Do you want to know who the Raiders are going to take with the 48th pick in the NFL draft this year? Well, I have the answer for you. It seems that every year in the NFL draft, the pool of talent gets deeper and deeper. The Raiders think they have their QB in Jason Campbell, they think they have valuable skill players around him, but they need help on the offensive line as well as at tight end. Defensively, it appears that they are going to part ways with free safety Michael Huff, and the departure of All-World cornerback, Nnamdi Asomugha, could be an inevitable reality. That means secondary help is a must and has to be taken into high account as well. With all of this in mind, I’ve narrowed the field of over two hundred men down to five guys who I think will most likely be wearing Silver and Black in 2011.
Jimmy Smith CB Colorado
Smith is one of the more highly regarded cornerbacks in this draft and is certainly a first round talent. He is a very impressive athlete, but his character issues could cause teams to shy away from taking him as their first pick this year. He tested positive for drugs in 2007 and was twice arrested as a minor in possession of alcohol. But he is probably the best man-to-man coverage cornerback in this draft and the Raiders have already shown that they are interested in Mr. Smith with their scheduled private workout only two weeks prior to the opening night of drafting. Combined in 2009 and 2010, Smith allowed just 11 catches to his opponents, and collegiate coaches learned to gameplan around him which has caused some comparisons to the Raiders’ own Nnamdi Asomugha. If -- and that is a big if -- Smith falls anywhere in the vicinity of the early-mid second round, you could very well see the Raiders moving up to get this kid.
Marcus Cannon OT TCU
It is believed in some circles that Cannon projects better on the interior line than as an offensive tackle at the next level. The Raiders are in need of both help on the interior line as well as competition for their right tackle position. At 6’5” and 358 pounds, Cannon will be one of the biggest men drafted this year. Fittingly, he owns several TCU records for power lifting, and defenders have to be wary of his strength once he gets his hands on them. For the Raiders – who found future left tackle, Jared Veldheer, in the third round last year – Cannon could be exactly what they are looking for in the second round to come in and fill their right tackle position. They say they want to build a bully and pairing this mammoth on the right side of their line with Bruce Campbell inside of him may go a long way towards accomplishing that goal for the offense.
Stefen Wisniewski OG/C Penn State
It goes without saying that the Raiders have a keen interest in Penn State standout Stefen Wisniewski. But recently, ESPN’s draft guru Mel Kiper said there is potential for Wisniewski to fall into the third or even the fourth round of the draft. If the Raiders could get him with their third round pick, that would be more than ideal. Head Coach Hue Jackson was recently quoted as saying the Raiders know exactly who Wisniewski is, which is not surprising considering that his uncle Steve Wisniewski is their new assistant offensive line coach this year. For those of you who don’t know, Wisniewski is a fundamentally sound technician on the offensive line who has proven he can play multiple interior line positions. He is an excellent block finisher and has a high football IQ. But Wisniewski is most likely to project better as a center than a guard in the more power based Hue Jackson rushing offense. There’s a chance he goes into the third round, but a better chance that his pedigree causes some team to nab him in the second round of the draft. That team could very well be the Oakland Raiders.
Benjamin Ijalana OG Villanova
With Robert Gallery turning the other cheek and the Raiders turning the page, the team finds itself in dire need of interior help. They don’t know what they have with either Bruce Campbell or Daniel Loper at this point. Ijalana has been the subject of question marks due to a sports hernia that forced him to miss both the Senior Bowl and the combine positional workouts. But Ijalana was dominating at the FCS level during his 53 straight starts for Villanova. He has great agility and tremendous footwork which means he will be good at getting into the second level of defense and making a name for himself as a successful power blocker and pulling guard. Ijalana was the only FCS player to be named to the watch list for the Outland Trophy last year. He was the anchor of an offensive line that helped produce over 380 yards per game and scored 30.8 points per game in 2010 while allowing only 24 sacks. His sports hernia could land him right in the laps of the Raiders and they may even be able to trade down for more picks to get him.
Curtis Brown CB Texas
He didn’t blow anyone away with his meager 4.51 forty at the combine but his 10’8” board jump and 40” vertical jump are quite impressive. Brown was a head-turning wide receiver at the high school level. There were questions about his coverage skills when he first got to Texas, but he quickly dispelled those questions by sticking in the hip pocket of the wide receivers he was covering. He has naturally soft hands and shows a tremendous knack for adjusting to the ball and getting his hands on it. He is widely known to be very physical against his opponents which is a necessity in a press coverage scheme like that of the Oakland Raiders. As a former wide receiver, he has an excellent sense for reading the routes his opponents are running and excellent body control to get to the passes without drawing the flags. He is also more aggressive in run support and a better open field tackler than a lot of the cornerbacks in this draft. Brown is another guy who has untapped potential at his position and could probably make a move to either safety position if he didn’t work out at CB for the team.
BONUS: Wildcard Titus Young WR Boise State
Just throwing this out there -- are the Raiders likely to take a wide receiver this high in the draft? Probably not, but if Al Davis is going to be swerved from the plan of attack on draft day, then staring at a receiver like Young could drive Davis to the madhouse. Young is extraordinarily explosive and has tremendous vision to see the whole field and access the best route to the open spaces rapidly. He is quickly climbing the draft boards around the league and if he goes lower than the second round, he could end up being one of the steals of the draft. He is an extremely versatile and dangerous offensive weapon who could take attention away from other Raiders offensive playmakers like Jacoby Ford and Darren McFadden. Young is so talented that he is climbing the ranks in spite of the off field concerns surrounding him. His 71 receptions, 1215 yards, and nine touchdowns in 2010 placed Young on his conference's first team for the second consecutive season and he was also recognized by the Associated Press as a third-team All-American. Young is an avid route runner who eats up yardage with very little wasted motion.
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Good list. I think another name should be added too though. Ras-I Dowling out of Virginia. Fast (ran a 4.37 at the combine despite pulling up lame) - good size 6' & 200 lbs. - physical (likes to hit) - and is good in man-to-man. From what I have read he came into this season as sure 1st rounder, but injuries limited this year to just two starts. Recovered enough to have a good Pro-Day & thought to project as a second rounder now. If the Raiders are intent on not resigning Namdi (& it's looking that way), I think that catapults CB to the top of the "needs" list. And we know Al Davis' love for fast CB's who can play man-to-man. Unless they address the CB need in Free Agency, my guess is they address the need @ CB with their first pick this year. I think Jimmy Smith will likely be long gone by the time the Raiders pick at 48.
@NYSEGUY Ras-I would be a great pick! Definately wouldn't mind adding him! - or Brandon Harris! Either one could be there at #48, and either one would be a good pick! If neither Ras-I, Harris or Smith is there, Davon House could be the pick if it is a CB, but Ras-I would be a great pick! Saw some mocks putting him in the low 1st because of his great Pro-day, so it's not a given that he will fall to us though..
@Harder2000 @NYSEGUY Yeah. Cornerback is a premium skill position and good ones are hard to come by and much in demand - that's why I think the Raiders "may" have to address that need with their 2nd round pick. If we lose Namdi, his replacement needs to be able to start year one. I'd much prefer them resigning Namdi (C'mon Namdi - at a more reasonable price !) - which frees them up to address the offensive line needs with their first pick in the draft. But I think they can come up with a serviceable Guard or Center in the 3rd or later rounds more easily than they can come up with a potential starting CB in the mid-later rounds. Also - Wisniewski is listed as exactly the same size & weight as Samson Satele (6'3", 305 lbs.) - which doesn't solve the problem of needing a bigger body at Center to help clog the middle, power block and fend off the bull rush of some of the bigger Nose Tackles around the league (that's why Miami traded Satele to us in the 1st place!). As much as I like the sounds of the kid & the Raider family tradition, I just think we need a bigger body at Center - particularly now that we are shifting back to a power blocking xcheme vs. the zone.
Marcus Cannon could be a good fit, but a player that should also recieve considerable consideration is Orlando Franklin from Miami - he fits the concept of building a bully perfectly! He play with a mean streak and would be a force on the interior line out the gate! He will definately not be available in rd 3, so he merits thought at #48.. Ijalana would fit the mold as well, but all indications are that he will be gone late 1st or early 2nd! But either Cannon or Franklin would be solid picks who fits the power scheme and can start out the gate!
al will pay aso, just not 17 mil a year, i wouldn't either. if losing him can bring jimmy smith as his replacement, as well as some fa lineman with that aso money, then im all for it. i told my fellow raider homies here in ophio that i would have seriously considered trading him this past season for a starting lineman and or draft picks, however it all works out. i love the guy, but his price is way to steep. i had doubts he would stay with routt getting 10 mil, but we had aso and d. hall giving him 8 mil, so it can work, depending on what aso wants.
We should sign the awsome one to a 2 year 30 mill deal thats weighted in the second year. Then we can trade next years first for a first this year and pick up mike pouncey he is the best o line prospect in this years draft in my opinion. And to replace our lost first rounder next year Im sure someone would trade a first rounder for the awesome one. Losing him next year would be much less damaging than it will be next year since they could prepare ahead of time for his loss and sign someone or draft one this year to groom under asomugha's tutelage (and woodsons) this year
@BenRuth If Awesome one is retained it's gonna be a contract where he retires a Raider! Good chance for that, especially as this season will propably be cap-free, meaning Big Al could pay the most upfront, avoiding the high pay to cut into future years caps! Awesome one is a high character guy and would be equally devoted even though the majority of his pay had already been cashed! The idea about trading next years picks for this years is valid IMO, could easily see Big Al firing a 2012 1st and 4/5th to Pats for their #28, especially as he really wants to win right now! Just not sure it would be used on a QB, time will tell though, lets hope for a good draft!
who would want to trade for Asomugha if they have to pay him $20 milfor one year?
Great Mock Draft ! Brett ... would love to see Al , company make those moves ....really have to address our o-line ! but would like to see proven Players in those postions , although there is strength in these young very talented Draft class !!! LOOKING FORWARD TO DRAFT DAY ! Raider Nation Baby !
Really good list of guys Brett.. I would definitely add Kaepernick to the mix, as well, as he is a guy that will not fall into the 3rd round, and is a player that the Raiders have a huge interest in.. I really believe the Raiders and Al Davis are throwing out a smokescreen in regards to drafting a QB, and I just do not see the Raiders passing on a talented young QB like Kaepernick in favor of resigning the injury prone retread, Bruce Gradkowski. I am predicting that the Raiders will trade up into the first round to select Jimmy Smith, and take Kaepernick with the 48th pick.
what good is Colin Kaepernick on the bench? That's what I want to know. A second round pick for a bench warmer...hmmm
@ba_armstrong @Spartacus good list though my man. Cannon is my choice. and trade back into the late 2nd for WizKid... that would be HUGE. then go and get 2 more FA Olineman when it does come around, and we are in BUSINESS!! Tyson Clabo is my choice in FA. we're set for lift with those 3 new big boys.
@Spartacus You can bet that if the Raiders trade into the first round, the package will include their pick at 48.
I agree completely Kaepernick would be a great asset , also lost of great talent hitting free agency for us to rebuild on O-line ,if Stefen Wiz is there we need to pick him up , also trading up to pick up kaepernick would b a great move ! jimmy smith has great potential / replacing Asomghua if hes not back in silver & black 2011 !!! Raider Nation Baby
makes more sense to me if we drafted OL in round 2 and 3, because we are in need of more OL than any other position I think we grab cannon at 2 and Wiz at 3 or vic versa then think of free agent for any other positions in need.
the jets are going to lose at least one of the three wid recivers the are free agents. I still beleave ASO still wants to be a raider, If AL wont pay him 17 mil nobody will. It would be a smart move by ASO to stay in OAK were he knows the how to play man coverge and can still get payed top dollar for his position.