We are going to be kicking off our 18th annual draft party in a few hours. Oh the stories, the frustrations, the ribbing, and the hollow looks when a team picks someone puzzling. This draft will definitely have those with so many questions.
How Many Picks Right Do Experts Usually Get In Their Mock Drafts?
On average, the best draft analyzers get 5 to 9 correct for their mock drafts each year. Last year was one of Mel Kiper Jr.’s best getting 10 correct in the first round. Todd McShay got 7 correct last year. It also can get ugly. I think it was 4 years ago that host Bob Fitzgerald on KNBR radio spent hours talking about Mel Kiper Jr. getting one right in the first round.
What does that mean? It means these “insiders” know about as much as we do. Do people really think a billion dollar NFL team is going to leak information through the press to their competitors? Come on.
Stop the Offensive and RB Madness!:
Facebook has some good, smart Raider fans. And Facebook has some that aren’t so hot but who are loud. It shocked me again that for the 2nd straight year many fans clamored for a RB. Even with the signing of Marshawn Lynch, some still want to draft a RB preferably Christian McCaffrey. Ridiculous. The Raiders were #6 in rushing in the NFL last year and were #13 in passing yards. Oakland was the #7 best scoring team in the NFL. Panicking for a RB means you need to drink decaf from now on. They don’t need another one. On a passing team there isn’t enough balls to go around anyway and they are fine.
Some are losing their minds saying they need a right tackle. In reality they do but there are free agent moves that can be taken. Rosters are far from set in stone. And the reality is every year most fans just worry about the offense but players can be picked up.
I’m sorry but this is the salary cap era. You can’t have all pro’s at every position. Wait until Carr and Mack get paid. The luxury of spending big money on the Nate Allen’s, Sean Smith’s and Reggie Nelson’s of the world and seeing them struggle will be over. Less cap space means you have to make fewer mistakes. And don’t forget they are trying to pay Gabe Jackson who will get 7-8 million a year when he gets a huge raise. Every team has weaknesses. You just try to limit them. This isn’t the 1970’s where you could have all pro’s everywhere.
The Raiders Dire Needs According to Jack Del Rio:
Here at Jaxville, we believe in one thing; facts. And the facts are ugly. Jack Del Rio said it again this week in the local media. “The most glaring weakness we had was a lack of a push and pass rush up the middle. We have to address that.” The problem here is that this draft doesn’t have a for sure DT that can get to the QB, especially in the first round.
The Raiders also desperately need a MLB and a CB. Some have said OLB TJ Watt from Wisconsin is the answer but he’s an edge guy and the Raiders are full of them. Some have said just draft a CB in the first round. In a draft chock full of them, I would say no.
The Raiders defense was:
-23rd against the run
-32nd in sacks
-24th against the pass
-20th in scoring defense
That is bad. Doesn’t matter how good your offense is, that defense is not getting you far in the playoffs. Every good offense the Raiders played had success against the Raiders last year, & some games were ugly. The Patriots defense shut down Atlanta after half time in the Super Bowl. Without that, the Pats comeback doesn’t happen.
Who Should Oakland Pick?:
Todd McShay and Mel Kiper Jr. are now both saying they feel the Browns are drafting NC QB Mitch Trubisky for the first pick. He’s not a top player in my mind but the Browns QB situation is a train wreck. The 49ers are lighting a candle for that to happen because then they get their edge pass rusher in Myles Garrett. I’m not thrilled with any of the QB’s in this draft but if it happens, it could change a lot of picks.
For the Raiders, the wild card is Alabama LB Reuben Foster. His off the field troubles aside, this guy can play and you can plug and play him at MLB from week 1. How far will he fall? He’s a thumper with instinct and speed to go from sideline to sideline. If he somehow falls to the Raiders; which I highly doubt; you draft him yesterday.
The guy that I like is Florida MLB Jarrad Davis. He’s a high character type of guy that the Raiders are stock piling. He makes plays, is smart, plays while hurt, and has a lot of great leadership skills. He’s not a great player, but he’s a very good one who can start right away and make a difference playing 3 downs.
Many have Zach Cunningham the MLB from Vanderbilt moving up but I’m not a huge fan of his. He’s a good playmaker who fills the stat sheets but he is a finesse player. Davis and Foster are thumpers where Cunningham is a solid tackler but when I saw him play he struggled at times against big, strong OL. Even in the second round I don’t know if I get him. The Raiders defense needs to get more physical and Davis and Foster are more physical than Cunningham.
The dilemma though is if Alabama OT Cam Robinson falls to the Raiders at #24. Man, even though the defense isn’t very good, how do you pass up on Robinson? If I’m drafting and Robinson is there, I would have issues not taking him. He has 10 years at right tackle written all over him.
This draft is packed full of quality DB prospects, especially at CB. Sean Smith was an all pro with the Chiefs. Take away KC’s pass rush and good safety play and he struggled in Oakland. It took a year for the NFL to find out that David Amerson is good in short to mid passes but struggles with the deep ball. And Reggie Nelson’s angles to the ball at times are unique let’s say. Lots of missed opportunities on the field.
There are lots of CB prospects to choose from. Tre’davious White the CB from LSU, or Kevin King the CB from Washington, or even ultra-athlete Adoree Jackson from USC, who is a little undersized. The Raiders can also wait until the second or even third round to get a DB in a deep DB draft. There is also a chance these guys won’t last that long.
Here is the issue; there aren’t any that are for sure studs and in fact I don’t think any warrant a first round pick. The Raiders need a 3 down DT that can rush the QB and there isn’t anyone in the draft that is a super star in the making.
I hated the 2nd round Jihad Ward pick last year and even though he started most games and played in every game, Ward was near invisible during the season with no sacks and no tackles for loss. Your #2 pick needs to make a difference within the first 2 years so he has a lot to prove. I just didn’t see this pick and never was overly impressed with him when he played for Illinois.
The guy that people are talking about as being a possible sleeper is DT Chris Wormley out of Michigan. The Raiders should be able to get him in round two after picking an LB in round 1. He’s another high character guy that is a coaches dream. He works hard, and makes plays but many feel he can be better and underachieved with sloppy technique. Some say he just needs more coaching to reach his potential. It’s a risk. Having 2 busts at DT would be a huge nightmare.
The guy that I think would be a good pick in round 2 is Auburns DT Montravius Adams. At times he looks like a world beater and at other times he looks like he’s bored. He lacks consistency and I think with Kahlil Mack and the leadership the Raiders have, this guy could become a good NFL player. He’s big and athletic but doesn’t show up all the time.
Karl Joseph is solid and looks to be a real stopper in the run game, and has potential to hold his own in the passing game, but the Raiders struggled at the other safety position. The most popular Raider picks here could be Budda Baker out of Washington or Marcus Williams out of Utah. Both would be good picks. Obi Melifonwu out of Connecticut would be a solid pick as well in the first round. He can play at CB as well.
What Will Oakland Do:
The Raiders need a pass rushing DT and an LB in the first 2 rounds. There are no great DT’s so they should go LB in the first round. The Raiders have shown a history of picking DB’s though when you least expect it and I think that might be the way they go. I still cant’ get over picking DJ Hayden over DT Star Lotulelei years ago. Reggie may want to right the DJ Hayden mistake. If it were me though, a MLB would be the pick here. The best one available out of the ones we mentioned but I have a feeling the Raiders would go DB which I think is a mistake with a draft so deep in CB talent.
How Are Your Picks? Here are mine!:
I see a lot of bold predictors online who never keep track of their picks so there is never accountability. As I said before, if I’m wrong all the time then don’t follow me. My friends and I have kept track of our picks for going on 18 years. We pick for the teams we like. Below are the Raiders picks and mine. Ok I picked Matt Leinart but I also picked Aaron Rodgers, Calvin Johnson, Shaun Alexander & many others. I want football players, not NFL combine warriors. If you are bold enough to make picks, be bold enough to back the ones you miss and make. Most don’t do that. I want to be accountable but even the high profile guys try to hide their failures in the draft.
I’m ready to go; we are getting ready for the 18th annual NFL draft party. One round on day 1 isn’t enough, but it will have to do. May all your draft picks be golden. And have some fun. Be a GM for a few days and jot your picks down on your computer. The results may surprise you!
2000 Raiders pick: Sebastian Janikowski K Florida St.
Jim’s Pick: Shaun Alexander RB Alabama
(borderline hall of famer; only Seahawk MVP in a season; most yards rushing in Seattle history; 100 TD’s & only back w/4 consecutive seasons of at least 15 td’s; Seabass has been a long time good kicker; probably HOF someday; but I’d still rather have Alexander)
2001 Raiders pick: Derrick Gibson DB Florida St.
Jim’s Pick: Kendrell Bell LB Georgia
(Bell was defensive rookie of the year & a key member of the Steelers but several bad knee injuries derailed his career. Had to retire after 2007 season due to his knees. Gibson is one in a long line of DB draft busts)
2002 Raiders/Jim’s pick: Phillip Buchanon CB Miami Fla.; Napoleon Harris LB Northwestern
(Neither panned out and were considered busts)
2003 Raiders pick: Nnamdi Asomugha CB California; Tyler Brayton DE Colorado
Jim’s Pick: Nnamdi Asomugha CB California; Boss Bailey LB Georgia
(Aso was very good; Bailey was an average player other than one year and Brayton was a solid backup with spurts of being a good starting player at Carolina)
2004 Raiders pick: Robert Gallery T Iowa
Jim’s Pick: Larry Fitzgerald WR Pittsburgh
(Fitzgerald is a future hall of famer. Gallery was considered a bust at tackle but became a solid guard. He never became the player the Raiders thought he would be. Retired in 2012)
2005 Raiders pick: Fabian Washington S Nebraska
Jim’s Pick: Aaron Rodgers QB California
(Rodgers is a future hall of famer; I literally fell to the floor when they didn’t draft him)
2006 Raiders pick: Michael Huff S Texas
Jim’s Pick: Matt Leinart QB USC
(Leinart was a lazy party frat boy, bust; Huff was average with spurts of quality play; didn’t live up to the pick)
2007 Raiders pick: Jamarcus Russell QB LSU
Jim’s Pick: Calvin Johnson WR Georgia Tech
(Megatron is a future hall of famer; I was ripped apart by Raider fans for 2 years for hating the pick of Russell. By the time you prove you are right, no one cares anymore)
2008 Raiders/Jim’s Pick: Darren McFadden RB Arkansas
(other than one year he could not stay healthy and never could equal his physical college style)
2009 Raiders Pick: Darrius Heyward-Bey WR Maryland
Jim’s Pick: Michael Crabtree WR Texas Tech
(A really dumb pick by the Raiders. DHB was a bust as I predicted on draft day; Crabtree has had a good career; Stupid NFL combine 40 times got Al Davis again)
2010 Raiders/Jims Pick: Rolando McClain LB Alabama
(emotional issues, bust)
2011 Raiders/Jims Pick: Stefen Wisniewski C Penn St.
(2nd Round; Raiders had no 1st round pick)
(good at guard ok at center; lost to free agency)
2012 Raiders Pick: Tony Bergstrom T Utah
Jim’s Pick: Frank Alexander DE Oklahoma
(Raiders did not have a 1st or 2nd round pick)
(Both are backups; Alexander was suspended for 4 games for substance abuse)
2013 Raiders Pick: DJ Hayden DB Houston
Jim’s Pick: Star Lotulelei DL Utah
(Lotulelei is a key member of Carolina’s defensive rotation and he fell right into the Raiders lap. As I said on draft day, Hayden was an awful pick)
2014 Raiders/Jims Pick: Khalil Mack LB Buffalo
2015 Raiders/Jims Pick: Amari Cooper WR Alabama
(I fought with several Raiders Facebook groups who wanted Kevin White instead. Cooper has 2 pro bowls. White has played in only 4 games in 2 years and in those games had only 19 catches in 35 targets and gained the Chicago media’s wrath; mmmm)
2016 Raiders/Jims Pick: Karl Joseph S West Virginia
(Joseph had a nice rookie campaign especially against the run. He may never be a great cover guy but he’s a thumper against the run, and makes plays).