Myles Jack being off the board at No. 13 would screw up this selection, as the Dolphins would take Eli Apple, making him unavailable to Oakland. If, however, Apple is still up for grabs at this juncture, I expect him to be one of the favorites for this pick. The Raiders have Apple ranked very highly because of his athleticism. He'll also obviously fill a huge need across from Sean Smith if David Amerson leaves via free agency next offseason.
*** OTHER 2016 NFL DRAFT POSSIBILITIES: ***
1. Sheldon Rankins, DT - Adding a fierce, interior pass-rusher like Rankins would provide a huge boost for their defense.
2. Darron Lee, LB - I don't know if Oakland thinks it's too early to take a non-pass-rushing linebacker, but Lee could be too talented to pass up.
Pick change; previously Vernon Hargreaves, CB
Rd. 2, Pk. 13
Darian Thompson, S, Boise State
Darian Thompson had a rough Combine, but as Tony Pauline reported, Thompson was dealing with an illness. The Raiders like Thompson, as they need a safety to go along with the newly acquired Reggie Nelson.
Rd. 3, Pk. 12
C.J. Prosise, RB, Notre Dame
The Raiders have discussed adding another running back in the draft, as they don't fully trust Latavius Murray.
Rd. 4, Pk. 16
Willie Henry, DT/NT, Michigan
The Raiders took care of a bunch of their needs this offseason. One thing they still have to acquire is some help on the defensive line, especially in the wake of Mario Edwards' potential career-threatening neck injury.
Rd. 5, Pk. 4
Kentrell Brothers, ILB/OLB, Missouri
As mentioned in the first round, Darron Lee is a possibility for the Raiders at No. 14. Linebacker is an area of need, so it'll have to be addressed at some point.
Rd. 5, Pk. 15
Rashard Higgins, WR, Colorado State
Derek Carr has two talented receivers at his disposal. Adding a third could make the offense even more lethal.
Rd. 6, Pk. 18
Jacoby Brissett, QB, N.C. State
It wouldn't be the worst idea for the Raiders to spend a mid-round pick on a quarterback, given that they don't really have a developmental arm right now.
Rd. 7, Pk. 13
Perez Ford, OLB, Northern Illinois
Here's more linebacking depth for the Raiders, as I had them address the area way too late in this mock.
The Raiders could use an upgrade at middle linebacker. Davis is an instant plug-and-play contributor for Oakland. His intelligence and character are a great fit with Khalil Mack and Derek Carr.
Davis collected 60 tackles, two sacks and four passes broken up in 2016. Davis was a strong inside presence who made a ton of clutch tackles for Florida in 2015. He was an unsung hero of one of the best defenses in the nation and was a beast who season in the SEC Championship along with the other late-season games against elite competition. In 2015, Davis totaled 98 tackles with 11 tackles for a loss, four passes broken up, an interception and 3.5 sacks.
The 6-foot-1, 238-pounder is fast, physical and instinctive. He has sideline-to-sideline speed with the athleticism to be a three-down defender. Davis could be a Mike (middle) or a Will (weakside) linebacker in a 4-3. He also could function on the inside of a 3-4.
The Raiders could use an interior disruptor and pass-rusher.
In 2016, Adams had 44 tackles with 8.5 for a loss, 4.5 sacks, two passes batted and one interception. There were times where he looked like a first-rounder with his size and speed. From a skill-set perspective, Adams is an early round talent, but his motor varies between hot and cold. The 6-foot-3, 308-pounder possesses an interesting body type that could fit as a 4-3 three-technique or a 3-4 defensive end. He had a very good Senior Bowl performance, rushing the passer really well in the one-on-ones.
In 2015, Adams had 44 tackles, three for a loss, 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass broken up. He dominated that season's opener against Louisville and seemed poised for a massive year, but that didn't come to fruition as his motor was too inconsistent. Adams recorded 43 tackles, eight for a loss and three sacks in 2014.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Jeremy McNichols, RB, Boise State
The Raiders were able to add Marshawn Lynch, but he isn't a long-term answer. Oakland could use a mid-round pick on one of the many excellent values at running back.
McNichols (5-9, 214) doesn't have great size, but he was a tough runner for Boise State in 2016. The junior averaged 5.4 yards per carry for 1,709 yards with 23 touchdowns. He also had 37 receptions for 474 yards with four touchdowns. As a sophomore, McNichols averaged 5.6 yards per carry for 1,337 yards with 20 touchdowns. He had 51 catches for 460 yards with six scores. McNichols could at least be a back for the passing game in the NFL.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Vincent Taylor, DT/3-4DE/NT, Oklahoma State
The Raiders could use multiple interior defensive line additions.
Taylor (6-3, 304) is a sleeper prospect who could end up being a nice value pick in the mid-rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft. He has disruptive speed at the point of attack and the strength to fight off blockers. Taylor played well as a junior and decided to skip his senior year. In 2016, Taylor totaled 51 tackles with 13 for a loss, seven sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass broken up. He recorded 48 tackles with 8.5 for a loss, five sacks and a pass broken up in 2015. Taylor has quality size and athleticism with good upside to develop.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Jordan Sterns, S, Oklahoma State
The Raiders could use some safety depth behind Karl Joseph and Reggie Nelson. Additionally, Nelson is a free agent next year.
Rd. 6, Pk. 6
Kareem Are, G, Florida State
The Raiders grab some offensive line depth, and Are could be a steal.
Rd. 7, Pk. 7
Ishmael Zamora, WR, Baylor
The Raiders hosted Zamora and have taken players with character issues in the past.
Rd. 7, Pk. 7
Hardy Nickerson, ILB/OLB, Illinois
The Raiders further bolster the weak middle of their defense with a good run defender.
This is as great of a fit from both the value and need perspective as any other in the draft so far. I absolutely love what the raiders have done over the past few years and GM Reggie McKenzie finally got the Raiders out of cap hell as well as adding key pieces through the draft. Who would’ve ever thought that the Raiders would’ve been able to bring in key free agents like Bruce Irvin, Kelechi Osemele, Sean Smith, and Reggie Nelson without drastically overpaying really any of them. Players WANT to be a Raider for the first time in a while and I can’t say I blame them. Now, that’s not to say they are a great or complete team yet as they definitely have some needs, not the least of which is the middle linebacker position. This is where Reggie Ragland the linebacker out of Alabama comes in. Ragland is yet another stud coming out of Nick Saban’s Alabama defense. Ragland is as tough and instinctive as they come. He may not be as fast as some would like and he plays a non-glamourous position so he might actually fall lower than this, but to me he’s absolutely worth this pick, especially on this defense where he can focus on just being a hard-nosed thumper in the middle. Another one of my favorite picks in the draft and an easy one for me once the signings of Smith and Nelson helped shore up the weak secondary.
Arguably the best pure pass-russhing DT in a class abundant with talented defensive lineman, Rankins will give Oakland an immidiate boost as a pass-rusher and run-stuffer. His versatility will allow him to play all over the line in Oakland's multiple-front defense---expect him to complete right away with Dan Williams for the 3-technique role ( resulting in Williams being asked to permanently play the 1-technique ) and rotate with Mario Edwards at 5-technique in the team's under front . A guy drawing comparisons to Aaron Donald and Geno Atkins should be getting fans excited and the opportunity to draft Rankins in this spot is simply too good for GM Reggie McKenzie to pass up, despite not being a need-position. While the selection of Reggie Ragland would shore-up the middle of the Raider defense for years to come and give the team's run-defense a long-needed anchor, Kentrell Brothers will more likely than not be available at 44 and was a terror last year playing the run.
TRADE: (Raiders get 31 overall pick in 2016 draft from the Broncos, 3rd round 2016, 2nd round 2017.) The Raiders are quickly becoming a contender with the strides they made last year and the off season players they just added. Osemele, Irvin, Sean Smith were all top 20 rated free agents this year and the raiders added them to an already young, good core of players. They feel comfortable trading down this far with the Broncos and collecting more picks to add to this growing team. Even with the addition of Sean Smith, they still need help at corner with D.J Hayden not living up to his first round status from two years ago. Apple would really help that defense that looks to be stout in 2016.
After years of struggling through years of DJ Hayden, the Raiders actually enter the season in pretty good shape at CB, with Sean Smith signed away from KC and David Amerson putting in a surprisingly strong first season in Black and Silver. That said, they're still currently left with Hayden or a few other bad options playing the slot, and Amerson and Hayden will both be on the last years of their rookie contracts in 2016. If Amerson plays well again, he'll be looking for a decent sized contract and can't be given a 5th year extension. Alexander could either start immediately in the slot, or spend a year developing before taking over as a slot/outside corner hybrid to pair long-term with Smith.
It's taken a few years, but Oakland is finally in the position where they can afford to sit back, let the draft come to them, and take the best player available. GM Reggie McKenzie successfully deconstructed a roster filled with aging veterans who had clearly lost a step, cleared the books of outrageous contracts, and used the 2014 draft as a foundation for the franchise in Khalil Mack, Derek Carr, and Gabe Jackson. Most of the spots that were once areas of need are now filled with either homegrown, ascending talents or youthful free agent acquisitions in the prime of their careers. The offensive line looks to be one of the best in football, but left tackle Donald Penn is getting long in the tooth and the battle between Austen Howard and Manelik Watson at right tackle is rather uninspiring. Jack Conklin will fit well with the big, bruising group they've assembled. He's technically sound with his hands and mirrors rushers really well, and his physical road-grading attitude will have Derek Carr and Latavius Marray grinning from ear to ear next season.
Show/Hide Other Mocks with Jack Conklin Going to Raiders
Rd. 1, Pk. 14
Karl Joseph, S
When there were rumors about Karl Joseph shooting up to the first round, we reached out to team sources and asked if they agreed with that. They didn't. Some said he might be a fringe first-rounder, but most told us that they relegated him to the second round, with his injury being somewhat of a factor. With that in mind, I think the Raiders are reaching here. I wouldn't have minded it if the Raiders moved down and took Joseph, but I think No. 14 is too early.
That said, I don't think this is a horrible pick. Joseph is a risk because of his injury, but if he completely gets over it, he could be a very good player for Oakland. The Raiders have definitely improved this offseason and could make a run into the playoffs.
Rd. 2, Pk. 13
Jihad Ward, DT/3-4DE
I'm glad to get one right in my mock re-draft. I figured that the Raiders would be interested in Jihad Ward when Sheldon Rankins was unavailable to them at No. 14. Ward fills a big need on the defensive front, which lost Justin Tuck and perhaps Mario Edwards (to injury). Ward was expected to be chosen in the middle of the second round, so the range obviously makes sense.