Updated: Jun 18, 2021
The NFL draft is fast approaching, but as quickly as it comes it is never fast enough. Outside of the SuperBowl, the NFL draft may be the most exciting day of the NFL year. We are now less than one weeks away and with each passing night the anticipation continues to grow. I’ve done countless mock drafts. I have poured hours into Googling and YouTubing. The result is the below list of college prospects that could be on the board at pick seventeen and that the Raiders should consider selecting. (In no particular order)
Christian Barmore – DT – Alabama
Unanimously considered the best interior defensive lineman in this draft class, with a large drop off before getting the number two on the list. So if you have a need at the position, he’s the guy you should be targeting. The one knock that I have heard is that he has a bit of an issue with consistency. However, he turned on the juice during this past playoff and national championship game leaving a really nice lasting impression. If he is there, it will be very hard to imagine the Raiders not drafting him. Barmore would complete the defensive line overhaul. I’d be pretty satisfied with starting the season with Maxx Crosby, Maurice Hurst, Christian Barmore, Clelin Ferrell, Yannick Ngakoue, and Solomon Thomas. I’d be flabbergasted if this group, in combination with a new coordinator, isn’t vastly improved.
4/23 Edit: In a surprising move, the Raiders have moved on from Hurst. My initial reaction is disappointment. He is young player and still has potential to grow into a solid DT. However, the same statement seems to follow him in every year of career thus far. It’s always the next year that is going to be his breakout year. Perhaps he has hit his ceiling. While I am sad to see him go, the impact of his departure should be negligible. His release only strengthens the chance the Raiders go Barmore in the first round.
Micah Parsons – LB – Penn State
This would be my dream come true. I have a linebacker fetish and Parsons checks all the boxes for me with how he plays. If it wasn’t for off the field concerns he probably would not be available for teams picking in the double digits. Watching his pro-day, simply put, he looks the part. Big, fast, smooth, and explosive. It is very unlikely that he falls to 17. And even if he does I highly doubt the Raiders take the chance on him for two reasons. 1. The Raiders are very critical of character. 2. The Raiders almost never prioritize LB. Evidence: Passing on Devon White for Clelin Ferrell. I’ve read that Mayock has already taken Parsons off his board. While it may be smokescreen, I am leaning more towards him being truthful. Dream over. Can you name an all time great defense that did not have elite linebackers? I'll wait...
Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah – LB – Notre Dame
In the event that the Raiders finally decide to draft a LB in the first round since bust Rolando McClain in 2010 and Parsons is off the board, Owusu-Koramoah is not a bad consolation. No character concerns here, but again he plays a position that the Raiders just seem to ignore. The Raiders also seem to be convinced that they are set at the position fielding Nick Kwiatkoski, Nicholas Morrow, and Cory Littleton. Meanwhile I’m convinced this is the worst linebacker core in the league. Initially when I looked at Owusu-Koramoah, his lack of weight was a major red flag to me. Initially listed as 215 lbs, I was pleasantly surprised when he weighed in at 221 lbs at his pro day. Regardless of the number, his college highlights confirmed that he absolutely hits like a LB. I would have preferred Devon White two years ago as well as Kenneth Murray last year but if J-OK has the slightest chance at being the game changing LB that I have been desperate to add to this roster for the past two decades then I am all in.
Trevon Moehrig – S – TCU
The Raiders could find themselves in position to select the top rated safety in a draft class again. Just two years ago they grabbed Jonathon Abram late in the first and now Trevon Moehrig could be the option at 17. With the departure of Lamarcus Joyner and Eric Harris safety is a need for the Raiders. Specifically a safety that excels in pass coverage so Abram can focus on playing downhill in the box. Abram is one of my favorite Raiders, but his decision making in coverage is very questionable.
4/23 Edit: Welcome home Karl Joseph. After spending one year in Cleveland Joseph has returned to the Silver and Black. He is a player and person that I have always liked and will always root for. He just never seemed to make enough plays in a season and I fear that his second stint as a Raider will bring more of the same. If he plays the full 17 game season I’ll peg him for two interceptions and maybe nine clutch tackles. His addition make the selection of Moehrig at 17 less likely. If he is there, I’d still consider taking him because the Raiders need difference makers on defense. I don’t think bringing Joseph back accomplishes that.
Caleb Farley – CB – Virginia Tech
This is a unique opportunity where a player of Caleb Farley’s talent and potential could available at 17 due to a back injury / surgery. I would not call CB an immediate need for the Raiders with the amount of recent capitol invested in that group, but Farley could be an absolute steal if he fully recovers and puts the injury behind him. He is the kind of tall, fast corner with off the charts burst that fits the Raider mold. The Raiders have a history of putting a priority on the CB position so if Farley does fall the Raiders will no doubt at least consider taking a chance on him. Grouping Farley with Mullen and Arnette would make me pretty happy. While Arnette had a shaky rookie campaign, I am still very high on him. The physicality he showed is what I like to see on our defense. That physicality, however, was the reason that he was concussed in back-to-back weeks.
All of the Offensive Tackles… (Minus Sewell and Slater)
Christian Darrisaw – OT – Virginia Tech
Teven Jenkins – OT – Oklahoma State
Alex Leatherwood – OT – Alabama
Samuel Cosmi – OT – Texas
The Raiders decided to tear down what was considered one of the top offensive lines in the league creating a need to look to the draft to add talent. Darrisaw doesn’t necessarily fit the Raiders mold for an offensive linemen. The Raiders like em big and thick. On the contrary at only 6’4’’ Darrisaw is on the smaller side. However when you dump 3/5th of your line in one offseason, beggars can’t be choosers. With Penei Sewell and Rashawn Slater long gone by this point, Darrisaw seems like the next option should the Raiders decide to go Tackle. Although if Mayock and Gruden have showed us anything in two years of drafting together, they pick whoever they want regardless of positional value or any other prospect ranking on Earth. That leaves the door open for any of the other potential tackle prospects that could potentially be available at 17. Oklahoma State’s Teven Jenkins, Bama’s Alex Leatherwood, or Samuel Cosmi out of Texas are three players that I prefer over Darrisaw personally. Keep an eye on sleeper candidate Walker Little from Stanford. Little would more appropriately be a candidate for day two, but so was Arnette so it is certainly not out of the question. Towering in at 6’7’’ tall either Cosmi or Little would be my choice to take over on the right side of the line.
Alijah Vera-Tucker – G – USC
Offensive line candidate number 2 should the Raiders decide to reload the offensive line. This time we look at a possible option to bolster the interior with Alijah Vera-Tucker. He is more my style of lineman and I’d prefer to see him selected over Darrisaw. Having played at both guard and tackle, he brings with him some added versatility should an emergency arise. Let’s not overlook the fact that he is an Oakland native. Not only would he fill a need on the line, but you have to appreciate the harmony of making him a Raider.
Jaylen Waddle – WR – Alabama
Should the Raiders consider taking a WR in the first after drafting Ruggs, Edwards, and Renfrow of the last two seasons? NO. This absolutely would be a luxury pick, but if Waddle is on the board you have to at least briefly imagine what it would be like to pair him up with Ruggs. Then take in the full picture of Waller, Jacobs, Renfrow, and Bryan Edwards who I still am very high on. While Waddle has similar speed to Ruggs, he seems like he is different enough as a WR that he would not be redundant. If he is the guy at 17, I will no doubt be disappointed that the defense wasn’t addressed but at the same time I will be salivating at the thought of the Ruggs – Waddle duo. Plus the Madden benefits will be enough to be on board with the pick.
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