This article is the work of Jérôme Moreau. You can follow him on Twitter @HuggyJrme to see more of his thoughts on the Raiders and what players would be the best fit.
Raiders - Specific Mock Draft
Pick Player Reasoning
|3rd Round - Pick #95||Alameda Ta'amu, NT, Washington, 6'2 - 348||I'm not quite sure he'll end up available in the late 3rd but if he does, he's exactly what the Raiders have been needing for the last decade, a huge run stopper in the middle of that Dline. It's about time our defense stops the run and it starts right in the middle. He'll give us the flexibility to run multiple fronts in 2012. Plus, his name is Alameda, he was meant to be a Raider.
|4th Round - Pick #129||Jonathan Massaquoi, DE, Troy, 6'2 - 264||My main is concern for 2012 is the Raiders ability to pressure the QB from the edges. Wimbley was our best edge rusher. None of our other DEs strikes me as a superior edge rusher. In a division with Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers, we better bring the heat or they'll carve up our coverage. Massaquoi is the first step in trying to adress the issue. He was a very productive pass rusher in 2010 with 13.5 sacks. He offers some flexibility since he could be a 3-4 rush backer as well.||Clip|
|5th Round - Pick #148
||Donnie Fletcher, DB, Boston College, 6'0 - 201
||Our depth in the secondary seems alright as far as 2012 is concerned but there's nothing wrong with drafting with an eye toward the future. Bartell and Spencer are both on one year deals and in their 30s, Chekwa and DVD still have a lot to prove. Fletcher is good value there and can provide depth at CB and FS. One thing who, seemingly, hasn't changed with the new regime is the preference for taller, fast DBs. At 6'0, 201 and with 4.4 speed, Fletcher fits the bill.
|5th Round - Pick #168
||Andrew Datko, OT, Florida State, 6'6 - 315
||Injury concerns will make him available this late but on ability, he's a higher pick. He played in a zone blocking scheme for his whole college career which makes him an obvious fit with the Raiders. He provides depth on the Oline with the upside to start moving forward.
|6th Round - Pick #189
||Tyler Nielsen, LB, Iowa, 6'3 - 238||The 2012 starters are probably set with the signing of Philip Wheeler but there's absolutely no depth at the moment. Coverage was a huge problem with our OLBs the last 2 years and while Wheeler figures to be an upgrade in this area, it won't hurt to get another LB who can cover. That just happens to be Nielsen's strength.|
As much as I would love to see Ta'amu in the Silver & Black I will be very, very surprised if he makes it past the Colts third round selection. I can see the Colts going after a WR in the second for Luck (or his TE buddy if he lasts that far) and then Pagano will be hunting for a big NT for his transition to the 3-4 defense for the Colts.
Nice draft.... personally I feel we are going to load up on LB in the draft and get the depth sorted before we look at drafting a NT, which will be drafted in round 1 of the 2013 draft :) Our depth in all areas of the line is still an issue and I am not happy at all with the depth behind Branch at Safety. These for me will be areas we look to add.
I think getting Ta'amu in the third would be a good pick for us at that spot. It looks like he is not going to be chasing ball carriers down from behind, but I dont think there will be too many OL moving him backwards either. He will defiitely anchor down the middle of the field and keep Death Ro' clean.
Asher, maybe you have some insight here:
It doesnt look like we will be running too much of a 3-4 set because of th lack of linebackers currentl on the team. Reggie Mckinzie said, before signing Wheeler, that OLB was the only spot we didnt have a starter at. If we were running a 3-4 wouldnt we need another starting ILB next to McClain??? If this is the case, I dont think we are drafting Ta'amu.....
I agree 200% with your main concern...gotta get a natural pass rusher....and like your analysis top to bottom, nice work! And yeah one way or another we will get a run suffing NT
I agree that we have a great chance at Alameda Ta'amu coming to Alameda! I think, however, that we take Ronnell Lewis (OLB Oklahoma) or Keenan Robinson (OLB, Texas); whomever is available that late. Our first pick of the 5th round, we take Josh Ogelsby (ROT, Wisconsin), and at #168 we take Jack Crawford (OLB, Penn State). Our 6th round pick we take Dan Herron (RB, Ohio State).
Sorry I don't have the player breakdown on these guys. One of the reasons why I pick these guys is that we don't have a lot of available monies to have a spectacular draft, unless we trade some big names off our team (Seymour, McFadden, etc). It wouldn't surprise me if we did make a big trade, but then we just add another hole to fill. I think the combination of R Lewis/Keenan Robinson and Jack Crawford would give us stability to stop the run and with Crawford, create havoc against the pass.
Dan Herron would be a good pick up to compliment McFadden as a power back, more so than Bush.