Pre-Combine, Four-Round Mock Draft

Mock drafts tend to be popular. They’re easy to digest, helpful when approached correctly, providing a good snapshot of the “names to know”. Mock drafts get clicked on most often mainly because the vast majority of people love to argue. It’s February, so a lot will change. It always does. That should go without saying.

When I approach a mock draft, I try and be as “realistic” as possible. Being realistic relies on accurately pinpointing a player’s draft slot (value), which is really a guessing game the further along in a draft we get and mostly subjective. Mocks should also aim to fill out a team’s needs. Team needs can also be subjective. You can see how quickly the door opens for debate.

Below is a haul that I personally consider realistic. I’d expect you to disagree with nearly every selection. Also, as an important reminder, only about the first fifty (50) selections matter. Lastly, this was all mapped out on Fanspeak of course, using Matt Miller‘s board. I rarely agree with Miller’s evaluation and draft-related commentary, but his board was recently updated and he’s got one of the largest followings. Figured he was a good scapegoat, basically.

For reference, I detailed the Raiders’ top needs here.

First Round

(4) IDL Quinnen Williams, Alabama — There’s always a good argument to trade-down. That’s probably “option 1a” this year. “Option 1b” will involve one of Nick Bosa, Josh Allen, or Williams being available when the Raiders are on the clock at 4 overall. Oakland’s in a good spot where their roster is in such shambles, simply selecting the best player available inside the top five will almost surely be an upgrade. As such, “option 2” is going to come down to seriously considering someone like Ed Oliver. Back to the selection in this scenario, Williams might be the draft’s best overall player. It’s a dream if he makes it out of the top three. Coming off an utterly dominant 2018 campaign (he was a PFF favorite from end-to-end), pairing Williams with rookie-standout Mo Hurst would finally give Oakland a young, pocket-collapsing interior duo they so badly need.

(24) WR Marquise “Hollywood” Brown, Oklahoma — Gruden’s looking for speed at the position and Brown is this class’s premiere option. He’s drawing DeSean Jackson comparisons; nice footwork at the line with consistent lid-lifting abilities. Full disclosure, this is where I’d run to the podium if Iowa tight end T.J. Hockenson slipped. He’s arguably a top-10 talent, and in the mold of breakout stud George Kittle, alma mater and all. I think both Gruden and Mayock will fall over themselves for a player like Hockenson, and rightfully so. I just can’t see him being available this “late” in the first-round.

(27) FS Nasir Adderley, Delaware — Nobody watches Delaware football, so things had been relatively quiet for Adderely leading up to “draft season”. For those that have been #grindingfilm, however, the Blue Hen’s talent was never in question. One of this year’s biggest risers throughout the process, he’s gone on to add a strong Senior Bowl to his résumé, and one could only assume his stock will stay hot after a stop in Indianapolis. He’s a Day 1 talent; a combination of superior range and ball skills, the former cornerback would fit nicely on the back end. Another option late-first is the polarizing Josh Jacobs at running back. Jacobs has a complete game, and notably stands out as a receiver out of the backfield. The RB1 and top-15 player to some, despite the limited production, scouts and big media alike see the former three-star recruit as “just scratching the surface”. Gruden could do a lot worse than making Jacobs the focal point of the Raiders’ rushing attack.

Second Round

(35) TE Irv Smith Jr., Alabama — 2019’s tight end class is really good. We already talked about Hockenson, who has a teammate, Noah Fant, projected to go in the same range. Smith belongs in that same tier, but may get pushed down the board a bit. He’s not as athletic as Fant, but much like Hockenson, I expect him to test well enough (or even surprise). He should be mentioned alongside Hockenson as one of the better blocking tight ends in this class, while showing out as an above average route-runner and problem after the catch. He has the bloodlines, which is always fun to bring up (pops was a former first-round pick of the Saints).

Third Round

(66) EDGE Charles Omenihu, Texas — I think we’ve done a good job of keeping things realistic to this point, but I will admit that Omenihu has been one of the more “buzzy” names recently. It wouldn’t surprise if he was selected dramatically earlier than where I have him slotted here. Omenihu has the prerequisite size and length, and is coming off a productive senior season which he has since parlayed into a strong outing at the Senior Bowl in Mobile. He’s ascending at the right time. There are questions about his overall flexibility and bend off the edge, but Texas played him all across the front and we know NFL teams covet versatility. For the Raiders specifically, getting more upside players at arguably the greatest position of need is a win at the end of the day.

Fourth Round

(100) LB Germaine Pratt, North Carolina State — Former safety who can still get it done in coverage and is an absolute hammer against the run. I think he’s the LB3, behind only Devin White and Devin Bush, a pair of first-round players at the position. Pratt has a complete game and all the intangibles. I’ll be higher on him versus whatever the consensus is, and I’m okay with that.

Catch me on Twitter: @StillRyanFive


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