Before I start; Yes it is still the Oakland Raiders, for now. The Raiders will be rebranded and move to Las Vegas in 2019 but for now, I will continue the 32 teams in 32 day series with the Oakland Raiders 2017 NFL Draft war room. The Raiders appear to be one of the true up and coming teams with a nice young nucleus intact. Oakland charged their way to a 12-4 record in 2016 but were ultimately halted when Derek Carr suffered a season-ending injury. The Raiders didn’t spend heavily in free agency with the looming contract extensions of Khalil Mack and Derek Carr set to take place. What can we expect from the Oakland Raiders heading into the 2017 NFL Draft?
With the 24th overall pick, the Raiders could be tempted to pursue more defensive help. Oakland was carried in 2016 by Derek Carr who should have been the league’s MVP. With Oakland ranking at the bottom of most defensive categories, the only position that should be ruled out is safety because of Reggie Nelson and Karl Joseph set in stone. Sean Smith did not live up to expectations during his first season with the Raiders so cornerback could be a logical place to look in what is an immense draft class at the position. Tre’Davious White could be a really nice fit for the Raiders. LSU has been known as a school that produces a lot of big time secondary talent for the NFL so he comes with little risk. White put on a show at the Senior Bowl and really looked smooth at the combine. White would be an excellent fit for the Raiders defense where they can put him in man coverage and let him press. He also has that top speed of 4.47 that can make up for mistakes.
In round 2, expect Oakland to focus on the pass rush. Outside of Khalil Mack, the rest of the supporting cast simply wasn’t getting the job done as the Raiders ranked last in the NFL in sacks (25) despite having the defensive player of the year. Shilique Calhoun, Bruce Irvin, and maybe even Aldon Smith could help produce pass rush off the edge opposite of Mack so look for the onus to be on the defensive line. Montravius Adams could be an excellent fit for this Raiders team that would add a serious interior force. Adams has really nimble feet and couldn’t have looked better at the Senior Bowl with a few spin moves even at his size (6’4″, 308). In 2016, Adams recorded 4.5 sacks and even snatched an interception as a defensive tackle. The thing you really watched with him at the combine was how low he can drop his pad level to go along with great burst (4.87 – 40 time).
The 3rd round could be a place where the Raiders look for a new running back. Latavius Murray is headed to the Vikings and Oakland really only has complimentary pieces in place with Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington. Kareem Hunt could be the man to replace Murray. Hunt, a small school prospect from Toledo, runs with balance and vision. Hunt broke some big runs during the Senior Bowl and has the makings of an every down back. Hunt isn’t the best receiving option but he did have success doing so in college. At 5’10”, 216, Hunt may be that every down back the Raiders need. His 4.62 speed for his size isn’t bad either.
Oakland Raiders 2017 NFL DRAFT PICKS
- 1st Round (24st overall)
- 2nd Round (56th overall)
- 3rd Round (88th overall)
- 4th Round (130th overall)
- 5th Round (168th overall)
- 6th Round (208th overall)
- 7th Round (242nd overall)
- 7th Round (244th overall)