With 36 hours remaining before the draft, speculation runs rampant. The Oakland Raiders need to shore up several key areas.
Round 1 (10) S Minkah Fitzpatrick, Alabama
Logic: New DB Coach Derrick Ansley coached him at Alabama. As a result, Fitzpatrick’s versatile skillset could see him line up in the slot, outside at or as a safety.
Round 2 (41) OT Tyrell Crosby, Oregon
With Donald Penn entering the twilight of career and the right tackle remaining open, Crosby fits. In his rookie season, he could shore up the right side. When Penn retires, the punishing Oregon blocker makes the move to the blindside.
Round 3 (75) WR Anthony Miller, Memphis
Although Miller does not fit the mold of a typical Gruden receiver, his ability to compete, diverse route tree and separation are too much to ignore in the third round. Moreover, flipping Cooper to the slot occasionally could see his numbers increase. The Raiders lack depth after Cooper and Nelson.
Round 4 (110) RB Kalen Ballage, Arizona State
Neither Jalen Richard nor DeAndre Washington run with the requisite power than Jon Gruden craves. In that case, Ballage brings speed and a potential for physicality that the head coach prefers.
Round 5 (159) DL PJ Hall, Sam Houston State
Currently, the Raiders lack a consistent, disruptive force on the interior. Despite being a small-school prospect, Hall’s production and athleticism jump of the page. In Paul Guenther’s defense, Hall could play a Geno Atkins type of role.
Off the edge, Jacobs could provide the Raiders with another athletic rusher, capable of getting upfield. Meanwhile, Jacobs played traditional linebacker as well. As a result, he gives Oakland the ability to move him around.
Round 6 (185) OT Brett Toth, Army
If you look at the Raiders’ offensive line depth, you will see mammoth but slow moving tackles that struggle with edge rushers. In contrast, Brett Toth, a former tight end, possesses the kick step and agility to meet anyone on the perimeter.
Round 6 (212) P Michael Dickson, Texas
After releasing Marquette King, the Raiders needed a play of equal leg strength, but minus the histrionics. Dickson gives Oakland a boomer that will flip the field.
Round 6 (216) CB Tony Brown, Alabama
Brown’s selection should make DB coach Ansley and ST coordinator Bisaccia quite pleased. First, Brown can operate in the nickel, hitting anything that moves in his direction. Next, Brown’s controlled recklessness can win a kick coverage job immediately.
Round 6 (217) DE Marcell Frazier, Missouri
If you solely watch Frazier’s 2017 tape, this pick looks dubious. However, Frazier battled through the season with a torn pectoral muscle. With that said, looking at raw fil, you find that Frazier can get to the edge with regularity. The Raiders have a dearth of perimeter rush talent. At worst, Frazier brings quality depth.
Although the Raiders appear deep at linebacker, the quality of the numbers remains a mystery. With Iyiegbuniwe, a classic drive and drop tackler with a nose for the ball makes this a value pick.