Reggie McKenzie begins his second draft as the Oakland Raiders’ general manager, which could prove to be one his most important as the team’s head man. He has done well in shedding bad contracts signed by the previous regime and trying to get his team out of salary cap hell. He has also relatively strong free agency in adding a lot of low risk, low cost type of free agents to fill holes and be stop gaps until he can fill those positions with legitimate talent. His next task is adding that legitimate talent to his team. His best shot will be by having a strong draft so he can add affordable talent as opposed to spending large amounts of money on big-time free agents.
McKenzie does not have a lot to work with in the draft. Horrible moves by the previous regime have left him with a bare cupboard of draft picks. The Raiders have only seven picks in this year’s draft, and four of them come in the final two rounds of the draft. The fact this draft is seen as a deep draft with a lot of potential talent in the middle rounds should serve the Raiders well, as they have three picks in the top 100 picks.
So, let us go ahead and take a look at how a potential draft for the Raiders could go. In this mock, the Raiders went defense-heavy as that unit has the most holes and lack of talent. They would have liked to have grabbed a defensive end at some point, but their lack of middle round picks hampers their ability to address that position. Despite this previous article that the Raiders should trade down, this mock is trade free with the difficulty it is to predict trades.
Round 1, pick 3: Sharrif Floyd, DT – Florida: Sharrif Floyd has the potential to become the dominant anchor along the Raiders’ defensive line for years to come. Floyd pairs a powerful frame with good athleticism and a non-stop motor. However, Floyd is still pretty raw despite being ranked this highly in the draft and will have to be coached up on the technical aspects of the position.
Round 3, pick 66: Bacarri Rambo, FS – Georgia: Bacarris Rambo has the build and stats that show he could be a standout safety at the NFL level. Rambo was a ball hawk, as he recorded 16 interceptions during his college career. He possesses good coverage instincts and great ball skills and can be a devastating tackler. He has a tendency to gamble and go for the big hit or the big play and can get burned by it.
Round 4, pick 100: Will Davis, CB – Utah State: Will Davis is an intriguing prospect at the cornerback position. He has a good frame and is a very fluid athlete with great feet and hips. He will be a solid cover corner, but will struggle against bigger, more physical receivers in jump ball situations. He has only 18 starts at the FBS level, so he has limited experience.
Round 6, pick 172: Robert Lester, S – Alabama: Robert Lester was seen as potential first round pick following his 2010 season, but inconsistent play has seen his draft stock take a hit. Lester has a solid frame and length. He has great ball skills and good coverage instincts. He will step up in support of the run game but is not overly physical to live inside the box. Lester is a tweener that could provide the Raiders with some flexibility on how they use him.
Round 6, pick 176: Joseph Fauria, TE – UCLA: Joseph Fauria is the nephew of former NFL tight end Christian Fauria. He is the prototypical red zone threat, standing at 6’7 and 259 pounds. He has soft hands and good agility for his size. He will have to improve his blocking to become an all around tight end, but he would be a great receiving tight end for the Raiders.
Round 6, pick 205: Jeff Baca, OG – UCLA: Jeff Baca is a player that could fit in well with the Raiders’ switch to a power running game. Baca is a player that has limitations, but does not lack effort. He possesses an aggressive, nonstop motor and works best in the interior of the line. He struggles in pass protection due to lack of lateral agility, but if he can improve his pure strength in an NFL weight room he could become an impressive run blocker.
Round 7, pick 209: Terrence Brown, CB – Stanford: Terrence Brown is the type player that you can possibly stash on the practice squad and see how he develops in his first couple of years. He possesses intriguing physical size and length. He is also a physical tackler at the corner position and could develop into a core special teams player.