Raiders Post-Free Agency 7-Round Mock Draft

The Raiders’ were busy in free agency, which is refreshing to say the least. Since Reggie McKenzie signed on in 2012, he was either strapped for cash, or Oakland simply wasn’t viewed as an attractive destination for top-tier free agents. He’s done well to change both.

Going into the draft, and on the heels of a strong free agency period coupled with effective selections in previous drafts, the Raiders are in position to take the best player available – one of many “draft clichés” I’m sure you’ll find in this piece. Despite the recent successes in that regard, there are still holes on this roster.

The biggest cause for concern remains in the secondary, and more specifically, at the safety spots. It would not surprise me to see two safety’s come off the board for Oakland in the first 2-4 rounds. Additionally, I think you’ll see McKenzie look to improve the second level of the defense.

Update (April 4th): It appears the Raiders are close to a deal with free agent safety Reggie Nelson. Nelson turns 33 this September, so I’m not sure this move alone will change McKenzie’s approach later this month. It will, however, allow for even more flexibility when setting the board I imagine.

While Nelson will certainly slot-in and start right away, still expect some youthful reinforcements.

Update (April 6th): Got him.

Other than defensive backs and linebackers, all signs point to the Raiders addressing the running back position at some point, which has been the ongoing headline since late last season.

With all that in mind, I headed on over to Fanspeak and hopped on their mock draft simulator. I ran through a few different scenarios (note the big boards) and posted my results below:


A couple disclaimers before we proceed:

I know there are groups of fans that see no value in mocks, and those that take these results a little more seriously. I more or less put myself in the former category, but nevertheless, view mock drafts as a productive exercise that can help give you an idea of who may be available and when.

Next, you’ll see multiple players appear, and reappear, across all three different mocks. I really like those players. However, in order to avoid being told how ridiculous it is to select “so-and-so in round whatever”, I’ve included a handful of options for each round detailed below.

We’ll follow along with Eric Galko’s big board locked and loaded. Depending how the board falls, you’ll get a feel for some of my favorite players at potentially different positions with other considerations noted.

Round 1


Assuming both Myles Jack and Ezekiel Elliott are off the board – or in the case of Myles, long gone – at the top of my list is Sheldon Rankins. Adding his presence on the inside will only provide a boost to players like Mack and Irvin on the edge, and could possibly elevate this front from good, to scary good.

After Rankins, I’d be more than content adding a player like Vernon Hargreaves III. I’m not worried about the size, although I’m told McKenzie might be (the Thompson Tree carries on). Vernon’s a great athlete with superb ball skills, anticipation, and open-field tackling. Don’t overthink this one.

I personally love Darron Lee, and more so, I love the fit in Oakland with Ken Norton Jr. on the sideline. Lee’s an outstanding athlete who packs a punch, despite the size concerns. You’ll hear the “he’s the new look NFL linebacker” line a lot. A former safety whose confidence is apparent throughout his game – my guy Davis Hsu likens him to Thomas Davis – he’ll get his weight up, and in the proper scheme, has a ceiling as high as anyone.



Also in consideration: Mackensie Alexander (CB, I really love this), Chris Jones (DL, and still rising on boards), William Jackson III (CB, “another” Houston corner), Laquon Treadwell (WR, I honestly might look at both Coleman and Doctson here as well, depending how the board broke – see below)

Round 2


I don’t believe he’s available at 44, but Jason Spriggs would immediately start at right tackle for Oakland while being groomed to take over for Donald Penn at left tackle down the road.

Round 2 is also when we could see the first safety off the board for the Raiders. Darian Thompson and Keanu Neal both fit the bill, and if the front office is confident with the medical, Karl Joseph is easily in that discussion as well.

Side note: I’m not normally into “highlight packages” (especially when it comes to developing an opinion on a player), but this is so well done and worth your time.

Speaking of medical, if Jaylon Smith “checks out”, you may have to contemplate his stock here as well and roll the dice.

Lastly, I don’t think Corey Coleman or Josh Doctson make it to 44, but they’d add an awesome dynamic to this already rising offense.

Also in consideration: Sterling Shepard (WR), Jonathan Bullard (DL), Robert Nkemdiche (DL)

Round 3


Deion Jones is another athletic linebacker in a similar mold to Darron Lee. He’s a true 3-down force, with plus-instincts and recognition – great spot for him at 75.

Sticking with the early safety help theme, both Jeremy Cash and Su’a Cravens are in play here. Cash doesn’t have the athleticism to consistently excel in coverage, but he’s a menace around the line of scrimmage. Cravens, even with the poor testing, has some seriously solid tape; someone who just needs to find the gym and get better from that standpoint.

Oh, don’t sleep on Tyler Matakevich, either.

Also in consideration: Vonn Bell (FS), Joe Schobert (OLB), Connor McGovern (OL)

Round 4


Rashard Robinson has plenty of question marks, despite the standout true freshman season he put together. Rumor has it, a few front offices would view him as the CB1 without those “character” flags. He’s worth the gamble in the 3rd or 4th.

Another corner with flags of his own, KeiVarae Russell has done well to improve his stock with a strong pro day performance.

Depending what happens at the top, I’d start looking at running back options in the 4th round. C.J. Prosise and Jonathan Williams are two of my favorites, and both would help take some pressure off of current starter Latavius Murray. Jon makes Lance’s list of “potential steals” below:

Also in consideration: Jordan Jenkins (OLB), Sean Davis (FS), Malcolm Mitchell (WR), Javon Hargreave (DL), Michael Thomas (WR, the Southern Mississippi product), Justin Simmons (FS), Kalan Reed (CB)

Round 5


It appears as though Kevin Byard is finally getting the recognition he deserves. He’s been one of the more overlooked names, and at this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s gone before the 5th. That’s your starting strong safety and at pretty incredible value, too.

In the particular mock above, the aforementioned C.J. Prosise was sitting there at 143, so that was an easy selection. Great feet and effortless cuts, but a back that needs to work on his pad level.

Also in consideration: Artie Burns (CB), Kentrell Brothers (ILB), James Bradberry (CB)

Round 6


I pulled John Theus in this mock, again, thinking about that right side of the offensive line. Joe Haeg of North Dakota State also comes to mind (hat tip to Mr. Cobern for that one), and would probably push both Howard and Watson at right tackle upon being drafted. I’ve seen Haeg mocked as high as the 3rd round, so this may be a home run of sorts if he’s still available at 194.

Also in consideration: T.J. Green (FS), Ricardo Louis (WR), LeShaun Sims (CB)

Round 7


Pardon the typo above. Marquez North is a player I continuously come back to in the 7th, and this blurb over at Rotoworld really says it all; you’re obviously banking on the upside here.


Antonio Morrison is a savage as well as a little bit crazy. I’m okay with a flier at the end of Day 3 as such. He’s got a heck of a motor, and the type of intangibles I’d welcome on my team (we’ll work with the crazy).


Catch me on Twitter: @StillRyanFive