TFDS Contributor Seth Murphy takes an early look at some of the players he thinks the Raiders may target with TFDS' first mock of the 2013 NFL Draft. For more of his thoughts on the Raiders or the draft, you can follow him on Twitter @SethMurphy4991
First Round: Star Lotulelei DT University of Utah
Star Lotulelei has been a monster in the middle of Utah’s defensive line. He would ﬁt in Oakland either as a 0 technique Nose Tackle in a 3-4 defense or as a 1 technique if Oakland chooses to stay in the 4-3. Many of Oakland’s problems on defense can be traced to the decline of veteran DT’s Tommy Kelly and Richard Seymour, both of whom are clearly nearing the end of their respective careers.
Star would make an immediate impact in stopping the run. The 6’ 4” 320 pound monster won the 2011 Morris Trophy for best defensive lineman in the league as voted on by starting offensive lineman. Over his career star has accumulated 107 tackles, 7 sacks and 22.5 while also forcing 4 fumbles and recovering 5. Those numbers are impressive for an interior defensive lineman that faces a double (sometimes triple) team on every play. He also played some goal line fullback and he has recorded a 17 yard reception.
Third Round: Margus Hunt DE SMU
Margus Hunt is a very interesting pick. The deﬁnition of high risk/high reward. Hunt is proclaimed by many to be the best athlete in the upcoming draft. He stands at a towering 6’ 8” tall with an 82” wingspan, and even with has vine-like arms he has benched the combine weight of 225 pounds 35 times and may break the 40 rep barrier come combine time. He weighs in around 275 pounds but his former track coach expects him to run around a 4.6 second 40 yard dash. He also boasts a 36 inch vertical leap.
All of these measurables show why he may become a freak pass rusher in this league. He needs work but understands the grind of professional athletics, in 2006 he become the ﬁrst athlete to win gold in both shotput and discuss at the Junior World Championships. Hunt has already ﬂashed on special teams with an NCAA record 9 blocked ﬁeld goals and 6 extra point blocks. He also ﬁts the strange trend that Reggie McKenzie started last year of athletic defensive lineman who are native to foreign countries (Jack Crawford and Christo Bilkudi). Reggie has also shown he will wait for his third round picks to develop (Tony Bergstrom).
Fourth Round: Andrew Jackson ILB WKU
Oops... wrong one
The JR middle linebacker from Western Kentucky University has been very productive this year racking up a sunbelt leading 109 tackles. He also added 3.5 sacks 17 tackles for loss and an interception. The hard hitting Linebacker seems like a perfect candidate to play ILB in a 34 defense should the raiders decide to make the change. The release of MLB Rolando McClain seems inevitable and there will be a whole left in the middle of the Raiders defense with no apparent answer on the roster.
If the 6’ 1” 260 lb Jackson can shed 10 or so pounds (which looks like it shouldn’t be a problem for the very large framed linebacker he could compete for the starting MLB position. He is still very raw but displays great instincts closing speed and hitting power. He plays very emotional football and makes plays from the ILB position. If he declares there will be many teams in the middle rounds who love to have Jackson on their rosters
Sixth Round: Jeff Nady OT University of Nevada-Reno
The Nevada offensive tackle has great size athleticism and talent. In high school Nady actually played defensive line and and tight end which shows you the kind of athlete he was. He was also a McDonalds all American Candidate for basketball at Douglas High. Nady has added 50 pounds since joining the wolf pack. Nady shows great ability with second level combo blocks. He seems like a perfect zone blocking candidate if we decide to keep the scheme. Nady has shown the ability to get movement on DL and the athleticism to move to the second level. At times he plays a bit high which is magniﬁed by his height but with a bit of coaching Nady may be a starting Right Tackle before toolong. Nady blocked for Reno’s 7th ranked offense in 2011 and was named all Mountain West 1st team for 2012.
Seventh Round: Travis Johnson DE/OLB San Jose State
The 6’ 3” 244 lb Senior Linebacker from San Jose State accumulated 12 sacks this year which was tied for 8th best in the country. Johnson at times was unblock-able at times for offensive lineman. He often beat double teams with a bull rush but lacks a signature pass rush move but can get to the quarterback with sheer strength and athleticism. His measurables translate favorable to a pass rushing outside linebacker in a 34 defense if Oakland decides to move to one and at times Johnson played in a two point stance. Johnson has a relentless motor and if he can add a couple moves to his repertoire he could help as a nickel rusher. Johnson was named an Academic All-American.
Seventh Round: Greg Reid Cornerback Valdosta State
Greg Reid is an amazing talent that will fall due to three issues. He was dismissed from Florida State University on alleged drug charges. He tore his ACL before his season at Valdosta State began, and at 5’ 8” 186 pounds (those numbers may be generous) most feel he lacks NFL size. With that being said Reid possesses incredible talent and can make an immediate impact as a punt returner. Reid’s stature doesn’t stop him from making a big hit and although he is small I believe he is a sure enough tackler to play in some zone. He will likely spend most of his career as a nickel or die defensive back but has the potential to be a late round steal. He displayed his talents at a big time program at Florida State and nothing shows me his skills won’t translate. At Florida state Reid accumulated 120 tackles, 7 interceptions, 32 passes defended, and 4 return touchdowns (3 punt 1 interception).
This mock draft will be updated the closer we get to the draft. I expect Oakland to get a compensatory 6th round pick or so but I won’t add until it is ofﬁcial. I also expect trades but those impossible to predict so I will only be predicting current picks.
Don't dis the Mtn West, Brian Urlacher came from UNM and is an elite player. He's from NM and wanted to play for NM.
@LeonardRoybal So did Chad Pennington. They are very rare exceptions...
Number of Players from Each BCS Conference,Average Number of NFL Players per team
ACC- 278, 23.1
Big 10-256, 23.2
Big 12-221, 18.4
Big East-115, 14.3
The problem with picking from the Mtn West or the Sun Belt (or other small schools/conferences) is their competition is the same as they are - usually undersized with below elite skills. So when they're throwing 30 TDs or catching 100 balls or making 50 tackles - it's a false accomplishment because it comes against weaker competition. When they go to the NFL they're playing against the old movie cliche... " the best of the best". There's no way 99.9% of them are going to be elite in the NFL - especially the ones that are 5'8".
That's not me talking - that's history.
Right now we're in the slot for the 3rd pick - we'll get one of the elite players at that pick (if we didn't trade it already - I can't remember). We need a QB or a DE or some other player that will either make a huge impact now - and/or be a franchise player long term. The defense is starting from scratch imho - we need to look ahead 2-3 years. If McKenzie is still plugging holes come April - we know it's time to cut him loose. And even in the later rounds we can't afford to be taking chances on players from conferences like Mountain West and the Sun Belt. Those players in those conferences for a reason - because they couldn't cut it in the SEC, the Pac-10, the Big 10... the conferences that matter. Even using a basically worthless 7th round pick on a 5'8" guy is a wasted pick. We could take a chance on some SEC guy sitting on the bench behind a star player and have a better shot at someone who can contribute OR bundle that pick in a trade up. Jmho.
BTW, when I went to the Oakland/Miami game early in the season, I was joking with my Fins loving brother that the "winner" of the game was really the team that lost because that team would get the better draft pick. Looks like I was right.