Kiper vs. McShay: Raiders 3-Round Mock Draft Review

Whether you enjoy their analysis or simply can’t stand either of them, Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay are always at the forefront of draft talk and mocks alike, given their positions at ESPN.

This past week, they teamed up to run through a three-round mock draft where they alternated picks and briefly explained each selection.

Look for the Raiders to go defense early (and often) as things kick off on Thursday. That’s my hunch, anyway.


All these selections were made without factoring in the possibility of a trade-down (or a trade-up, which we know is probably never a real option with McKenzie). With players like Sheldon Rankins, Vernon Hargreaves III, and obviously Ezekiel Elliott, off of the board at this point, options thinned out quickly.

The team over at Pro Football Focus has a bit of a crush on Chris Jones. He’s also been mocked to Oakland a few times, and most recently in their seven-round mock draft.

Many are jumping at the chance to add a player like Jones as early as 14.

I’m not sure I’m in that boat.

I certainly wouldn’t be disappointed, but rather, a little underwhelmed. Don’t get me wrong: the upside is evident, as noted by McShay and others, but I’m wary. Jones is raw, but this is also the same Raiders’ staff that recognized and seemingly coaxed the potential out of Mario Edwards Jr. a year ago. With Edwards’ future still up in the air, this pick makes a lot of sense.

On a related note: I was completely wrong regarding the Edwards Jr. pick last year. This could be another one of those instances, just a round earlier.

For me, I’m considering Robert Nkemdiche at 14, who I have over Jones. In Mel and Todd’s scenario above, Darron Lee was still on the board, and he’d absolutely be in play for me, but I may be alone in that thinking as of late. With respect to Jones, you could also place the “raw” tag on Lee. The “big three” wide receivers were also still available – Treadwell, Doctson, and Coleman – all of whom I’d contemplate at 14 (also unpopular).

A dark horse candidate in the 1st, especially if the board fell in a similar fashion, could be West Virginia’s safety Karl Joseph. There might not be a player experiencing more of a late surge up the boards than Joseph, although reports of him possibly missing time early this season may dial that back a little. Additionally, there could be size (5’9″) concerns for the Raiders front office.



Ok, I see you Todd. I touched on a possible safety selection in the 2nd in my seven-round mock and nothing’s really changed in that regard as we approach the 28th of April.

Darian Thompson was still available (eventually selected at 54 overall), so this selection gives me slight pause. I’d obviously be excited about landing Neal here, but prefer Thompson’s all-around game. Also worth nothing: Karl Joseph was gone in the 1st round (21 overall).

Mackensie Alexander, a polarizing player in his own right, went one pick later at 45. Alexander may be off the board entirely for General Manager Reggie McKenzie as he fails to meet the size threshold (5’11” plus) that he historically looks for in cornerbacks. Seeing a player like Mackensie slip to the second would be hard to pass up, in my opinion.


McShay was really cooking for Oakland, and then Kiper stepped in.

Not loving this selection.

Braxton is a standout athlete, and as such, this pick is obviously all about projection. I think he’s too fluid and just too gifted not to succeed, but I’m not pushing my chips in at 75 overall – just too rich for my taste.

If I’m looking for a wideout in the 3rd, Mike Thomas, the Southern Mississippi product, is my guy. You can throw in Leonte Carroo and Will Fuller as well (I’m told the latter will likely be gone in the 1st) and even make the argument for Malcolm Mitchell. In their mock, Carroo was off the board at 59.

I think the sweet spot for DB help in this class in the 2-4 round range. As such, the Raiders could pluck a quality name off the board with pick 75. Rashard Robinson and KeiVarae Russell are two players I consistently come back to. Either will add solid depth, and I believe both could push David Amerson for that CB2 spot.

Closing (and only slightly related) thought: goodnight, Todd.

Catch me on Twitter: @StillRyanFive