Oakland Raiders Mock Draft 2014

As you all now I am an Oakland Raiders fan. Thus I decided to publish my way too early mock draft ūüôā

Comp Picks (speculation)

Philip Wheeler-4th round pick

Desmond Bryant-4th round pick

Brandon Myers-6th round pick

Trades:

7th round pick from Arizona via Carson Palmer trade

Traded 5th round pick to Seahawks for Matt Flynn (SMH)

The Draft:

1st round

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.

2nd round

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.

3rd Round

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.

4th Round

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.

6th round

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.

7th round

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.

49ers’ secondary: Now and Later Part 1

Hello Readers! Today I will be writing about the current 49ers’ Secondary as well as their secondary of the future.

Last year, if you told me that the 49ers’ secondary would feature Eric Reid (who at the time, was projected to go in the late first round to the late second round), Donte Whitner (who allowed 16 receiving touchdowns last year in his coverage, including playoffs, according to PFF), Carlos Rogers (who looked downright horrible at times last year, especially when faced up against true slot wide receivers like Danny Amendola and Victor Cruz), Tarell Brown (who looked very mediocre at best in the playoffs), and Tramaine Brock (4-year roster bubble player), I would have been alarmed. In fact, I would have been even further irritated at the fact that Chris Culliver, who many, myself included, believed was the 49ers’ best DB last year, was out for the season.

But this secondary is playing amazingly so far. In fact, the 49ers have the 6th best passing defense in the league, allowing 217 yards a game through the air and just a 55.9 completion percentage. And in terms of QB rating, we are 4th in the league, allowing a meager 73.6 QBR. And while not all of our opposing QBs have been worthy opponents (looking at you Matt Schaub), we have faced the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, and Andrew Luck. Heck, we even handed Jake Locker his first interception of the season. While credit goes to the front 7 as well, this secondary has been doing there job–and more, forcing 9 interceptions on the year, the same amount of touchdowns they have allowed. All 5 of the defensive backs used in the 49ers nickel formation–Eric Reid, Donte (W)hitner, Tarell Brown, Carlos Rogers, and Tramaine Brock) each have PFF grade of +3.4 or higher on the season.

To start at the very top, Eric Reid has made Dashon Goldson proud, with his turnover-forcing ways and his extremely hard hits. But most 49er fans have already forgot that name by now, as Reid has so far been an upgrade over Goldson. He plays exactly like Goldson, with one major difference: He doesn’t take unnecessary risks. Reid is already playing like a true, experienced veteran, and while he is a great hitter, he has yet to be fined by the league for his viscous, yet legal, hits. But his partner in crime Donte (W)hitner has been doing amazing as well. In fact, he has yet to allow a single touchdown in his coverage so far this season. While his worst asset of his game last year was pass coverage, where he allowed a 128.5 QBR, he has only allowed a 44.5 QBR this year when he is targeted. The necessity of this safety tandem is well documented, and was shown this past Sunday. On the first play of the game that both Reid and Whitner were on the sidelines (viewed as minor injuries for both of them), the 49ers defense let up their first TD of the game, a 66 yard pass reception by Chris Johnson.

But the secondary group can’t be overlooked. Tramaine Brock has really come lit on fire in recent weeks. Ever since Nnamdi Asomugha was sidelined with injuries he has since recovered from, Brock has inspired the 49ers coaching staff and FO to keep Asomugha inactive. He had his coming out party against the Texans. In the Matt Schaub’s very first pass attempt, Brock made sure to give Schaub a favor and put Schaub’s name in the record books–by giving him the record for most games in a row with a pick six. But that wasn’t a one-play fluke– since that play he has added two more interceptions, giving him the team lead to share with Reid, although Brock has achieved 3 picks in much less PT. Carlos Rogers, on the other hand, has been a bit more on and off. Ever since his 6 interception effort in 2011, Rogers has only had 2 interceptions in 23 starts. But he has proven that he can be solid at times. The Arizona Cardinals game was one such example, a game where he had 2 passes defensed and one interception. And Tarell Brown, who most believe has been the 49ers’ best cornerback over the course of the season, has been nothing short of this. The only reason he doesn’t have an interception this season is because no sensible QB wants to pick on him. Despite this he still has an impressive 6 passes defended already this season. Games like the aforementioned 49ers-Texans week 5 matchup really shows this. That week he allowed just 25 yards in 7 passes intended in his direction, and graded out as PFF’s top corner of the week a +4.4 rating. Week 4 against the Rams wasn’t a bad game either, where he fell just one defensed pass short of his career high of 5 in a game.

In conclusion, the 49ers secondary has been stellar throughout the first 7 weeks of the season, and there is no indication as of yet that they won’t continue this trend. Every member of this 49ers’ secondary has played outstanding football and they are definetly outplaying their expectations. Please stay tuned. For Part 2, which will be released sometime later this week, ¬†I will break down the future of this secondary, what the 49ers should do with many of their CBs hitting free agency next year, and how the 49ers should address the secondary through next year’s draft.

By the way all statistics are from NFL.com and PFF

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