Oakland Raiders: Early 3-round 2019 NFL mock draft brings needed help

Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images
Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images /
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Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images /

The Oakland Raiders need some help, that’s no secret. In this initial, way-too-early 2019 NFL mock draft, they get just that.

The Oakland Raiders have certainly taken us on a supercharged version of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride this season, haven’t they?

From the excitement and high expectations heralded by the return of Oakland’s prodigal son, Jon Gruden, to the darkness, pain, and misery of not just a 2-10 (so far) season – and really, 2-14 doesn’t seem all that far outside the realm of possibility at this point – 2018 has been pretty much a year to forget.

Despite all of the gloom and doom though, there are some silver linings that can be gleaned. That is, if you squint in a dark room, tilt your head, and look hard enough.

Gruden is taking fire from all over for trading away Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper. But ask your self this – how good would this team have been even if Gruden had hung on to them?

Sure, Mack would have been a defensive force as he always is. Still, could he have changed the entire fortunes of this team? Likely not. Last we checked, he wasn’t playing on the offensive side of the ball. He also isn’t in the secondary covering receivers (or not covering them, as has been more the case this season).

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And in Cooper’s six games this year, he didn’t have much of an impact on the offense. Now, part of that was quarterback Derek Carr, the lack of adequate protection, and the lack of a running game, of course.

Another part of that was Cooper not getting adequate separation from the defender. Oh, and the ever-present problem of his dropping the ball.

Fans have got to face facts – even with Mack and Cooper still on the roster, this team very likely would still be in the same sub-.500 boat. GM Reggie McKenzie has not stocked the shelves with reliable talent and has left gaping holes up and down this roster.

And oh yeah, holding on to Mack and Cooper – while still paying Carr – would have financially hamstrung this organization, thus not allowing them to address the aforementioned gaping holes. That would have led to a perpetuating cycle of sub-.500 seasons, until the team was able to shed those mega-dollar deals and get out from under the financial burden.

Like it or not, trading away Mack and Cooper was really the best move Gruden could have made to put this team back on the right path, and to start really solidifying the roster, hopefully eliminating the plethora of glaring holes.

The draft capital, as well as the financial flexibility Gruden now has after making those two deals can’t possibly be understated. The best way to rebuild this franchise after he spent 2018 reducing it to rubble is to bring in young talent, as well as reliable veteran help – two things he can now do with the capital at his disposal.

It’s going to come down to Gruden being a better talent evaluator than McKenzie has been over the course of his tenure. Armed with three 2019 first-round draft picks – as well as a cap figure that could potentially near $100 million to spend on free agents – we’ll see if he is.

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Which brings us to the meat of the matter for this article – the draft. Using Fanspeak.com’s draft simulator, we used NFL Mock’s big board to mock out the Raiders’ first three rounds of the 2019 NFL Draft.

The picks are made in the order they’d be in if the season ended today – and we can still hope Dallas and Chicago go into the tank over the next four weeks, thus improving Oakland’s fortunes.

Oakland’s biggest areas of need are on the defensive side of the ball and in this initial mock draft, they get plenty of help to address those areas of need.

So, without further ado, we give you our initial three-round mock draft…