Oakland Raiders
Amari Cooper was selected with the 4th pick by the Oakland Raiders in the 2015 NFL Draft (Raiders.com – Photos)

The Oakland Raiders are under a new regime with Jon Gruden. While he apparently doesn’t believe in analytics, there’s hope that an offensive head coach will help Derek Carr find his groove. The Raiders were really good in 2016 but fell off a cliff in 2017. Gruden’s coaching will have a lot to do with how these Raiders perform in 2018. As we head into the top 10 of the draft war room series, what can we expect from the Oakland Raiders in the 2018 NFL Draft?

Oakland needs a linebacker. NaVorro Bowman produced for the Raiders last year but he isn’t the long-term answer. Enter Roquan Smith who would bring a leader to the Raiders that they need. When your linebacker is slow, your defense is slow. Smith certainly is not slow and is a really great coverage linebacker as well. With Khalil Mack hunting quarterbacks, giving the Raiders a pure middle linebacker to lead the defense would do wonders for Oakland.

Don’t stop adding defense! Bruce Irvin isn’t cutting it as Khalil Mack’s sidekick. Why not roll the dice on a boom or bust prospect. Josh Sweat of Florida State has a chance to become an all-world pass rusher. His measurables are off the charts, the problem is he isn’t consistent. Maybe that’s because the entire Florida State team packed it in on Jimbo Fisher but maybe that’s part of his game. Sweat had only two sacks in 2017 after notching 7 in 2016. One came in the opener against Alabama that you can see in this link.

AFC West 2017 NFL Draft Grades: Chiefs Fail, Raiders Go High Risk

Never stop adding defense! Corner should be another spot to add. Gareon Conley is the team’s number one guy and Rashaan Melvin was brought in to be the other guy. Obi Melifonwu failed at corner and needs to really be a safety. Oakland has to be thinking about adding at least one more. This year’s corner depth stinks but maybe Kam Kelly of San Diego State is the guy? Check out my dilemma on finding a corner in my Senior Bowl coverage.