The first days of free agency are in the books. While it’s not over, you can get a good grasp on what the Las Vegas Raiders roster will look like. They have been very busy in the past week, re-signing their own players and adding some foundational pieces. The highlights of the week were the additions of edge defender Yannick Ngakoue and running back Kenyan Drake.
Those weren’t the only two signings the Raiders made in free agency though. They also added wide receiver John Brown, defensive linemen Quinton Jefferson and Solomon Thomas, and center Nick Martin. The team’s brass was also able to retain many of the team’s own free agents, including standout linebacker Nicholas Morrow and guard Denzelle Good.
What does this all mean? The Raiders have shaped their roster out nicely this week, but still have some glaring holes to fill. There is time in free agency to address those, however it’s time to get excited about the draft. Here is how the Raiders can attack the current roster situation in the first three rounds of the NFL draft.
Here’s a mock that fixes the Raiders remaining holes
Round 1 – Christian Darrisaw, OT, Virginia Tech
The Raiders have spent the beginning of the offseason shedding their 2020 offensive line. Moving forward, they need to replenish the unit. Replacing Trent Brown at right tackle with Christian Darrisaw is a step in the direction. Darrisaw is a great prospect out of Virginia Tech that has improved every year for the past three seasons. He is also a scheme fit for what offensive line coach Tom Cable likes to do. Ideally, he will be in a zone scheme in the NFL, where he can use his elite mobility. Darrisaw is the complete package and would be an elite pick at number 17.
Round 2- Andre Cisco, S, Syracuse
The Raiders haven’t addressed the free safety position yet. Even if they do, expect a big splash at the position in the draft. Andre Cisco isn’t among this year’s top prospects. However, he fits what the Raiders need perfectly. The Syracuse product snagged 13 interceptions in 24 games in his college career.
On the other hand, he had some major breakdowns in coverage, something Raider fans are all too familiar with. Nevertheless, the point in getting a new defensive coordinator in the building is to draft and develop elite players. Cisco has the size and athleticism to develop into a good NFL player, and the rewards of taking him here seem to outweigh the risk.
Round 3 – Tyson Campbell, CB, Georgia
The Raiders invested heavily in the cornerback room the past two drafts. With the young guys they currently have, waiting until round three to get a high upside prospect isn’t a bad idea. Tyson Cambell out of Georgia is a long, athletic corner that can play the “Brandon Browner” role in Gus Bradleys’ defense. He struggles with in game awareness on tape and sometimes struggles in zone schemes. However, he is great in man-to-man situations and hopefully can learn from Bradley how to stay in his role on a defense.
Round 3 – Patrick Jones, EDGE, Pittsburgh
Even with Yannick Ngakoue aboard, the Raiders still lack play makers on the defensive line. The beauty of having two picks in the third round is the Raiders can take a developmental guy in this spot. Jones had 17.5 sacks in 22 games, and can really get after the passer. Although he is a slender pass rusher, he is an ideal fit in a 4-3 front and can learn a lot from Ngakoue. Similarly, both are considered undersized and both put up extreme pass-rushing numbers. Jones has some room to learn and the Raiders can give him that while he earns a spot in the rotation.
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