It’s the offseason for the Oakland Raiders, so it only makes sense to take a look at how the Top 10 picks of the 2019 NFL Draft could play out.
With Jon Gruden’s rebuild going full steam ahead, the Oakland Raiders‘ needs this offseason are legion. Though they desperately need some live bodies in the receivers room, the most glaring needs are on the opposite side of the ball where, once again, the Raiders sported one of the worst defenses in the NFL.
Thankfully, they have three first-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft to begin the work of rebuilding a once-proud but currently moribund franchise. With just one winning season under their belts since 2002 – the last time Gruden walked the sidelines – they’re going to have their work cut out for them.
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They’ve got three first-round picks, four in the top-65, and they’re going to need to make each and every one of them count. Gruden got a decent return on his first draft class, but given the current dearth of talent at key positions, it’s obvious he’s going to need more playmakers.
What talent will be available when the Raiders are on the clock is going to depend upon the teams ahead of them in the drafting order – all of whom obviously have numerous needs of their own. And then, of course, you have to factor in trades as teams jockey for position to move up to get their guy.
The good news – if you want to put a positive spin on it – is that they have such a plethora of needs, if they’re smart, the Raiders are going to get an impact player who can start contributing on Day 1 with that fourth-overall pick.
Of course, who is available with that No. 4 pick is the subject of much discussion and debate. And it’s entirely up to the needs of other teams. Once the dominoes start falling with teams snapping up players, other teams trying to trade up to jockey for a better position, things get wild and woolly on draft day.
Still, the Raiders are in a good spot right now. Not as good as the Arizona Cardinals, but not a bad spot either. Sitting at No. 4, there will be plenty of blue-chip talent available when they’re on the clock.
The question is, with a roster as filled with holes as theirs, which direction will they roll in?
For the purposes of this piece, we’re mocking the Top 10 draft choices and assume no draft-day trades take place that vault another team over the Raiders at No. 4. We looked at the areas of need for the other teams in the Top 10 and have made our best guesses as to who will end up where and what impact that’s going to have on Oakland’s draft strategy.
And more importantly, who’s left and who they grab when they pick at fourth overall. So with that in mind, let’s mock the first 10 picks of the 2019 NFL Draft.