The Oakland Raiders fans have easily been the biggest critics of mock drafts I have ever seen. I think if I had correctly predicted their draft in 2013 — every single pick of it — they would have hated it before it actually happen.
According to what I’ve gathered from Raiders fans thus far in the process, it’s going to be very hard to please a fan base that is very pleased thus far with the free agent acquisitions made, in hopes that this team can return to contention sooner rather than later.
1. First Round, 5th overall: Aaron Donald, DT, Pittsburgh
I don’t know necessarily if the Raiders will stay at this pick. They seem an ideal fit to move down. I won’t project a trade down in this situation, but I’ll pick a player I think the Raiders could target in such a situation. Aaron Donald is a disruptive player with a ton of athletic ability and would bring a nastiness to the Raiders’ defense they desperately need.
2. Second Round, 36th overall: Zach Mettenberger, QB, LSU
Mettenberger is a strong-armed signal caller who has drawn comparisons to Joe Flacco. If the Raiders can come away from the first two rounds with an impact defender and a quarterback of the future, I think you’d have to consider that a major win for them.
3. Third Round, 67th overall: Troy Niklas, TE, Notre Dame
Versatile TE prospect who would be a significant upgrade for the Raiders at a position where Matt Schaub or whatever QB they bring in is going to need a safety valve. Niklas has excellent size and will be a major mismatch for teams in the passing game.
4. Fourth Round, 107th overall: Brock Vereen, S, Minnesota
Fast-rising safety prospect with good size and speed, and has the ability to contribute early as a key special teams player and develop into a starter for Oakland.
5. Seventh Round, 219th overall: Zach Moore, DE, Concordia-St.Paul
Sleeper defensive end prospect with size, athletic ability, and a ton of upside.
6. Seventh Round, 235th overall: Russell Bodine, OL, North Carolina
Really good late value on the offensive line and a guy who could be a key backup for the Raiders.
7. Seventh Round, 247th overall: Lonnie Ballentine, S, Memphis
Big time athlete at 6’3″ 219 pounds who would be a huge upside pick late in the draft. His stock could have risen way past this point by now.