Mocking the Mocks: All Seven Rounds, via FanRag Sports

My boy Connor Rogers has a preview series over at FanRag where he runs through a full seven rounds for each franchise.

Working backwards, the Raiders’ card was finally pulled. Connor’s a good pal, and I really appreciate his insight when it comes to the draft, so I was definitely looking forward to him road-mapping this entire thing for us.

First Round

Connor’s Selection:

24. Dalvin Cook, RB, Florida State

Connor explains…

Yes, it is extremely surprising that Cook fell to 24 on Fanspeak Premium’s draft simulator. While this seems like a dive, there are some size and off-field concerns that could lead to a first-round slide. Now on pure talent, this is a pretty special player that would be landing in Oakland.

Oakland’s passing offense is loaded with weapons and the proper protection in the trenches, but adding a home-run threat like Cook rounds out the entire group. This unit goes from a relatively scary group to a ‘pick your poison’ offense.

Take: Love where Con’s head is at. Cook’s the RB2 for me in an impressive group, so it’s obvious he can play. With that said, and as I’ve detailed previously, I’m not sure Cook’s even on the Raiders’ board due those “off-field concerns” that Connor alluded to above. My notes and reasoning can be found in the recap below:

What I figured would be fun here, given the “controversy” surrounding a pick like Dalvin Cook, was to setup a mock draft parallel to Connor’s. I plugged in Matt Miller’s big board, as Connor noted he was using, in order to keep things on an even playing field.

Ryan’s Selection:

Take: If I’m Oakland, and targeting a back in the first round, it’s Christian McCaffrey. Blessed with some of the best vision, patience, and hands I’ve seen in a prospect, McCaffrey would add an unique element coming out of the backfield, or even split out wide. Many worry about his size, but his aforementioned Le’Veon-ish patience behind the line of scrimmage allows him to be deadly.

Second Round

Connor’s Selection:

56. Cordrea Tankersley, CB, Clemson

The Raiders were hoping to land a long, physical corner with plenty of ball skills when they signed Sean Smith last offseason. While he had his ups and downs, landing Tankersley in the second round provides excellent value and a young starter for the future in Oakland.

While Mackensie Alexander was getting plenty of love in 2015, Tankersley was a shutdown cornerback across from him. He once again flew under-the-radar in 2016, but he played a key part in Clemson’s incredible championship run. He’s physical at the line of scrimmage and uses his length to break up passes, often winning at the catch point. He’s a top-five cornerback in this great class.

Take: While there are some question marks surrounding the Cook selection for me personally, that aside, Connor’s 2-for-2 in my book. Tankersley is an excellent prospect who tends to “get lost” amongst another strong positional group (much like the running backs). Connor mentions Sean Smith, and with his first season in Oakland now behind him, we can all safely agree and say things didn’t go as expected. I’ve repeatedly discussed the Raiders’ need to upgrade the secondary, as a result. Snagging Cordrea Tankersley in the second round would be a big step in the right direction.

Ryan’s Selection:

I’m with Connor here. Give me all the cornerbacks.

Third Round

Connor’s Selection:

88. Vince Biegel, LB, Wisconsin

It would have been great if the Raiders’ landed a premier linebacker in the second round, but the board didn’t break in their favor. Enter Vince Biegel in the third round, a do-it-all outside ‘backer that may exceed expectations at the next level.

Biegel only weighs around 240 pounds, but he did a good job working through traffic in Wisconsin’s front seven and found ways to get after the quarterback. He’s relentless when given the opportunity to rush, racking up 52 total pressures in 2016 (PFF). His versatility would be a great addition to Oakland’s front seven while also being able to contribute on special teams right away.

Take: Not a pick I expected here and in general, not a fan of Biegel. I understand where Connor was going, as Oakland still desperately needs help getting to the passer, despite having all-universe player Khalil Mack on the roster. This just feels like 3-4 rounds too early for Biegel, a player who has had trouble staying healthy during his time at Wisconsin.

Ryan’s Selection:

Take: I’ve gushed over Jaleel Johnson from the beginning, a player that I’d (still) consider at 24 overall. Matt Miller’s evaluation isn’t as glowing, and Johnson was available well into the third round – no-brainer if this is how things play out in April.

Fourth Round

Connor’s Selection:

130. Jake Butt, TE, Michigan

It’s hard to find many prospects in this year’s class that had a more unfortunate end to their college career than tight end Jake Butt. After returning for his senior season, he proved yet again to be a dominant middle of the field (caught 26 of 33 targets 0-9 yards for 3 touchdowns in the middle of the field) and red-zone threat but tore his ACL in his final game.

Butt could need a redshirt year to get healthy. With that being said, if he can get back to form, the Raiders would be getting a steal for their already scary passing attack.

Take: I certainly wouldn’t be upset here, as I know many folks who had a first or second round grade on Butt prior to the injury. In a class with four or five freaks that make up one of the better tight end groups to come out in quite some time, Butt’s kinda just-a-guy to me, lacking that top-end athleticism. Assuming he finds himself at 100%, I think he’ll be a fine pro, but I just don’t see the same ceiling with him as I do with other prospects.

Ryan’s Selection:

Take: I’ll stick wth the mid-round tight end theme. I’m not sure that Roberts is a “far superior” athlete to Butt, but I do think he edges him out in that regard and, as Risdon notes below, is a much better blocker than given credit for. I’d roll the dice in favor of Roberts, over a recovering Butt.

Fifth Round

Connor’s Selection:

168. Ryan Switzer, WR, North Carolina

A few months ago, I compared Switzer to Redskins receiver and return man Jamison Crowder. They’re both shifty, ultra-quick and reliable slot options that also factor into the return game. Much like Crowder, Switzer has been somewhat overlooked in the draft landscape and could bring incredible value if he falls to the fifth round.

After consistently chewing up secondaries while at UNC, expect Switzer to be a very good No. 3 option while being able to instantly plug into Oakland’s passing attack.

Take: I’m a Switzer fan, through and through. I’d be comfortable selecting him as early as the second round, but I imagine his height knocks him down a peg or two.

Ryan’s Selection:

Take: While I’m 100% in on Switzer, in my “parallel mock”, he was off the board. No matter, as Oakland grabs incredible value with Josh Jones, Reggie Nelson’s replacement. Unfortunately, post-Combine, I don’t think there’s any shot that Jones is available into the fifth round.

Sixth Round

Connor’s Selection:

208. D.J. Jones, DL, Ole Miss

Jones was consistently a reliable run stopper up front for Ole Miss. He displayed excellent strength and read plays very well. He’d project as a rotational 3-technique, shade nose or nose tackle up front for the Raiders.

Take: More depth along the defensive line, I’m here for it.

Ryan’s Selection:

Take: Missing on Switzer in the fifth opens the door for Gibson in the sixth. Much like Jaleel Johnson and Josh Jones, I’m higher on Shelton Gibson, so I have a hard time seeing him hanging around this late. Gibson’s current weight is a concern, but he has the ability to consistently take the top off the defense.

Seventh Round

Connor’s Selection(s):

242: Devonte Fields, EDGE, Louisville

Fields is more talented than your average seventh round pick, but off-field concerns and an extremely inconsistent college career will cause him to slide. The Raiders already have a lot of talent in their edge rusher group (especially with the expected return of Aldon Smith), giving Fields time on the sideline to develop his considerable skill set.

Take: Fields was a “hot name” a season or two ago. Character flags have me wondering if he’d be in consideration for Oakland. But nonetheless, again, adding to the defensive line makes a lot of sense, and bringing in a player who has gotten after the quarterback is rarely frowned upon.

244: Erik Magnuson, OT, Michigan

Magnuson has plenty of starting experience all over the offensive line, making him a very versatile depth option for the Raiders’ offensive line group. He only allowed 14 pressures on 437 pass block snaps in 2016 for Michigan (PFF).

Take: Could be the answer at right tackle for the Raiders. I’ve mocked Magnuson to Oakland as early as fourth round, or so. Combine snub is a bit odd honestly.

Catch me on Twitter: @StillRyanFive