Predicting the Impact of Every Oakland Raiders 2014 Draft Pick

Predictions for the Raiders' 2014 Draft Class

Khalil Mack
Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

On paper, the Oakland Raiders appear to have put together a solid 2014 NFL Draft class. However, numbers and statistics don’t always translate to success at the next level. As promising as most of them appear, there’s a good chance at least a few of the Raiders’ eight draft picks won’t pan out as expected.

With that in mind, here are my predictions for the Raiders’ 2014 draft class.

OLB Khalil Mack

Khalil Mack
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

OLB Khalil Mack

Khalil Mack
Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

There’s no doubt in my mind that Mack will become an elite NFL player in the not-so-distant future. He might suffer some growing pains early on in his career, but has all of the athleticism, instincts and awareness that you look for in an All-Pro. The Raiders got a huge steal when they drafted Mack at No. 5 overall. He’ll reward them with what could be a Hall of Fame career.

QB Derek Carr

Derek Carr
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

QB Derek Carr

Derek Carr
Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

It’s hard to tell what the future holds for Carr. If you look at his bloodlines, it’s not going to be pretty. The college tape, however, says otherwise. Ultimately, it depends on what the Raiders do to help him out as his career progresses. If Reggie McKenzie and Co. can surround him with solid talent and give him a reliable offensive line, Carr will develop into a quality starter who can hold the reins for several seasons.

G Gabe Jackson

Gabe Jackson
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

G Gabe Jackson

Gabe Jackson
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

All last year, the Raiders suffered from miserable guard play. This year, they look to be in much better shape, and Jackson is a part of that added confidence. While he might not start right away in Oakland, Jackson has the necessary strength, size and footwork to be a starter in the NFL. Even if it doesn’t happen right away, Jackson will be a starter for the Raiders before long.

DT Justin Ellis

Justin Ellis
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

DT Justin Ellis

Justin Ellis
Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Heading into the 2014 campaign, the Raiders were expecting Pat Sims to hold down the starting nose tackle job. With Ellis in town, though, there’s going to be a serious competition for the starting gig. The Louisiana Tech product must find a way to control his weight, but is an aggressive player who gets good push and can be a factor against the pass. Ellis will be starting before soon, and should anchor the Oakland line for years to come.

CB Keith McGill

Keith McGill
Twitter

CB Keith McGill

Keith McGill
Twitter

People love McGill because of his size and length, but I don’t see what all of the hype is about in terms of talent. Sure, he has Sherman-esque size, but he struggles to use it to his advantage. McGill routinely shies away from contact and is a major liability against the run. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that McGill will be out of the NFL in about three of four years after a disappointing stint with the Raiders.

CB Travis Carrie

Travis Carrie
Twitter

CB Travis Carrie

Travis Carrie
Twitter

There’s a lot of upside with Carrie, who has the physical tools and athleticism to be a factor in the NFL. Before he can contribute in Oakland, though, he’ll need to polish up his technique and learn to be more aggressive against physical receivers. The Raiders have a promising prospect in Carrie, but there’s still work to do. My prediction is he’ll develop into a quality subpackage cornerback.

DE Shelby Harris

Shelby Harris
Twitter

DE Shelby Harris

Shelby Harris
Twitter

My guess? Harris will be the first player of this class to be cut, and likely won’t make the 2014 regular season roster. The Raiders upgraded at defensive end via free agency, and made a big mistake in thinking Harris was even worth a draft pick. He’s a subpar talent with major off-field issues.

SS Jonathan Dowling

Jonathan Dowling
Getty Images

SS Jonathan Dowling

Jonathan Dowling
Getty Images

My hopes aren’t high for Dowling, who has the physical ability but lacks the mental toughness and discipline to be a serious NFL talent. Whether he’s blowing coverages or missing tackles because he’d rather light someone up than wrap up, Dowling is a liability on the backend. The Raiders drafted him because of his upside, but it’s hard to see him unlocking it in Oakland.

Gil Alcaraz IV is the Director of Content for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.


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