Mocking the Mocks: Four Rounds of Fun, via Draft Wire

My pal Luke gives the fans four rounds to debate and argue about. Cheers, Luke Easterling:

First Round

24. Jaleel Johnson, DL, Iowa

Luke’s thoughts…

Loading up on more defensive talent should be the focus for the Raiders again this year. Johnson’s performance during Senior Bowl week solidified him as the second-best defensive tackle in this draft.

Take: Arguably my favorite option at 24 overall. I know many fans focus, first and foremost, on the inconsistent play at linebacker, or even the secondary. And while those are both true, you could easily argue for the lack of interior pressure as the predominant issue for this Oakland defense. Jaleel Johnson’s here to solve all of that.

Second Round

56. Oakland Raiders: Adoree’ Jackson, CB, USC

Take: Cornerbacks are always welcomed. As I noted leading up to the offseason, I’d honestly be a little disappointed if Raiders’ GM Reggie McKenzie didn’t snag one in the first few rounds. Adoree’ is one of the more physically gifted players to step on the field (where he spent time on offense, defense, and special teams). In 2016, the onus appeared to be at cornerback, and that dedication has led to noticeable improvements. Jackson’s going to put up some freaky numbers in Indianapolis, in addition to already being a playmaker when the ball’s in the air. As such, it wouldn’t surprise if he found himself coming off the board in the first round.

Third Round

88. Oakland Raiders: Roderick Johnson, OT, Florida State

Take: I understand the selection, as the Raiders desperately need an answer on the right side of the offensive line. Here’s Lance Zierlein’s two cents:

Long-limbed left tackle who has the physical traits that teams want from their blind-side protector, but who is missing some of the body control and balance that is needed to succeed at his position. Despite his balance inconsistencies, Johnson can be a powerful run blocker when he gets defenders framed up. Teams will have to decide if they want to play him on the left or right side, but an offensive line coach will need to try and correct issues with his pass sets and his footwork before he gets his shot.

Also, a notable blurb from a scout (from that same entry):

“He should have gone back, but I think he’s interesting because I still think he is growing into his body. He will probably always have some balance issues because he’s always going to be a leaner. If he can improve his body control with that length? That could be really interesting.” – AFC Director of College Scouting

Again, based on positional needs, this selection makes sense. However, in this particular scenario, there are several noteworthy players still hanging around:

Anthony Walker, LB, Northwestern — for those fans who are banging the table for LB help, Walker may make sense starting in the third round or thereabouts.

Marcus Williams, S, Utah — a rangy safety who may be able to push Reggie Nelson sooner rather than later.

Corn Elder, CB, Miami (FL) — height probably takes him off the board for Oakland and other teams, but one of the more tenacious, sure-tacklers in this class.

Joe Mathis, EDGE, Washington — several injury questions but when he’s healthy, a first round talent?

Jalen Reeves-Maybin, LB, Tennessee — another player with injury flags, coupled with size concerns (athletic and instinctive, however).

Kareem Hunt, RB, Toledo — rising fast, might not see the third round?

Gerald Everett, TE, South Alabama — opinions are all over the place with Everett, who may sneak into the first, depending who you talk to.

Elijah Hood, RB, North Carolina — I may be higher on Hood than most, but this may be a bit early for him; think he’ll test better than most give him credit for when the Combine rolls around.

Fourth Round

120. Oakland Raiders: Kendell Beckwith, LB, LSU

Take: “Old school” linebacker with the build to match, for better or worse. Think he’s a smart player who brings the wood, but the lack of athleticism may be an issue. Add the torn ACL on top of that and you probably have a player that’ll go in the fourth round, or later. There are so many questions in Oakland regarding linebacker play, I’m not sure you can be upset if Beckwith’s name was called on Day 3.

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