The workouts are complete and the measurements and times are documented. The NFL combine has come and gone and the football world got a look at the best and worst the prospects have to offer.
But to claim there’s any clarity on how the 32 teams will go through the selection process is utter malarkey. The crapshoot that is the draft is still a blurry concept. The image sharpens when free agency commences, but determining how a team’s draft board lines up without actually being in the war room can be futile.
And that’s what makes mocking the draft entertaining. Projecting picks in a sea of the unknown, despite being an exercise in futility on the surface, still is a fun venture. And thus, mock draft 3.0.
(Note: I omitted the â€œprevious pick” line from 1.0 to 2.0 and have included it here. I’ll also provide 4.0 once free agency hits the second and third waves).
Round 1: 10th overall
Vita Vea, DT, Washington
While Vea’s combine experience was short-lived due to a hamstring injury, the gargantuan defensive lineman racked up 42 reps on the bench press and a 5.10 40-yard dash time. He’s got country strength to go along with spry feet. Oakland hasn’t had a must-account-for interior lineman in years and this Washington Husky would provide that in spades. Of course, a free agent addition on the interior line could change this selection.
Round 2: 41st overall
Sony Michel, RB, Georgia
Previous: Rashaan Evans, LB, Alabama
The combine reinforced Evans’ availability in the second round to be slim to none, thus resulting in the Raiders taking Michel. Derrius Guice would be a sound pick, but he too appears destined to be a higher selection. The Bulldog tailback has the vision, speed, power and soft hands to excel as a feature back in Jon Gruden’s offense. His pass blocking is underrated and would be welcome by quarterback Derek Carr.
Round 3: 75th overall
Donte Jackson, CB, LSU
Previous: Rashaad Penny, RB, San Diego State
With running back checked off in the second round, the Raiders turn their attention to a beleaguered cornerback position. With speed to burn (4.32 40-time), Jackson is the pick here. With elite closing speed and a gambler’s mentality, Jackson slides right into slot corner with the ability to bounce outside. His athleticism gives the Raiders someone to keep up with speedster WRs like Tyreek Hill.
Round 4: 110th overall
Equanimeous St. Brown, WR, Notre Dame
Previous: Tarvarus McFadden, CB, Florida State
McFadden’s labored and slow 40-time hurt him at the combine. But with a corner taken in the previous round, the Raiders go with a big wideout here. St. Brown’s play dipped this past season but pair him with Carr and watch out. At 6-foot-5 with 4.48 speed, the Raiders land a young Andre Holmes-type large receiver.