The Game Haus is back with another edition of Draftmas. This is the 22nd edition of Draftmas and it focuses on the Oakland Raiders.
The Oakland Raiders had one of their best seasons since 2002. The 2017 Raiders went 12-4 but their postseason seemed to end for them before they even started. When Derek Carr went down in Week 16, Raider Nation and probably even the players and coaches knew their was no way to go far in the postseason. With Connor Cook behind center, the Raiders lost their first playoff game since 2002. The 2018 Raiders do have a lot of great pieces coming back to the team. Seven Raiders went to the Pro Bowl, a franchise-high since 1991, and the most players for any team in 2017.
PICKS AND NEEDS
The Raiders have eight picks in this draft, with one in each of the first six rounds and in the seventh round they have two picks.
First Round: (1) No. 24
Second Round: (1) No. 56
Third Round: (1) No. 88
Fourth Round: (1) No. 129
Fifth Round: (1) No. 168
Sixth Round: (1) No. 208
Seventh Round: (2) No. 242 and No. 244
Running Back: Yes, the Raiders do likely have Marshawn Lynch in the backfield now, but that still doesn’t fill the void in the at the running back position. I could see the Raiders finding a back later in the draft, most likely late Day 2.
Middle Linebacker: The Raiders need a rugged and power middle linebacker in that 3-4 scheme. They have Pro Bowler Khalil Mack on the outside, but they need a force up the middle as well.
Conrnerback: In this league, you can never have too many good corners. Oakland could definitely use another good corner to play with Sean Smith and complete their secondary.
Defensive Tackle: The defensive tackles on this roster are awful, but they could get whole lot better. Defensive tackle is not a major concern, but the Raiders could get some value from this deep pool of defensive tackles in the draft.
TARGETS AND THOUGHTS
These predictions are without trades.
First Round, Pick 24: Jarrad Davis, ILB, Florida
If Jarrad Davis didn’t have some durability issues he could be a Top 15 pick, but most likely he could slip into the late first round to the Oakland Raiders. He shows tremendous Football IQ as he breaks down plays and then attacks. He is very good against the run and his acceleration and closing speed makes him a very good blitzing inside linebacker. Davis also has some pretty fluid hips and can stick with most tight ends and some slot receivers. When you think of middle linebacker dawning the black and sliver, you think of an intimating presence. Davis has that. He wore a neck roll and didn’t wear gloves. That is the pure definition of a nasty Oakland Raider 3-4 inside linebacker.
Second Round, Pick 55: Teez Tabor, CB, Florida
Two Florida Gators back to back. Teez Tabor another one of the great cornerbacks Will Muschamp played in The Swamp before his departure. Tabor teases the quarterback into making bad plays and he makes them pay for it. And when you turn on the tape, you see that. He plays with the supreme confidence that every great NFL corner has. He has very good ball skills and will come back down with the ball in his hands more times than the offensive player.
Tabor has the size to play the game and his style of play matches up very well with how the Raiders want to us their corners. He can definitely cover the third of the field and shut down most opposing number one and number two receivers right now in the league. And to be a Raider, you have to have some baggage. It’s how Al Davis would have liked it.
Third Round, Pick 88: Carlos Watkins, DT, Clemson
If you need a defensive lineman, one of your first stops is definitely Clemson, S.C. Clemson has produced nine Top 100 defensive linemen since 2007. Last year Watkins led the National Champion Clemson Tigers in sacks from the interior. He is also sneaky athletic and in the 3-4 disguise can help the defense and help Khalil Mack get more chances to get one-on-one matchups.
The Raiders were one injury from a very interesting playoff push. If Derek Carr can come back healthy and if they follow this draft profile, they should have a season that could contend with the 2017 season.
You can read all previous Draftmas profiles here.
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