I have been Raider fan since Marcus Allen “ran” with the night. They were literally my first love. My unwavering allegiance is as sick as it is irrational. I try like hell to not let my heart influence my fantasy brain. Doing an article like is basically just for fun. But it can also be therapeutic. At its heart is my realistic thoughts of how I build depth for years to come for my boys in Silver and Black.
Pick 10: 1.10 LB ROQUAN SMITH GEORGIA – Here is my only chalk pick. Truthfully I would prefer Tremaine Edmunds. However, Roquan fits the need. With the addition of Tahir Whitehead (who can play any LB position), Oakland has their choice of picking between an ILB or OLB. Smith is just plain safe. Oakland has not had an anchor in the middle of their defense for years. Smith smells of consistency and that will make the rest of the defense better.
Pick 41: 2.09 TE DALLAS GOEDERT SOUTH DAKOTA STATE –
You can call this a luxury pick if you want but Oakland does not have that TE of the future on the roster currently. Goedert appears to be a special talent. That might mean he doesn’t play a major role in 2018. His red zone abilities alone should help this offense stay fluid.
Pick 75: 3.11 EDGE ARDEN KEY LSU – Aldon Smith was supposedly going to be the Robin to Khalil Mack’s Batman. Too bad that joker is in jail again. Key may not project as a 3-down player and I am totally okay with that. As a rookie, I just want to see him on the field taking the QBs head off on third down.
Pick 110: 4.10 RB NYHEIM HINES NORTH CAROLINA STATE
Here my Raiders add to an already crowded RB room. You are probably thinking Hines is too similar to Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington. That may be mostly true but he is faster than both. Oakland also needs to replace Cordarrelle Patterson in the return game with someone other than Griff “Bleeping” Whalen. I also don’t believe Doug Martin will make the team. Thus Hines will be ready to be unleashed. Also with Hines and not Whalen returning kicks Oakland will make the most of their precious roster spots.
Pick 159: 5.22 OT DESMOND HARRISON WEST GEORGIA
Oakland is notorious for digging deep into the small school ranks. Harrison is a wicked athlete who could be the perfect swing tackle as a rook. At 6-foot-7 Harrison has the wings to protect. He is another guy that may need a year and at 292 pounds he also needs a little more junk-in-trunk.
Pick 173: 5.36 CB DARIUS PHILLIPS WESTERN MICHIGAN
Here we have more return competition for Mr. Whalen. Phillips ran a 4.54 40-time, that is likely why he is still available here. He is also just 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds. He might have been of those guys people assumed would test much faster. So as a non-Power 5 player who is apparently a hair slow he will make people think twice about drafting him. He just has a knack for big plays and his 12 career return TDs (5 INTs, 1 Fumble, 5 kick & 1 punt) are no joke. He also has 12 INTs and 35 PDs in 39 games!
Pick 185: 6.11 LB SKAI MOORE SOUTH CAROLINA
What’s this another LB? Yep, Moore in round 6 is just too much value to ignore. He is a versatile player who can play multiple LB positions and even in sub-packages. Moore averaged just over seven tackles per game (351 total tackles in 50 games) in college. He also has coverage ability. His 14 collegiate INTs are an amazing feat for an LB.
Pick 212: 6.38 CB D.J. REED KANSAS STATE
More return competition here we come. Yep, I hate Whalen so much I need to replace him with three people to ensure he will be sacking my groceries come September. Reed is a slicer and a dicer in both the return game and as a ballhawk on defense. He is just 5-foot-9 and 188 pounds. However, this CB recorded 103 tackles, 3 FFs and 7 INTs (1 pick six) in 23 college games! Reed has also returned a kickoff and punt to the house. After letting quality role players like T.J. Carrie and Neiko Thorpe walk over the last few seasons the Raiders need to load up in the back end. Reed projects as a very tenacious slot corner.
Pick 216: 6.42 LB TEGRAY SCALES INDIANA
Yet another LB??? One might think this IDP writer is just straight up hoarding the guys he likes. I can neither confirm or deny such accusations. If Scales is still hanging around why not! Whitehead is 28 and Bruce Irvin is 30 so building depth with this deep LB class is a must. Cory James and Nicholas Morrow are not special. Scales could ultimately be a two-down thumper that allows the speed and agility of Roquan Smith to hinder the edge.
Pick 217: 6.43 WR ANTONIO CALLAWAY FLORIDA
Lottery ticket ALERT! Oakland never shies away from questionable character when the upside can outweigh the risk. His 4.41 speed in the slot will be an exceptional complement to Amari Cooper. He certainly comes with some baggage. Marijuana possession and a sexual assault accusation (for which he was cleared) leave some unnerving shivers with most NFL teams. The Raiders always believe in second/third chances.
Pick 228: 7.11 DL PJ HALL SAM HOUSTON STATE
This kid is absolutely ridiculous! Production production production! The 6-foot 300 pounder has blocked 14 kicks in his 56 college games. How so, you ask? He is a jacked up stunner who gets under blockers. He also recorded 284 tackles. That is an average of 5 per game! It should be noted that he played all over the defensive line. He produced 86.5 TFLs including 42 sacks! He also forced 9 fumbles and made 4 INTs. He would give the Raiders depth at every DL spot and sharp shot of relentless energy. I found it nearly impossible to not think of Howie Long while watching Hall’s tape.
Special thanks to FanSpeak.com for providing such awesomely realistic mock draft system!