As you all now I am an Oakland Raiders fan. Thus I decided to publish my way too early mock draft :)
Comp Picks (speculation)
Philip Wheeler-4th round pick
Desmond Bryant-4th round pick
Brandon Myers-6th round pick
7th round pick from Arizona via Carson Palmer trade
QB Derek Carr, 6’3/213, Fresno State
Carr has been a legitimate stud all year long. His TD/INT ratio is 39/4 and he has a cannon arm. He’s a good athlete who boasts a quick release and fluid movement in the pocket. He has some issues with his footwork and is at times to sensitive to pressure, but those are obviously fixable. Carr could easily be the Raiders franchise QB.
RB Bishop Sankey, 5’10/203, Washington
Darren McFadden is as good as gone and while Rashad Jennins is worth retaining, here the Raiders would be getting their first every down work horse back in a while. Sankey can really do it all and the Raiders would have to jump on it if he was available at this juncture.
OG David Yankey, 6’5/311, Stanford
Yankey is a technician who has been a good run and pass blocker for Stanford. Lucas Nix, as pointed out in my most recent fan post, has been utterly terrible. Yankey could step in and man the spot at the LG position as early as his rookie year or at the very least provide competition. He also has experience at LT making him versatile. In most drafts, Yankey would be a top 50 pick making this choice a pipe dream, but the Raiders could take advantage of a very strong draft class.
If Yankey is gone another possibility could be Anthony Steen of Bama who specializes in run blocking.
DE Cassius Marsh, 6’3/268, UCLA
Opposite of Lamarr Houston, the Raiders haven’t been getting much at the DE position. In fact we’ve been starting DT Vance Walker there as a result. Marsh is having a poor senior season which will hurt his stock but he put together a great 2012 campaign with 40 tackles, eight sacks, 10.5 tackles for a loss, two passes batted and two forced fumbles. The talent is there making this a great value pick.
4th round (comp)
CB EJ Gaines, 5’11/195, Missouri
Gaines has been a big part of Mizzo’s defense registering 40 tackles, two passes broken up and four interceptions thus far. The senior has a nice mix of coverage ability and ball skills. Gaines had 74 tackles with 11 passes broken up and two interceptions last year. He also has the ability to return punts.
4th round (comp)
CB Jaylen Watkins, 6’0/187, Florida
I’m actually having us double dip at CB which is understandable in a division with the likes of Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers. Watkins serves as the nickle corner for Florida being overshadowed by Purifoy and Marcus Robertson but he’d undoubtedly be starting for most teams in the country. He did a nice job of filling in when Robertson was out.
C/OG Gabe Ikard, 6’3/298, Oklahoma
Ikard is smart, strong and versatile allowing him to play multiple positions along the OL. I don’t think Andre Gurode will be retained next season so here we become some nice OL depth.
6th round (comp)
FB Chad Abram, 6’0/229, Florida State
Abram showed great work ethic when he transitioned from FS to full back and he’s looked like a Vonta Leach 2.0 thus far for FSU. He’s just as big as Leach and plays a similar role as well, as both a lead blocker and as a guy who can come out of the backfield and catch the ball. He has been key in helping that offense run successfully out of I-Form type packages. He’s shown he can blow up people too. With Abram lining up as the true FB, Marcel Reece can finally be utilized as the match up nightmare he ought to be.
Steve Hull, WR, Illinois (6’2/200)
Hull’s been really under the radar up until recently. He to is a converted safety this season, again showing the work ethic. He’s a fairly big bodied receiver with reliable hands who can be a match up nightmare against smaller defensive backs (check out his catch in traffic against Purdue, he had no right to get that ball). He’s also deceptively quick once he gets in his stride. His biggest skill is his route running. He’s been producing as over his last 3 games he has averaged 166 receiving yards. Against Indiana he had 224 yds and 2 TDs, against Ohio State he had 105 yds and 1 TD and against Purdue he had 169 yds and 2 TDs.
7th round via Arizona
Jimmie Ward, S, Northern Illinois (5’11/192)
Ward is a legit play-maker, a tough hard nosed player who fights through injuries, and an emotional leader. His leadership and play making ability has been a big asset to Northern Illinois en route to a 12-0 record. If Woodson is retained he’d learn a lot from him. He has 74 tackles, 6 INTs, 1 sack, 5 pass deflections and a TD already this season. I wanted to draft a S earlier in case Woodson retires but Ward is the best they could do at this juncture and has a high motor and heart, exactly what Reggie and DA like.