks destined for a move to guard.
No. 237: Isaiah Lewis, S, Michigan State: Finding some depth at the safety position is needed. Lewis is a seasoned starting strong safety who is a very good tackler and strong in run support. He is also a supreme athlete, having ranked among the top performers in nearly every workout at the scouting combine. His abilities also translate to being a valuable addition on coverage teams.
Vic Tafur, San Francisco Chronicle | @VicTafur
No. 5: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
No. 36: Dee Ford, DE, Auburn
No. 67: Tom Savage, QB, Pitt
No. 107: Terrance Mitchell, CB, Oregon
No. 219: Ben Gardner, DE, Stanford
No. 235: Bryan Witzmann, OT, S.Dakota St
No. 237: Shamar Stephen, DT, Conn.