Raiders Draft: Ten Options In The Second Round

We’re only three days away from the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft.

At this point, we’ve gone back and forth, examined dozens of options at pick 14, and still don’t have a clue what Raiders’ general manager Reggie McKenzie will do on Thursday.

I’m stressed out.

So enough of the first round banter for now. Let’s look at ten options for Oakland as they head into the second Friday evening.

Five that are probably gone…

Robert Nkemdiche, DL, Mississippi – There seems to be no middle ground here: you’re either jumping at the chance to add him or he’s off the board entirely. I’d take him at 14 overall, all things considered. Despite the character flags, I think Oakland now has the locker room to take full advantage of Nkemdiche’s talent. Coming off the board at 44 could be the steal of the draft.

Chris Jones, DL, Mississippi State – Jones is a fan favorite, from what I’m reading, and rightfully so. He’s a bull in the middle, with above average quickness and first step. To me, he’s a raw, inconsistent player who I’d feel a lot more comfortable taking at 44, as opposed to 14.

Karl Joseph, FS, West Virginia – If not for the knee injury, the West Virginia hitter might not be around at pick 15. That still may be the case, but I imagine the knee, and Joseph’s immediate availability (or lack thereof), has tempered expectations for some front offices. Or maybe that’s just wishful thinking on my part.

Sterling Shepard, WR, Oklahoma – Undoubtedly a first round talent. You’ll probably read Tyler Lockett comparisons, but that’s too easy. Sterling could easily sneak into the first, but with names like Will Fuller gaining steam as we head into Thursday, that may push players like Shepard back a handful of spots. He’d be a menace in the slot and add an awesome dynamic to this Raiders offense.

Jason Spriggs, OT, Oklahoma – An athletic tackle who draws Lane Johnson comparisons, Spriggs would immediately start at right tackle over a recovering Menelik Watson and an underwhelming Austin Howard. Although he’d see action on the right side, you’d groom him as the eventual successor for Donald Penn at left tackle.

Five that are real possibilities…

Darian Thompson, FS, Boise State – He’s good, and the Raiders reportedly liked him a lot early on in the process. This pick makes too much sense.

Keanu Neal, FS, Florida – If Oakland misses on both Joseph and Thompson, Neal’s a solid consolation prize. He consistently brings the lumber and he’s better in coverage than given credit for. Let’s see if the Florida pipeline stays strong two years in a row for the Raiders; Keanu Neal “feels” like a McKenzie-type selection.

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Mackensie Alexander – I didn’t think I’d have Mackensie here, but that’s the word on the street oddly enough. Much like Nkemdiche, Alexander is in play for me at 14. His height, production, and character have all been questioned at this point, but Alexander would be difficult to pass up in the second round.

Kendall Fuller, CB, Virgina Tech – He has the bloodlines and the build. Coming off injury, and missing the 2015 season as a result, his stock obviously dipped. You throw on the earlier tape, and you see a player who was once a lock to go in the first round. Fuller is quick (not fast) and aggressive, displaying great intellect and anticipation on the field.

Jonathan Bullard, DL, Florida – He’s versatile and tested really well. Lance Zierlein over at likens him to current Raider Mario Edwards Jr. and it makes sense. If Oakland doesn’t land Nkemdiche or Jones early, and with Edwards’ health (neck) still unclear, adding an ascending player like Bullard would be wise investment.

Catch me on Twitter: @StillRyanFive