After the Las Vegas Raiders’ big win last Sunday, their draft pick dropped a bit from the top of the order. Coming into Week 12, the Raiders were in a good position, holding the fourth overall pick. Las Vegas won an exciting game in Seattle, but their win hurt their draft position, which dropped five spots to the ninth overall pick. Picks 9, 44, and 75 are now owned by Las Vegas. If the Raiders retain this form, the following players should be selected with those picks:
Raiders Mock: Round 1, Pick 9 – Myles Murphy, DE/DT, Clemson
The Raiders have one of the best defenders in all of football on their defensive line in Maxx Crosby. Vegas thought they were adding another one last offseason, but Chandler Jones hasn’t panned out yet. The Raiders can solve that issue by selecting Murphy here.
Myles Murphy (#98) is a highly-touted prospect from Clemson and looks to be one of the major players in the 2023 NFL Draft cycle.
Here he does a fantastic job reading the front seven, paying close attention to the blocks in front of him to find the ball carrier. Nice stuff here pic.twitter.com/udyhugzF7I
— Nick Price (checkmark) (@PriceCheck3) May 7, 2022
The Raiders badly need help with their pass rush, and Murphy has a dynamic skillset that can do just that. Murphy is agile with a quick first step and is able to twist off of blockers after contact is established. Murphy has an arsenal of moves, both before and after contact is initiated. The only thing Murphy needs to get better at is containing the quarterback after breaking through the pocket. We’ve seen Crosby struggle with the same thing and figure it out, so there’s no reason to doubt Murphy can do the same. Myles would be an excellent addition to a defensive line that desperately needs help.
Raiders Mock: Round 2, Pick 44 – CB Brian Branch, Alabama
It sure feels like Mayock and Gruden are back in town with the Clemson and Alabama guys on this list. Branch deserves his spot here, though, and would be a tremendous pick. Branch is versatile, being able to play both nickel and outside cornerback and having experience at safety as well. He’s instinctive and plays with intensity, which helps make up for his lack of size, standing at six feet and 193 pounds. His closing speed is very impressive, as is his ability to consistently make open-field tackles. Branch would be able to add depth to several areas in this Raiders’ secondary.
One of Branch’s main weaknesses arises in pass coverage. While he does have good instincts, it seems as if he is a step slow against quicker receivers. These two weaknesses aren’t much to be worried about when considering his strengths, though. Branch would be a great selection in the second round, and his versatility would add a lot of depth to this defense.
Raiders Mock: Round 3, Pick 75 – OT Matthew Bergeron, Syracuse
Now, after shoring up two spots on the defense, the third-round pick helps out the offensive line. If there’s anything that will hold this offense back in 2022, it’s the line. There’s been improvement from some players, but entering next season, a player like Bergeron would help the line out a lot.
Huge fan of Matthew Bergeron's game. Exceptional foot speed and some of the best grip strength.
Might have the most impressive resume of pass rushers he's faced as well with solid showing against Isaiah Foskey, Myles Murphy, Jared Verse, and more. pic.twitter.com/BOGBHWpfk5
— Cory (@realcorykinnan) November 27, 2022
Bergeron is an excellent pass blocker and a decent run blocker to boot. Matthew is a massive human being, standing at 6’5″ and 322 lbs. With his frame, he can always hold his own against bigger defensive linemen. He seems to understand the mind of a pass rusher well and is able to react quickly to stunts at the line of scrimmage as well as the defender’s rush moves.
He’s not great getting down field due to his size, which does hurt him in the run game. However, Bergeron is excellent at the line of scrimmage and the initial point of contact. Bergeron also understands running angles and lanes and has a tendency to set up his running backs well. McDaniels’ running scheme would help alleviate many concerns regarding Bergeron in the run game.
*Top Photo: 247 Sports