2017 Draft: Day 3 Mock

Entering Saturday, the Raiders’ haul through three rounds includes the following:

01.24 — CB Gareon Conley, Ohio State

02.56 — SS/FS Obi Melifonwu, Connecticut

03.88 — DL Eddie Vanderdose, California, Los Angeles

Three picks. Three defenders. Three needs (seemingly) filled.

I shared my Day 3 targets late last night, and suggested that Raiders’ General Manager Reggie McKenzie simply follow his board, and select the best player available. It would certainly be nice if Oakland came away with a linebacker or two, but at this point in the draft (more so than in earlier rounds), you’re looking to hit on value.

Barring any trades (and it would not surprise if McKenzie moves around on Day 3, as he’s done in the past), here’s how I would close things out. Again, this is what I would do, not necessarily what I think the Raiders will do (although I’m trying to keep things reasonable):

Round 4, Pick 23 (No. 129)

TE Bucky Hodges, Virginia Tech — This is what happens when you follow your board. I had Hodges has one of the top five tight ends in a loaded class. While the Raiders’ just signed Jared Cook this offseason, adding a freaky pass-catcher like Hodges is hard to pass up.

Round 5, Pick 24 (No. 168)

LB Blair Brown, Ohio — Oakland finds their Mike (I think). Brown’s going to get knocked for his less-than-ideal size, which shows up in coverage. But moving down hill is a completely different story. Brown’s one of the better tacklers in the country, and plays with plus-vision and instincts. He’s also a PFF favorite, if you subscribe to that line of rationale:

Round 6, Pick 24 (No. 208)

WR Ryan Switzer, North Carolina — Ryan Switzer finds himself tumbling solely due to size concerns. At only 5’8″, it’s easy to have some pause. But the tape shows an entirely different player, unaffected by size or stature. Arguably with some of the best hands in the entire class, all Switzer does is effortlessly work underneath, helping keep the offense ahead of the sticks. He’d be a very nice compliment out of the slot, and will offer some special teams value.

Round 7, Pick 24 (No. 242)

LB Jalen Reeves-Maybin, Tennessee — The Raiders’ double-down on linebackers, as McKenzie alluded to pre-draft. There have been some size/build concerns (the same arguments that were pinned against Darron Lee last year). Couple that with the injury, and you’ve got a talented player (an early-Day 2 player, perhaps), hanging around late-Day 3. He’d play outside for Oakland, and add some much needed speed and coverage ability (assuming the health checks out). Scroll through this thread and thank me later:

Round 7, Pick 26 (No. 244)

OT Jylan Ware, Alabama State — Classic traits-player (size, length, and above average athleticism) that simply needs coaching to put it all together. Could have a future on the right side. Raiders’ have one of the best in the business in Coach Mike Tice. Anyone but Marshall Newhouse, please.

Catch me on Twitter: @StillRyanFive