Raiders News: Tom Telesco, Antonio Pierce, etc.

Raiders 3-Round Mock Draft: Getting An Offensive Anchor

One thing about Las Vegas Raiders general manager Tom Telesco that holds true is that he knows how to draft. Well, at least in the early rounds. His body of work with the Los Angeles Chargers certainly backs that claim. Still, what does that mean for his new team?

Raiders fans are clamoring for a splash in the form of a trade up into the top five, or maybe three, in order to select a quarterback prospect. Unfortunately, that’s easier said than done. Rather than giving you an unrealistic trade scenario, why don’t we keep things grounded?

We all know Luke Getsy taking over the offense will mean some changes—philosophical, play-calling, etc. Even so, the offensive line is the one thing that remains true besides all of that. It all starts in the trenches. Head coach Antonio Pierce wants his team to embrace the “old ways,” and that will start with mauling opponents in said trenches. With that being said, why not start in the middle?

Raiders 3-Round Mock Draft: Tom Telesco Gets An Offensive Anchor…

Round 1: Jackson Powers-Johnson, OC, Oregon

Andre James has done a commendable job at times for the Raiders, but is he a premier center? Hardly. If you want to establish an identity and go about starting anew, you get yourself a player who’ll set the tone. In Jackson Powers-Johnson, you’d be drafting a future stalwart. In fact, the Oregon product is arguably the finest interior line prospect coming out of this year’s class.

Powers-Johnson’s sheer dominance cannot be overlooked, even if you do not place much emphasis on Pro Football Focus grades. The outlet graded him 90.6 in pass-blocking, and his run-blocking isn’t far behind at 85.2. After a notable outing during the Senior Bowl festivities, Powers-Johnson’s stock has never been higher.

Although he’s a versatile player, his ceiling is highest at center, which is where the Raiders should want him. His lateral movement and agility are downright impressive for his size. Speaking of his size, Powers-Johnson is an incredible mover in space—his abilities as an anchor are scary; he is a truly immovable object. When you factor in his raw power and strength, which jump out in film, combined with his quicks, which let him reach the second level with ease, the possibilities are endless.

The Raiders have a rich tradition of offensive linemen; Jackson Powers-Johnson would add to that.

Round 2: Kamari Lassiter, CB, Georgia

We’ve previously mocked Darius Robinson from Missouri in the second round to the Raiders. Well, we’re sticking with defense in this same slot. The fact is, Las Vegas needs to get defensive coordinator Patrick Graham more help. That’s where Kamari Lassiter comes in.

The need to continue building the cornerback position remains omnipresent; the Raiders must build from the outside inward—you need speed, tackling, and coverage skills. Lassiter gives you all of that from the outset. His PFF coverage grade of 87.2 is nothing to scoff at; the former Bulldog has 14 pass deflections to his credit for his collegiate career. In fact, he was sixth in the entire SEC for the 2023 season with eight of those deflections.

The Raiders defense needs a corner that can make an impact when tackling in open space, as well as the ability to diagnose both the run and the pass. Lassiter does that with ease. Thanks to his quickness and speed, he’s able to keep up with the fastest wideouts, and on top of that, his fluid hips and movement will benefit him in either man or zone coverage.

If Lassiter is available in the second round, you don’t bat an eye.

Round 3: Spencer Rattler, QB, South Carolina

Sorry, Raiders fans, but the New England Patriots would be fools to trade away the pick that would afford them Jayden Daniels. If that’s the case, you don’t “settle” for a quarterback in the first round, especially if it’s not one with obvious generational talent. Instead, you choose the best player at their position, resulting in Powers-Johnson. Luckily, Spencer Rattler in the third round gives you an interesting prospect.

If the Raiders sign a veteran quarterback, like Kirk Cousins, you add Rattler to a room with Aidan O’Connell, and you suddenly have a group that’ll duke it out in camp. More importantly, Rattler brings a different skill set than O’Connell. You’d already have an option that’s much more athletic and mobile than AOC, plus he’s what Raiders fans have been clamoring for—he can make plays with his legs.

Yes, he’s not your run-of-the-mill first-round prospect, but that doesn’t mean he won’t find success at the next level. With his accuracy, patience, and rhythm, Rattler has the right foundation in place. If you allow Getsy to patiently develop him while using a one-two punch of Cousins and O’Connell, the Raiders could be onto something.

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