May 14, 2014

2014 NFL Draft Review: Oakland Raiders

#46 Khalil Mack, OLB, Buffalo

Oakland Raiders
Division: AFC West | Last Season Record: 4-12

What Needed to be addressed in the Draft: Matt Schaub is not the long term answer at quarterback, so taking a signal caller early on would have been a good idea. Their offensive line will be better, but they need to find at least one new starter up front. They may also want to think about investing a mid-late round pick in a running back, and it never hurts to add another pass catcher.

Oakland should have targeted a pass rusher early, and getting better on the defensive line in general would have made sense. They should have also drafted a linebacker, and a couple of defensive backs to potentially develop.

Individual Draft Picks:

Round 1

5. (5) Khalil Mack, OLB
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Buffalo
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 252 lbs.

Round 2

4. (36) Derek Carr, QB
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Fresno State
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 215 lbs.

Round 3

17. (81) Gabe Jackson, OG
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Mississippi State
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 339 lbs.

Round 4

7. (107) Justin Ellis, NT
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Louisiana Tech
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 342 lbs.

16. (116) Keith McGill, CB
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Utah
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 213 lbs.

Round 7

4. (219) Travis Carrie, CB
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Ohio
Height: 6-0 | Weight: 206 lbs.

20. (235) Shelby Harris, DE
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Illinois State
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 288 lbs.

32. (247) Jonathan Dowling*, FS
Experience: Junior (RS) | School: Western Kentucky
Height: 6-3 | Weight: 190 lbs.

Two Picks of Note:

Best Value Pick:

Derek Carr, QB (Round 2, Pick 4)
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Fresno State
Height: 6-2 | Weight: 215 lbs.

Analysis: Landing the potential face of your franchise outside of round one deserves praise every time. The Raiders were considering Derek Carr in a trade back scenario in the first round, so you can only imagine that they were ecstatic to land him in the second.

Most Questionable Pick:

Travis Carrie, CB (Round 7, Pick 4)
Experience: Senior (RS) | School: Ohio
Height: 6-0 | Weight: 206 lbs.

Analysis: You know a team had a great draft when the only pick you really question is a 7th round selection. The only problem I have with this pick is that the Raiders could have potentially looked at a running back or receiver here, but a healthy Travis Carrie may develop into a solid #4 cornerback.

Undrafted Free Agent Signings:

Most Notable

Mike Davis, WR
Experience: Senior | School: Texas
Height: 6-0 | Weight: 189 lbs.

Analysis: Mike Davis is a fast receiver who can stretch the field as a vertical guy. Al Davis would have loved him. I think there's a good chance he makes the 53-man roster.

Other Free Agent Signings

Karl Williams, FB, Utah
George Atkinson III, RB, Notre Dame
DJ Coles, WR, Virginia Tech
Scott Simonson, TE, Assumption
Jake Murphy, TE, Utah
Danny Kistler, OT, Montana
Carlos Fields Jr., LB, Winston Salem State
Noel Grigsby, WR, San Jose State
Austin Flynn, DE, Arkansas
Rob Henry, QB, Purdue
Jarek Lancaster, LB, Stanford
Curtis Porter, DT, Miami
Darius Millines, WR, Colorado State-Pueblo
Erie Ladson, OT, Delaware
Mike Hunchak, OT, Monmouth
Johnnie Farms, DT, Memphis

Draft Review:

Analysis: Oakland was able to land one of the elite players in the draft at pick #5. Khalil Mack will be an immediate impact player. He could start at outside linebacker, and put his hand in the dirt on third downs, allowing Justin Tuck to kick inside.

Derek Carr was a second round steal. He could have easily been a top 20 pick. He has all the tools to be a very good NFL quarterback. Don't be surprised if he's under center on opening day, and not Matt Schaub.

Gabe Jackson was another steal in the middle of the third round. They moved back in a trade with the Dolphins, picked up an extra fourth rounder, and selected one of the top 2-3 guards in this class to help solidify the offensive line.

I thought Justin Ellis was more of a late 4th round pick, but I wouldn't necessarily consider him a reach. While he doesn't offer much as a pass rusher, he should eventually replace Pat Sims as their run stuffing, 4-3 nose tackle.

Keith McGill was another sold pick in round 4. He is 25 years old, but he's a big, long armed press corner who can also play safety. The Raiders may have gotten their Brandon Browner.

I also liked each of their 7th round picks. Travis Carrie gives them more depth, but he's talented enough to exceed expectations. Shelby Harris played 30 pounds lighter than what he weighed at the combine, but he's got great length and could stick as a rotational DE.

Safety Jonathan Dowling played at Florida before being kick off the team in 2011. He's very talented. He could develop into more than just a backup.

The Verdict: GM Reggie McKenzie came out of this draft with an elite pass rusher, a potential franchise quarterback, a starting guard, a future starting nose tackle, and a pair of big defensive backs with high upside. Each of their selections were solid, filled a need, and ultimately, were good value picks.

Overall Grade: A