The final mock installment before the actual event takes place this Thursday. The smokescreens, rumors, and even useless mock drafts are officially thrown out the window and reality will set in.
Oakland Raiders head coach Jon Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock will finally get to round out the 2019 squad into their own molding after a long-awaited timetable. Let’s take a look at how things may shake out in an expected raucous atmosphere from Nashville, Tennessee.
Round 1 Pick 4 – Josh Allen, Edge, Kentucky
Allen is the sack rush specialist with the numbers to prove it. Becoming the Bronco Nagurski and Chuck Bednarik Award winner at a non traditional defensive powerhouse in the best conference in college football speaks volumes. His coach, Mark Stoops, raves about work ethic that shot him up draft boards when he returned for his senior season at Kentucky. Physically, he resembles former Raiders defensive lineman Khalil Mack and actually has a lot more in common with him. They both were under-recruited, both played in 3-4 defensive schemes, will likely be top 5 picks in their respective drafts, they share the same agent-which means they speak a lot together and have similar combine numbers. Mack is the only 2-time All-Pro at 2 different positions and Allen has the same potential. He’s even shown to be a capable pass defender, which makes him more valuable as a draftable target. Last year, he had 17 sacks and 21.5 tackles for a loss. That type of production, in the SEC no less, points towards a promising career in the NFL.
Pick 24 – Noah Fant, TE, Iowa
The best pass-catching tight end in the draft that causes mismatch nightmares. Fant can be the primary pass catching tight end with a plethora of other ends already on the roster. Great height, speed for a big-bodied guy that looks like Rob Gronkowski. We have to keep in mind that Fant isn’t the blocker that fellow Hawkeye T.J. Hockenson is though.
Pick 27 – Deandre Baker, CB, Georgia
The 2018 Jim Thorpe Award Winner. 7 interceptions in 3 years of experience between the hedges in Athens. He was the epitome of a shutdown corner while only giving up 14 catches to receivers when lining up against them and hasn’t allowed a touchdown since 2016. Not a blazing fast specimen, but he doesn’t lack in the confidence department. Can step in the lineup and be the #2 corner behind the rapidly excelling Gareon Conley.
Round 2 Pick 35 – Connor McGovern, OL, Penn State
Steady blocker, nothing fancy, just goes about his job on film. Has lots of experience at guard and center in Happy Valley. Played early in his career and helped build up the Penn State program under the tutelage of James Franklin.
Round 4 Pick 106 – Alexander Mattison, RB, Boise State
A bruising workhorse who fits the hole at back for Oakland’s run it down your throat scheme. Two straight seasons of 1,000 plus yards on the ground along with 33 touchdowns in Boise. Prototypical size and weight for an NFL running back. Patient when holes are created off the line of scrimmage. Needs to show more as a run blocker though. Wasn’t much of a receiver out of the backfield either.
Why is nobody talking about Alexander Mattison? I sit down to watch this dude and see a big, explosive, powerful back with good vision, discipline and footwork, excellent lateral agility, and oh, the hurdle. This run is special: pic.twitter.com/imw2bF7Npe
— J Moyer (@JMoyerFB) April 9, 2019
Round 5 Pick 140 – Maxx Crosby, DE, Eastern Michigan
An edge rusher who gets to the quarterback at a high level. Performed well in all his games as a MAC school standout. Crosby has a motor that keeps him moving on the field. Other MAC coaches named him a first-teamer. 20 sacks in three years playing. Hard nosed defender who doesn’t know how to quit and plays the game the right way.
Round 7 Pick 218 – Olamide Zaccheaus, WR, Virginia
A utility type player who can do things at running back also. Saved his best performance for last in the Belk Bowl versus South Carolina with 12 receptions for 100 yards and 3 scores. Set a record as Virginia’s all-time reception leader. Stands at 5’8” which makes him a prime candidate for the slot receiver role. Improved statistically every year and it paid off for the Cavalier record setter.
Pick 235 – McKinley Whitfield, S/LB, Tulsa
Very instinctive read and react cover guy. Excellent size at 6’3” for a downhill runner. Physical safety who’s got a linebacker mentality after switching from that position while at Tulsa. Plays with a kind of relentlessness that is a must have if he wants to succeed at the NFL level.
McKinley Whitfield allowed the lowest passer rating among draft eligible Group of Five cornerbacks this season. 💪 pic.twitter.com/ouexisNKDA
— PFF Draft (@PFF_College) April 13, 2019
Happy draft week and last but not least, Ramble On Raider Nation!