2014 NFL Draft: Oakland Raiders’ Seven-Round Mock 1.0
Mocking All Seven Rounds for the Raiders
Currently in possession of the No. 5 overall pick, the Oakland Raiders have the ammunition to do considerable damage during the 2014 NFL Draft. Coming off a 4-12 season, they must make the most of the seven picks they currently have at their disposal.
It’s going to be a big offseason for GM Reggie McKenzie and Co., who now have a huge amount of salary cap space to work with heading into 2014. There are numerous holes that must be filled, but they can’t afford to miss on any acquisitions or McKenzie, head coach Dennis Allen and others could be fired before 2015.
The biggest concern that must be addressed lies at quarterback. With only Matt McGloin and Terrelle Pryor currently on the roster, the Raiders have to be worried about their options. Unfortunately, the No. 5 pick might not be early enough to land one of the draft’s top three quarterbacks. Even if they find their new man under center via free agency, adding another when the draft rolls around should be a top priority.
The Raiders have other issues to take care of, though. Whoever is under center will need some more options out wide seeing as most of Oakland’s receivers are rather inconsistent. The offensive line is a mess and must be addressed this offseason. The entire defensive backfield also needs some work, and could see some considerable rebuilding before training camp gets under way.
Here’s a look at who the Raiders could spend their seven picks on when the 2014 NFL Draft arrives and what they would bring to the table in Oakland.
1st Round: Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson
With the top three quarterbacks already off the board, the Raiders go for a different type of offensive weapon at No. 5. Watkins is a dominant wide receiver who uses speed, acceleration and a little magic to make big plays. While there’s still some concern about spending this high of a pick on him, his measurables will be enough to convince the Raiders to take him this early.
2nd Round: Xavier Su’a-Filo, G, UCLA
After watching Lucas Nix make a mockery of the guard position in 2013, it’s time for the Raiders to make an upgrade. Su’a-Filo has quickly risen up draft boards as of late with his tough, aggressive playing style and relentless push. The former Bruin still needs some work as a pass blocker, but is a complete mauler in the run game and has the physical tools to be a top-notch guard in the NFL.
3rd Round: Ed Reynolds, FS, Stanford
Unless the Raiders choose to re-sign Charles Woodson, it would be in their best interests to bring a starting-caliber free safety aboard. They can’t continue to settle on mediocrity if they want their pass defense to improve anytime soon. Reynolds was a playmaker at Stanford, and despite a down year in 2013, is still among the best free safety prospects in 2014. He’d be a considerable upgrade for Oakland.
4th Round: Rashaad Reynolds, CB, Oregon State
Despite spending their 2013 first-round pick on a cornerback, the Raiders are far from done with the position. Three players are headed for free agency, and might not return. Assuming that’s the case, Oakland would be wise to find some depth via the draft. Reynolds needs some work as a run defender, but shows great instincts and ball skills in coverage.
5th Round: Jeff Mathews, QB, Cornell
One of the most intriguing small-school quarterbacks of the 2014 class, Mathews has the size and physical tools you look for in an NFL passer. Unfortunately, his lack of experience against top competition and inability to read and react quickly are still major concerns. The Raiders need help at quarterback, though, and Mathews is an outstanding addition in the fifth round.
7th Round: Bruce Gaston, DT, Purdue
The Raiders could be facing several concerns along the defensive line this offseason if they don’t re-sign their pending free agents. Even if they do, more depth along the defensive front never hurts. Gaston is an outstanding physical presence, but a quiet 2013 campaign has him trending downward. If he’s available in the seventh round, the Raiders would be getting a steal.
7th Round (via ARI): Tim Flanders, RB, Sam Houston State
With their two top running backs headed for free agency, the Raiders are going to need to spark some serious competition during training camp if they’re going to find a reliable starter. Latavius Murray is the dark horse and a free agent could be added, but bringing aboard a rookie couldn’t hurt. Flanders was a workhorse for SHSU, and brings the versatility and toughness the Raiders need at running back.