The 2018 NFL draft is now literally hours away and the excitement and entertainment that this event generates has all fanbases ready to come unglued. The highly anticipated event starts tomorrow and lasts over three days and seven rounds respectively.
It’s no secret that the whole world from fans to every writer with a pen has their own opinion on who the Oakland Raiders take with the tenth pick. As for the Raider Ramble, here’s what some of the voices think will happen tomorrow on draft night. Be sure to let us know what you think, Raider Nation.
The pick I’m going with is Minkah Fitzpatrick, previously of Alabama; this choice makes sense on many levels. Fitzpatrick is a versatile player in the secondary who has the capacity to play slot corner, strong safety and with coaching, improve on blitz packages rushing from the nickel position. Couple that with the appointment of Derrick Ansley (his former coach) and it could bode well for a smooth transition to the next level of competition.
My pick is Tremaine Edmunds from Virginia Tech. I realize that Reggie McKenzie and Jon Gruden don’t take linebackers early, but this 19-year-old is too enticing to pass up. He can play outside or inside and more importantly is a blitzing machine the Raiders need from the second level of the defense. Edmunds has the skills to be an All-Pro for a long time in his career.
Raiders trade out and swap picks with the Arizona Cardinals (15th). Oakland is able to get an extra pick or two while landing Notre Dame offensive tackle Mike McGlinchey.
McGlinchey fills a supreme need spot as an aging Donald Penn is coming off an injury and a number of candidates are duking it out for the right tackle spot.
Gruden is banking the offense on Derek Carr’s arm and the Raiders need to keep their franchise QB well-protected.
Raiders select Tremaine Edmunds with the 10th pick. He can play every LB position, fly sideline to sideline and can fill that MLB position that the Raiders have been struggling to fill for a long time. Not to mention that with the right coaching from David Lippincott he’s in the best position to excel.
When was the last time the Raiders had a dominant linebacker that opposing teams feared? Over the last 20-years, some of the ‘top’ names are guys like Kirk Morrison, Thomas Howard, or Napoleon Harris. With Khalil Mack and Bruce Irvin being utilized as edge-rushers and the team not making a move to bring back NaVorro Bowman, Oakland is in dire need of linebacking support. Enter Roquan Smith, a middle linebacker from Georgia. Smith recorded 85 solo tackles in his last season as a Bulldog and proved to be an effective pass rusher nabbing 6.5 sacks.
Edmunds is the defensive response to the beasts which now inhabit the offense. He’s a plus sized, plus speed, and an A-plus open field tackler, and then it gets better. On April 26, 2018, He will still only be 19 years-old meaning the Oakland “Cradle Raiders” will have an elite player at MLB for years to come.