7-Round Mock Draft, Volume III: Final Edition
End of the road, my pals.
This will be the final mock draft of the season before things go live on April 27th, just about two weeks out.
You can find Volume I here:
— Ryan (@StillRyanFive) January 15, 2017
…and Volume II here:
— Ryan (@StillRyanFive) March 11, 2017
This mock is equal parts “what I would do” and “what I think Oakland will do“. I like to call this the “realistic dream scenario”, if you will.
Here’s how the dominoes fell:
Round One (24)
Gareon Conley provides the answer at cornerback with Sidney Jones on the mend. I prefer the prospect of Conley over Kevin King, who’s stock is also on the rise as a result of the Jones injury and some Combine-best testing. With Conley, however, there’s still a bit of projection despite the strong work in coverage during 2016 when he allowed just 14 receptions for 159 yards (best in the nation, via PFF). Conley wasn’t a “slacker” in 2015, but he certainly wasn’t at this level, either. Outlier, or ascending player? He’s nearly the same level athlete as teammate Marshon Lattimore, checking all the physical and test-related boxes himself. Conley’s a Davis/Wolf/Ted corner — this pick makes too much sense, assuming he’s available.
— SI NFL (@si_nfl) March 24, 2017
Round Two (56)
Back-to-back Ohio State prospects? Not a bad way to kick things off. Raekwon McMillan has been one of the notable risers on my board post-Combine. Going into things, I had the linebacker floating somewhere around the third round. His scores in Indianapolis opened my eyes (posting a LB-best 4.61 40), and pushed me to revisit some of the #tape. While he has room to improve in coverage and some also note his ability (or inability, rather) to shed blockers, I’m taking the Chef’s floor over a player like Zach Cunningham, personally. The way his stock’s been rising and given the enormous hole on the Raider’s roster at (middle) linebacker, you have to like the value at 56 overall as well.
You can take this for whatever it’s worth:
@Jerrymcd Raiders scout was at Ohio State's pro day and seemed particularly interested in MLB Raekwon McMillan, FWIW.
— Andrew Lind (@AndrewMLind) March 23, 2017
Round Three (88)
Picks 24 and 56 have filled (glaring) needs for Reggie McKenzie; those are two good players in Conley and McMillan. Coming away with Chris Godwin in the third round might be the best pick in this entire class for my money. Now I’m sure many of you are wondering why we’re targeting a wide receiver, let alone on Day 2. Despite the frustrating play at times, I think this team likes the idea of Seth Roberts too much to walk away from him right now. Futhermore, the addition of Cordarrelle Patterson potentially “complicates” things (at least in terms of adding another wide receiver).
I’m a big fan of talent > need, so this selection comes down to picking the best player on the board. Chris Godwin isn’t towering over the competition, but he consistently wins at the catch-point by out-positioning and out-muscling defenders. He’s not Dez, but that’s how he plays when the ball’s in the air. He wasn’t used in the slot, but would allow you to mix things up with Cooper. Godwin can go deep and win. Don’t be shocked if he’s gone inside the top 50.
Jim‘s a good pal, and someone I really respect when it comes to this draft stuff. Metric-wise, Chris looks kinda Amari-ish:
2017 NFL Draft Analytics Profile: Chris Godwin | draftcobern https://t.co/PbEkBOgzGz
— Jim Cobern (@Jimetrics) March 20, 2017
Godwin’s also a Matt Harmon favorite, respected wide receiver-whisperer:
— Matt Harmon (@MattHarmon_BYB) March 29, 2017
I’m also keeping an eye out for both Ishmael Zamora and Taywan Taylor at 88 overall in the event Chris Godwin leaves the board in the first couple of rounds.
Also worth mentioning: he’s not a wide receiver, but this is where I’m pulling the trigger on DL Larry Ogunjobi, depending how the board falls (and assuming McKenzie’s looking to bolster the interior of that defense).
Round Four (130)
The folks at NFLDS have Trey Hendrickson coming off the board in the third round, so if you’re unfamiliar with the name at this point, now would be a good time to start poking around. He’s a riser. For Oakland, the “excuse” last season was the lack of pressure up the middle. Certainly was the case at times, and the return of Mario Edwards Jr. should help things out, but the fact of the matter is you can never have too many pass rushers. Trey was incredibly productive, and while still on the raw-side himself, has a ceiling perhaps as high as any pass rusher in this class.
Why Florida Atlantic's Trey Hendrickson was the 2017 class' most productive pass-rusher last season: https://t.co/OB4YiFe0nL
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) April 8, 2017
Round Five (168)
Xavier Woods has become one of my favorite players this year. 14 interceptions and 10 pass breakups between 2014 and 2016 is good (per PFF). Woods has experience both deep and in the slot, and easily plays the run when working downhill. His versatility is a plus. For Oakland specifically, that versatility gives you the ability to either ease him into Reggie Nelson’s role in centerfield, or get him more comfortable in the box full-time allowing you to drop Karl Joseph back as the eventual Nelson successor. Posted one of the better workouts for a safety at the Combine. The feet and hips are solid; tape (and testing) doesn’t lie.
Another safety that comes to mind is Colorado’s Tedric Thompson. I’m notably higher on Thompson than most, and from what I’ve seen, he’s a Day 3 prospect for the majority. No-brainer if he’s available here.
Round Six (208)
I plucked this name right from Justis Mosqueda‘s Ted T. “tendencies” series that he’s been crafting. If a player checks boxes for Ted, chance are, he’s checking boxes for Reggie (and hopefully Tice, in this case). Standing at 6’8″ with notably strong hands, Storm Norton spent his time at left tackle for Toledo. In Oakland, ideally, he’d swing out and compete on the right side sooner rather than later. His height works against him at times, the same issue that most 6’8″ players will face I imagine. Norton’s a factor in both the run game and the pass. Mold him.
Round Seven (242)
Where is Shepherd? Who is Billy Brown?
I honestly couldn’t tell you where Shepherd is, but I can shed some light on the 242nd overall selection in this particular scenario. Billy Brown is a converted wide receiver. He “plays” tight end, but in reality, he’s just a massive wideout who put up some silly numbers at his Division II school. You’re not going to get much out of him inline, in terms of blocking, but he uses his size really well and has a sure set of hands. In the league, he’ll be your prototypical “move TE”. I had tight end as a position much higher on the list for the Raiders (both David Njoku and Evan Engram are favorites), but with the addition of Jared Cook in free agency, taking a flyer on one of these late-round kids make a little more sense.
Shepherd also had WR/TE Billy Brown — 6-4/255, ridiculous stats in D-II: 99 catches, 1,580 yards, 22 TDs last season. Nine multi-TD games.
— Greg Auman (@gregauman) April 8, 2017
— Draft Analyst (@DraftAnalyst1) February 24, 2017
Round Seven (244)
Another defensive back with some versatility, Chuck Clark is a former cornerback who’s made a home for himself working in the box. Ball skills are more than passable; no problem matching up in the slot. Serviceable in coverage, and effective in press off the break. Could fill a couple of spots for the soon-to-be Las Vegas Raiders and immediately adds solid depth to a secondary that’s lacking talent. Cool customer who always plays under control.
— PFF College Football (@PFF_College) February 16, 2017
Another name to make note of toward the end of the draft is Johnathan “Rudy” Ford of Auburn. He’s going to be faced with the same position questions as Jabrill Peppers (similar athlete, but not quite on that level). You’d utilize Ford just how Green Bay used Micah Hyde, for example.
Catch me on Twitter: @StillRyanFive