With the NFL Draft less than ten days away, the Oakland Raiders should possess their draft board, waiting for the 26th. If the board is not quite complete, the shifts are value process remains the main cause. As a result, the only thing left is to speculate. With so many scenarios floating, what should the Oakland Raiders do? Below, thoughts on how the Silver and Black should attack the defensive draft board.
If Alabama DT Quinnen Williams sits available at four, the Raiders should draft him. Regardless of any other circumstance, this is the move for so many reasons. First, Williams gives the Raiders an immediate force on the interior. Crushing the pocket and forcing the quarterback left or right, helps the ends. As a result, that puts pressure on offensive tackles, knowing the quarterback is rolling in their direction and right into the lap of a defensive end. However, people cite the depth issue that the Raiders currently enjoy as the reason why they can afford to skip Williams. With respect to the current depth chart, Quinnen Williams automatically becomes the best defensive tackle on the team. If you pair him with Jelly Ellis or Hankins in the base set, or slide Mo Hurst next to him on passing downs.
People will read the point above and think the Raiders should not attack drafting edge rushers. Wrong. In 2018, the pass rush was the hottest of mess. With a clear dearth of talent, quality draft picks give the team the flexibility to move around and grab talent. Arden Key profiles as a situational pass rusher. Paul Guenther prefers ends that get upfield but will also provide stout run defense. From Josh Allen, Montez Sweat, and Clelin Ferrell to Zach Allen or Anthony Nelson, at least half-dozen rushers could fill this role in Oakland. If the Raiders are smart, and Mayock appears to be, attack the edges with aggression. Looking deeper, LJ Collier, Charles Omenihu, and Maxx Crosby could serve as valuable options.
With the Oakland Raiders primed to renovate their defensive roster with a combination of free agency and drafting, Paul Guenther steps forward. With Mayock and Gruden, the team will give their defensive coordinator the necessary tools to succeed. As a result, the heat on Paul Guenther intensifies. For Mayock, draft capital resides in a place close his heart. If Paul Guenther cannot assemble a quality pass rush with the new talent, the fault will lie solely with him, and consequences could leave him in Oakland as the team moves.