We’re inching closer to the draft and the Oakland Raiders roster continues to evolve. Raider Nation seemingly rejoiced in the jettison of Seth Roberts from the roster and head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock continue to get up close looks and visits with prospects.
Gruden and Mayock hold four picks in the top 35 (No. 4, 24, 27 and 35) and four more in latter rounds (No. 106, 140, 218 and 235) to continue the process of reshaping the Raiders.
This is the second of four weekly mocks as we get closer to the event. The first mock had the Raiders as movers and shakers. Not so much this go-around.
No. 4: Josh Allen, DE/LB, Kentucky
The Raiders are ecstatic when Quinnen Williams goes No. 2 overall to the 49ers leaving them one pick away from coveted Nick Bosa. However, the Jets pull a fast one by trading the No. 3 pick to the Giants who snare the Ohio State pass rusher.
Left with the choice of taking Allen, Devin White or trading down, the Raiders snag Allen to bolster an impotent pass rush after failing to secure a swap. Adept at getting to the quarterback, Allen can also drop into coverage – something Raiders defensive boss Paul Guenther likes in his defensive ends.
With Arden Key as the lone DE on the roster, Oakland desperately needs talent at the position and Allen brings collegiate production, size (6-foot-5, 262) and speed to the table. Yet, the fit might be a concern as he’s projected as an ideal 3-4 OLB and not a 4-3 defensive end (scheme Raiders deploy).
Previous: Trade with Giants. LSU LB Devin White selected at No. 6.
No. 24: Joshua Jacobs, RB, Alabama
The Raiders have a similar back who went to a school in the same state in Isaiah Crowell, however, value is hard to pass up here.
Oakland is unsettled at RB despite adding Crowell in free agency and Jacobs comes with very little tread on his tires due to a stacked RB room at Alabama. Coming with ideal size and the ability to catch out of the backfield, Jacobs (5-10, 220) could become a beefier version of Charlie Garner in Gruden’s offense.
Jacobs has vision and is decisive as a one-cut runner and improved his 40 time at Bama’s second pro day (4.52). He also improves as the game goes on which lends itself perfectly in Gruden’s run-based offense.
Previous: Clelin Ferrell, DE, Clemson
No. 27: Nasir Adderly, S, Delaware
The Raiders need secondary help and after watching corners DeAndre Baker, Greedy Williams and Byron Murphy go off the board earlier in the round, they snag their highest-rated safety in Adderly.
Gruden and Co. loved what they saw in Nas at the Senior Bowl and he looked right at home in the Raiders gear the team was provided. He’s a true free safety prospect with the requisite range and ball skills to go along with a solid work ethic and hard-nosed willingness to tackle.
While he may be slight of build, Adderly can grow into the NFL and allowing the Raiders to properly shuttle free agent signee Lamarcus Joyner from the slot corner to free safety with ease.
Previous: Trade with Patriots. Oklahoma WR Marquise Brown selected at No. 32.
No. 35: Marquise Brown, WR, Oklahoma
The Raiders top two receivers are Antonio Brown and Tyrell Williams. Behind them are Ryan Grant, JJ Nelson and Marcell Ateman – Seth Roberts got waxed on Thursday. The trio after the top two aren’t inspiring and the Raiders still need speed at the position.
That’s where Hollywood comes in. Sure, he’s coming off a Lisfranc injury, and that can place a governor on a speedster’s top-end speed. But Brown has more speed to spare and is a YAC (yards after catch) master. His timed speed is greater than cousin Antonio’s. And putting Hollywood in the same program as his older cousin would only pay dividends for Brown’s NFL career.
The Raiders would love to add interior offensive line help with this pick but the top two, Dalton Risner and Garett Bradbury, are long gone.
Previous: Dalton Risner, OL, Kansas State
No. 106: Tre Watson, LB, Maryland
Oakland signed veterans Vontaze Burfict and Brandon Marshall to one-year deals that have little guaranteed coin. The team needs to bolster the position with the future in mind and Watson is the ideal linebacker in the pass-happy NFL.
Snaring an eye-popping five interceptions to go along with crisp tackling technique and instincts, Watson can play either inside or outside. His tenacity is what keeps Watson around the football.
Previous: Joejuan Williams, CB, Vanderbilt
No. 140: John Cominksy, DE, Charleston
Guenther needs stout defensive ends to set the edge, contain the run and have the giddy-up to get to the QB and Cominsky fits the bill. The one-time option QB ran an impressive 4.69 40 at 6-foot-5 and 286 pounds.
And, when Mayock went completely silent and looked away up in the NFL Network booth after Cominsky ran his 40, you know there’s interest.
Previous: Khalil Hodge, LB, Buffalo
No. 218: Donald Parham, TE, Stetson
There’s a clear divide between blocking and receiving tight end in Oakland right now. It would be a boon if the team added an all-around tight end to the room, however, those types are gone this deep into the draft.
That’s where you get Parham. At 6-foot-8 with 4.65 speed, he hauled in 13 touchdowns and over 1,000 yards this past season. He’s got the height and wing span to grow as a mismatch receiving tight end at the next level.
Previous: Alec Ingold, FB, Wisconsin
No. 235: Jordan Miller, CB, Washington
Gruden stressed the need to have a capable and available group of cornerbacks against heavy-pass teams like the Chiefs. Miller is a schematic fit to Guenther’s zone scheme and comes from an accomplished Husky program.
While not in the caliber of more heralded teammate Byron Murphy, Miller has the speed and length to be sticky in coverage.
Previous: Easton Stick, QB, North Dakota State