Mock: Raiders Go Defense In 1st Three Rounds

The Raider Ramble brings you a four-round mock in which the Raiders go defense in the first three rounds, let us know what you think in the comment section, Raider Nation!

With the NFL playoffs in full swing and the Super Bowl ever closer it’s nearly time for the offseason and with it, the NFL draft.

Soon the Raiders will have big decisions to make in terms of their roster and the type of defense and offense they want to run. And after a very disappointing campaign it’s more than likely several players will be released or some will test the water on the open market.

Furthermore, it’s nearly time for all the college football players who have declared for the draft to find out where their destinies await in the NFL.

This brings me to my first mock draft using Matt Miller’s Big Board and based on Fanspeak’s team needs.

Round 1 – Roquan Smith (LB) – Georgia

Not only is he a Top 10 pick in my view but he is an incredible linebacker who could make an immediate impact on the Raiders defense. There has been a glaring hole at the LB position for the Raiders in recent years and adding an explosive hard-hitting player would be a huge pickup in the first round.

Only time will tell if he’s on the board as his stock is surely going to continue rising once he attends the combine and scouts see his huge potential up close.


  • 137 total tackles solo 85 assisted 52
  • Loss average 14.0
  • Sacks 6.5
  • Forced fumble 1
  • Fumble recoveries 2

Round 2 – Da’Ron Payne (DL) – Alabama

Another position of need for the Raiders is on the defensive line which the team could really use to back up Mario Edwards Jr. who has suffered injuries the last couple of years. Payne looked very impressive against Georgia in the Sugar Bowl showing good strength and ability. His size and strength could really help the Raiders create more threats to the quarterback as he is very mobile for a 300 lbs+ linemen.


  • Tackles total 53 solo 21 assisted 32
  • Loss average 1.0
  • Sacks 1.0
  • Interceptions 1.0
  • Fumble recoveries 1.0

Round 3 – Josh Sweat (DE) – Florida State

Another component that needs adding to the Raiders roster is the Edge position to help compliment the all-world Khalil Mack.

Josh Sweat would be a very good value pick in the third round. He is a big solid DE with room to progress in his game and would be a big physical rusher against the quarterback. In addition to the potential progress, he is a very big defensive end standing at 6’5″ meaning he could cause mismatches with rookie offensive linemen.


  • Tackles total 56 solo 31 assisted 25
  • Loss average 12.5
  • Sacks 5.5

Round 4 – Josh Adams (RB) – Notre Dame

With Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington failing to impress last year and “Beast Mode” aging, the Raiders could very well look to add a long-term running back in this year’s draft.

Josh Adams from Notre Dame is flying under the radar with all of the hype surrounding other “big names.” Adams stands at 6’2″ and uses every inch of his being to wear down opposing defenses. In his last season with the Fighting Irish, he averaged 132 yards per game. Provided that Adams indeed falls into the fourth round he could be the steal of the 2018 NFL draft.


  • Rushing attempts 206
  • Rushing yards 1430 average 6.9
  • Rushing TD’s 9
  • Receptions 13 for 101 yards


All stats via sports-reference*

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Eric Kench

The tragedy is that the Raiders have been drafting defense in the early rounds and they have faltered. Players like Jihad Ward who should not have been drafted do to his inexperience at a relatively new position. Players like Calhoun whose slow development has been a mystery to say the least. If the Raiders decide to keep Mack at DE then resigning Bowman and drafting a player like Roquan Smith becomes a necessity. As for DT we need a true 3 tech since Hester is the only one on the roster. I would draft Maurice Hurst in the 2nd round.… Read more »

Steven Rocci

I think it is time to cut ties with Crabtree and Lynch and save about $10 million by drafting replacements with the second and fourth round picks. I would also cut Sean Smith and sign Kyle Fuller and bring back Navarro Bowman. 1. Roquan Smith 2. Sony Michel 3.Rasheem Green 4. Keke Coutee

Gabriel D. Martin

I think those four are a good scenario. Especially 1&4. Chubb from NC State would definitely be on my radar. I’d switch LB and DB priority. Very excited about incoming D-Line Coach, and I feel retaining Bowman is a must.

Daniel Phan

But a lot if things will change come FA time. Also Franchise QB alert is out if these young QBs show up during the final bowl games, combine and individual workouts. Possible 4 QBs in top 10 picks and 5 QBs drafted in the first round to all these needy teams. QBs always get over drafted and that could be a plus for Oakland’s pick. T. Edmonds and the Alabama LB would also be worth a look if we drop back a bit to grab extra picks. I really think Sony Michel would be ideal for our offense and Carr.… Read more »

Mike Henley

Nah. Raiders don’t have the DT’s to keep Smith clean. Smith gets pushed around when OL gets hands on him and can’t hold POA. Tramaine Edmunds (2nd rd) bigger, stronger and in the backfield more. Raiders need a CB 1st Ward/Jackson. D-L woes came at the hands of Norton. Pagano had PR in full form. Taven Bryan looks like a steal in 3rd. Rashaan Penny/Kerryon Johnson* looks the part of every down backs. Lynch is tuff but his antics is not what they need.

Julian Smith

I like the idea of RB but they did draft Elijah Hood who’s big and fast.

Dave Andrews

Over the past 4 drafts the Raider have taken 21 Defensive players and 13 offensive players. With the first three picks in each draft they have taken 8 Defensive players and 4 offensive players. Personally, I think that Conley will perform if healthy. He looked good overall. They will cut Smith and Amerson and need to draft or pick up a FA CB. They will cut Crabtree and will need to draft or pick up a FA WR. Penn is in the last year of his deal and the blind side needs to be protected. I think the major issue… Read more »

Allen L. Heck

I’m O.K. with the logic in selecting defense in rounds 1-3…and the individuals that you have targeted with respect to position; however,–if you go running back–you MUST consider Royce Freeman from Oregon. He is intelligent, very athletic and has dominated from high school through college. Check his grades (in both high school and college), his high school records and his records at Oregon and within the Pac 12. I’m standing on a box for him because he comes from a strong family–father is a preacher and his mother is a junior college professor–AND HE IS HUMBLE.


I really hope we go defense in the first 3 or 4 rounds. But McKenzie needs to draft on what the players have done in college. And not on potential cause it seems he has missed on those picks in recent drafts. But hoping Roquan Smith is there at 9 or 10th pick.

Dustin Dub

Vita Vea is the most valuable player in this year’s draft. I am a college football guru. Vita demands a double or triple team ON EVERY SINGLE PLAY! Watch a Washington Huskie game. Vita penetrates into the backfield on every play even when he is double teamed. He swallows up RB’s and he collapses the pocket on pass plays. With Vita on our D-line, Mack will win the DPOY every year. He will make the entire defense into a Pro Bowl haven. If someone is smart enough to pick the Pac 12 Defensive Player of the Year before the Raiders,… Read more »


Does Payne make it to the 2nd round? He was a beast in bcs games


Depending on FA, Roquan 1st n Sony or Nick Chubb in the 2nd. Then a DE or T


Need CB’s

King Pro

Take Derwin James (Fl. St.) He can play both safety and corner.


I would put Roquan smith in 1st, Da’ron Payne in the 2nd, Quenton Meeks in the 3rd, Sony Michel in the 4th.

Gabriel D. Martin

Yeah man. We got some good position coaches coming in. Hood has a good skill set. Let’s get him and Olawale rockin’! Two back sets are coming, and plenty of them!


I don’t think Roquan Smith is the answer. Not saying he’s not good. He is sideline to sideline, has good range, but he misses a lot of tackles. And has a hard time shedding blocks. In the first half against Oklahoma he was non existent. He also missed a handful of open field tackles against Alabama. The raiders have a lot of holes and need good value. My opinion is they need to either move up for Minkah Fitzpatrick. Who is a difference maker right now and a better prospect then Jalen Ramsey Was, or move down with a team… Read more »

Frank Rojas

We need a Running back in the second round. DL and DT can be found in the 3rd and 4th round. I’m all aboard with RoQuan Smith as our number 1 pick.


What? No picks for their secondary? Dude, did you not watch a Raiders game all season long? Get your head out of your ass!

Guillermo Murillo

Thats just a pipe dream.the raiders will draft someone who runs fast and jumps high.but cant play football.there always drafting high cealing guys but never pan out .they havent learn their lesson .i think al davis is still a raider fan i get so frustrated.

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