All of the recent talk regarding the Oakland Raiders and the upcoming NFL draft is who they will pick but media hype and “expert analysis” often ignores players a team should actually avoid; here the three that general manager Reggie McKenzie should avoid.
Round 1. Christian McCaffrey
McCaffrey is big time talent, no question. But he’s just not what the Raiders need right now. Also there are some questions about how much tread he has left on the tires with 300 plus carries in each of the last two seasons.
A lot of people would go crazy if the Raiders pass on McCaffrey if he was there at 24, but with plenty of other running backs in the later rounds ( like Jamaal Williams ) and already having a nice stable of young backs, the Raiders really need to focus on the defensive side of the ball in the early rounds.
Round 2. Tanoh Kpassagnon
Many scouts are drooling over Tanoh’s combination of size and on field production at Villanova. At 6’7″ and 289 pounds the product from the Colonial Athletic Association shows plenty of promise after an impressive campaign last season which saw him rack up 21.5 tackles for a loss and 11 sacks.
The fact still remains that his talent is raw, he’s a player that shouldn’t be taken this high in the draft. No doubt some team will roll the dice on him but Reggie shouldn’t be the one throwing those dice in the second round. As much as Oakland could benefit from having a stud to help out the pass rush the Raiders will still need either a quality linebacker or corner.
Round 3. Cooper Kupp
After the loss of Andre Holmes in free agency and the questions surrounding Seth Roberts catching abilities, many analysts are calling for the Raiders to address the slot receiver position. Some even think the Raiders should target the speedy John Ross from Washington in the first round.
Cooper Kupp is a popular pick to fill the Raiders’ needs at the slot position, but once again this isn’t a need that should be addressed this soon. Kupp also has questions surrounding how much tread is left on the tires. After starting 52 games over four seasons Kupp logged over 6,500 rushing and receiving yards and over 500 kickoff and punt return yards, quite a work load! The Raiders should look to “post-draft” players to fill the slot position; McKenzie has a good history plucking talent out of that pool and this year should be no different.