Raiders Mock

Mock Draft Special: Raiders Draft Targets in 1st Round

I’m not going to do a typical mock draft here, instead I’m going to run off a list of players I would love to see suit up for the Las Vegas Raiders and possible trades that could happen in the first round. I have a few possible scenarios for the Silver and Black, but first off, let’s briefly take a look at the men who will be calling the shots:

Raiders HC Jon Gruden

Gruden is not the most trustworthy scout. To me, it seems he falls more for personality over skill, which can be great for a locker room but doesn’t always translate well on the field. He knows players, he’s been in the league a long time, the undisputable knowledge is there. As an ESPN analyst I found it annoying that it seemed each week he had a new “favorite player” that was “the best at his position”. He seems to fall in love easily, that is why I love that he brought in a wild card general manager to help with those decisions. Which leads me to:

Raiders GM Mike Mayock

Mayock has a successful track record when it comes to the collegiate scouting level. It was literally his job for many years. Analysts, writers, fans, and even professional team scouts took his annual mocks and input into consideration. His first crack at an actual draft was a hit out of the ball park in my eyes and I’m looking forward to year two. Mayock mentioned last year he was trying to trade his top picks, unfortunately he couldn’t find suitors. This year, I think he will have better luck.

Related: AFC West: Did the Raiders create some separation after free agency?

Trade up!!!!

My top focus would be trading up with the Lions to land Ohio State cornerback Jeff Okudah. He is the best corner on the board and could be a solid 1/2 punch with Mullen for many years. They could pitch both firsts and a third (or a conditional 2021 second/third) for that third and Lions second round. That second could net the best wide receiver available at that moment.

They can also trade with the Cardinals or Panthers for Clemson’s linebacker Isaiah Simmons. They can pitch the same deal they would offer to Detroit. Again, they would probably grab best wide receiver available in the second round.

Related: How do the Raiders value their draft picks?

Both of these prospects are top-5 talent and it is possible one falls out given the need and depth of quarterbacks, wide receivers and offensive line help. Other than those two, I see no other reason to trade up.

Trade back!

If Jaguars go defense with that first pick, look for them to trade that 20th and 42nd to move up to get the 12th overall and leap frog the 49ers for a wide receiver. With that, I can see the Raiders targeting corner Kristian Fulton, who plays solid man-to-man coverage, but needs to sharpen some areas of his game. Also, he has a shaky past; it just screams Raiders. Make no mistake, he is on the way up and should be a solid player for years to come. More people are high on Florida’s C.J Henderson but I think he falls somewhere in the middle of the first round. With those back-to-back picks, Las Vegas can still get a solid receiver like Alabama’s Henry Ruggs too or grab Oklahoma’s linebacker Kenneth Murray since they have that second they can spend on wide receiver like Clemson’s Tee Higgins or even TCU’s Jalen Reagor. This wide receiver draft class is loaded, I won’t be surprised if the Raiders focus on defense and wait on wide receivers, stack picks and move around.

Also, Vikings have made it known they are looking to make moves, they too can be a great draft trade partner with the Raiders, who have enough holes to plug that they can afford to drop back and grab a few pieces to the puzzle if the perfect piece up top isn’t on the table.

Stay still

If Raiders stay still and go wide receiver with the 12th, it’s a toss up between Jerry Jeudy and CeeDee Lamb. If I’m on the clock, I am taking Lamb but I’ve read a few things stating he loves his partying lifestyle and if that is the case, maybe Sin City would not be the best for him. That 19th could then be used in Fulton, or even Trevon Diggs. Depending how high on Kenneth Murray they really are, they could still go linebacker here.

If the 12th goes to Florida’s CB Henderson, another solid grab at 19 could be Jalen Reagor. Both may be a little high but both are needs and Reagor reminds me of Tim Brown in the sense that he could be the return man/weapon the Raiders have lacked for a long time.

Recap board on my priority list:

  1. Ohio State- Jeff Okudah, CB
  2. Clemson- Isaiah Simmons, LB/S
  3. Alabama- Jerry Jeudy / Oklahoma- CeeDee Lamb, WR
  4. Florida- C.J. Henderson, CB
  5. LSU- Kristian Fulton, CB
  6. Alabama- Henry Ruggs, WR
  7. Alabama- Trevon Diggs, CB
  8. Oklahoma- Kenneth Murray, LB
  9. TCU- Jalen Reagor, WR
  10. Clemson- Tee Higgins, WR

When all said and done, I am hoping Raiders are able to land 2 of these guys.

Raiders Mock: Final thoughts

Mock drafts are like playing lotto, we all have high hopes with the right picks but when all said and done, chances are we are lucky if we get at least one right, and most likely, we are just wasting our time. Still fun though, and with that, I’m hoping the Raiders make a splash for a big gun. If they can’t I would be perfectly fine with watching them just load up on solid talent. There will be misses in the eyes of all the cyber general managers but when all said and done, Raider Nation’s faith will be riding on Mayock. Which is fine, he has probably forgotten more than most of us would ever know.

For more Raiders content, keep it here in the Ramble. To see other things Ben’s writing, check out eagleyeforum.com

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