NFL Oakland Raiders

Predicting the Impact of Every Oakland Raiders’ 2014 Draft Pick

Predicting the Impact of Every Raiders' Draft Pick

Khalil Mack
Getty Images

The Oakland Raiders went into the 2014 NFL Draft with a plan in mind, and did a great job of upgrading their roster with their eight picks. While they might have missed addressing a position or two, they found several players who can contribute early and develop into starters. But what can we expect from these rookies in 2014?

Here’s a look at my predictions for the Raiders’ 2014 draft class during their rookie seasons.

1st Round (5): OLB Khalil Mack

Khalil Mack
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

1st Round (5): OLB Khalil Mack

Khalil Mack
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Based on what he showed during college, Mack could easily be the Raiders’ best defensive player in 2014. While there will certainly be some growing pains, the No. 5 overall pick has the athleticism, smarts and technique to be a complete stud in Oakland. If all goes as well as expected, Mack will be headed for the Pro Bowl at the end of his rookie season.

2nd Round (36): QB Derek Carr

Derek Carr
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

2nd Round (36): QB Derek Carr

Derek Carr
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Carr might be behind Matt Schaub on the depth chart right now, but it won’t last for long. After a few average performances – and a couple of pick-sixes – the Raiders will pull the plug on Schaub, and insert the rookie into the starting lineup. It’s not going to be a sensational season for Carr, but he’ll assert himself as the quarterback of the future for the Raiders.

3rd Round (81): G Gabe Jackson

Gabe Jackson Spruce Derden
Spruce Derden-USA Today

3rd Round (81): G Gabe Jackson

Gabe Jackson Spruce Derden
Spruce Derden-USA Today

Based on the way OTAs have gone so far, Jackson will be the Raiders’ starting left guard at some point this season. He’s currently giving Khalif Barnes all of the competition he can handle, and has the physical tools to be a difference-maker on the interior. As long as he continues to improve and adjust to the speed/size of the NFL, Jackson will be starting in Oakland in the not-so-distant future.

4th Round (107): DT Justin Ellis

Justin Ellis
Getty Images

4th Round (107): DT Justin Ellis

Justin Ellis
Getty Images

Especially with Antonio Smith still working his way back from injury, Ellis will have every opportunity to earn a role along the Raiders’ defensive line. Pat Sims will likely earn the starting nose tackle job, but Ellis has the size and strength to warrant a rotational role in Oakland. Don’t expect to see a ton of Ellis as a rookie, but he’ll find his way onto the field on occasion – assuming he can stay in shape.

4th Round (116): CB Keith McGill

Keith McGill
Getty Images

4th Round (116): CB Keith McGill

Keith McGill
Getty Images

McGill flew up draft boards during the pre-draft process, but there’s still a long way for the rookie to go before he’s ready to be a significant part of an NFL secondary. That’s why he’ll spend the majority of his first year watching from the sidelines. His technique and aggressiveness against the run still need major improvement, so expect this to mainly be a learning season for McGill.

7th Round (219): CB Travis Carrie

Travis Carrie
Twitter

7th Round (219): CB Travis Carrie

Travis Carrie
Twitter

It might seem odd, but Carrie should actually have a better rookie season than McGill. While still a work in progress, he’s a more-polished talent with the instincts and aggressiveness in coverage that you can’t teach. He won’t see a ton of significant snaps, but Carrie could find a role as a subpackage cornerback and special teams contributor early in Oakland.

7th Round (235): DE Shelby Harris

Shelby Harris
Twitter

7th Round (235): DE Shelby Harris

Shelby Harris
Twitter

Considering he missed the entire 2013 season due to off-field issues and is a fringe talent at best to begin with, Harris stands a good chance of not even making the Raiders’ roster. If I had to put money on it, I’d even go as far as saying Harris won’t get a practice squad invite.

7th Round (247): FS Jonathan Dowling

Jonathan Dowling
Getty Images

7th Round (247): FS Jonathan Dowling

Jonathan Dowling
Getty Images

This will certainly be nothing more than a redshirt season for Dowling, a raw athlete with plenty of technical imperfections. The natural ability is there, but his lack of polish will force the Raiders to keep him away from the field. Either he’ll spend 2014 on the practice squad or be a special teams contributor, but don’t expect to see him filling in for Charles Woodson anytime soon.

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.