Inundated with NFL mock drafts
It’s almost that time of the year. Soon we’re going to be inundated with NFL mock drafts. Talking heads and keyboard warriors giving you their take on what teams should do. Well, here’s one keyboard warrior giving you his take on the Oakland Raiders and what promises to be an event-filled 2019 NFL Draft for the team.
Flush with three first-round picks, this draft is going to either help expedite the Raiders’ rebuild or force the team into long-term irrelevance. No pressure, Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock.
In any event, check out this Oakland Raiders 2019 NFL Mock Draft. All seven rounds.
1. Quinnen Williams, defensive tackle, Alabama
One of the most underrated aspects of the Raiders’ disastrous 2018 season was the performance of rookie defensive tackle Maurice Hurst. After falling to the fifth round of the draft due to injury concerns, Hurst ended up leading the team with four sacks. A first-round talent, he figures to be a long-term fixture with the Raiders.
The idea here would be to team Hurst up with arguably the best player in the draft outside of Nick Bosa and Josh Allen. The 289-pound Williams was dominant for the Crimson Tide this past season — racking up 19.5 tackles for loss and eight sacks. Having two elite defensive tackles will make it that much easier for edge rushers to get home against quarterbacks.
1. Byron Murphy, cornerback, Washington
Murphy is jumping up the draft boards so much that some experts have him as the top corner in the draft. Given that LSU’s Greedy Williams had held that mantle for the past calendar year, this is no small thing. A redshirt sophomore this past season, Murphy recorded 13 passes defended and four interceptions. His metrics were completely through the roof.
Byron Murphy put up some RIDICULOUS numbers in coverage this season. pic.twitter.com/bJmNHjTjQT
— PFF College (@PFF_College) January 12, 2019
Given how surprisingly good second-year cornerback Gareon Conley was for the Raiders last season, this would set the team up well at cornerback moving forward. With the weapons both the Chiefs and Chargers boast in the AFC West, this is certainly a necessity.
1. Jachai Polite, EDGE, Florida
It would not be anywhere near a surprise if the Raiders addressed edge with the fourth overall pick. Gruden has mentioned multiple times how much Oakland needs a pass rush after he traded away former NFL Defensive Player of the Year Khalil Mack. But unless Nick Bosa or Josh Allen is available, that would be a reach. Williams is at a need position and represents more value in the top five.
The good news here is that pass rush is absolutely stacked in the 2019 class. A rangy 6-foot-2, 242 pound edge guy, Polite jumped on to the scene to record 19.5 tackles for loss and 11 sacks for the Gators last season. He’ll need to bulk up some at the NFL level, but the talent is certainly there. We’re talking about a top-15 player going in the bottom of Round 1 at a position of need.
2. D.K. Metcalf, wide receiver, Mississippi
Oakland’s top-two leading receivers last season were Jordy Nelson and Seth Roberts. Neither fits into the team’s long-term rebuild. It’s in this that Gruden and general manager Mike Mayock have to add multiple young pass catchers in the 2019 NFL Draft.
After avoiding the position in Round 1, they add a high-upside and big-bodied target in Metcalf at the top of the second round. The 6-foot-4 Metcalf recorded 26 receptions for 569 yards at a clip of 21.9 yards per catch before going down with a neck injury last season. Said injury is the only reason he’s projected in this mock to last beyond Day 1. Oakland takes a risk here in hopes that the injury is behind him and he’s ready to start from Day 1.
3. Parris Campbell, wide receiver, Ohio State
Doubling down at wide receiver in a strong mid-tier class at this position makes all the sense in the world. After adding the big bodied Metcalf to the mix in Round 2, Oakland gives him a running partner in that of the 6-foot-1 Campbell. More of a possession receiver for Dwayne Haskins last season, Campbell caught 90 passes for 1,063 yards and 12 touchdowns. The upside might not be tremendous here, but Campbell is already looking like he can play from the start.
4. Bryce Love, running back, Stanford
If Love had decided to come out after his junior season, he’d likely have been a first-round pick. That’s why people tell viable running backs never to stay four years in college. More than any other position, they are subjected to potential serious injuries. That’s exactly what happened with Love as a senior. He suffered a torn ACL late in the season and is now seen as a project pick.
What better position for the Raiders to be in here? They rolled with the likes of Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin this season. Adding Love to the mix gives the team a potential running back of the future. If injuries continue to persist, losing a fourth-round pick by taking this chance wouldn’t be the end of the world.
5. Germaine Pratt, linebacker, North Carolina State
6. Gardner Minshew, quarterback, Washington State
7. Martez Ivey, offensive line, Florida
7. Chris Johnson, safety, North Alabama