NFL mock draft 2019: How Jon Gruden, Mike Mayock could use Raiders' picks


The Raiders are moving ever closer to their most important NFL draft in recent memory. It will reset this Raiders roster thanks to four selections in the top 35 and three in the first round.

That’s where the Silver and Black will reap rewards for trading Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper and, of course, earning the fourth overall pick by playing terrible football.

Mock drafts are continually updated these days, with some top analysts offering their first mock while others alter initial projections. Let’s take a look at four quality sources and see which guys they see the Raiders taking in the first round:

Will Brinson, CBS Sports
No. 4:
DE Rashan Gary, Michigan
No. 24 (via Chicago): WR Kelvin Harmon, N.C. State
No. 27 (via Dallas): TE Noah Fant, Iowa

What was said about Gary: “The Raiders need to get defensive help with their first pick if they're not sold on a quarterback and Gary can give them a physical presence on the defensive line, where they badly need to reload after trading Khalil Mack.”

What was said about Harmon: “Trading away Amari Cooper and losing Martavis Bryant and leaning on Jordy Nelson is not sustainable to help Derek Carr. The Raiders need to get him a weapon and Harmon would be a great fit in Jon Gruden's offense; he's the type of receiver who can move the chains and also body up dudes down the field.”

What was said about Fant: “The Raiders walking out of the draft with a top tier defensive lineman, a top tier wideout and a top tier tight end? That would be a pretty incredible haul for Jon Gruden and Mike Mayock. They'd land high on the grades list and on most "winners" list for the draft (having three first-round picks makes that easy but whatever).”

Chad Reuter,
No. 4:
DE Rashan Gary, Michigan
No. 24 (via Chicago): CB DeAndre Baker, Georgia
No. 27 (via Dallas): S Nasir Adderley, Delaware

What was said about Gary: “The Raiders have to address their pass rush -- they recorded a league-low 13 sacks in 2018 after trading Khalil Mack.”

What was said about Baker: “Free agency could leave the cupboard pretty bare for Oakland at cornerback, so Baker lands here to fill the void.”

What was said about Adderley: “Adderley's toughness and coverage skills are earning him first-round grades.”

Michael Renner, Pro Football Focus
No. 4: 
DE/OLB Josh Allen, Kentucky
No. 24 (via Chicago): DT Christian Wilkins, Clemson
No. 27 (via Dallas): CB Amani Oruwariye, Penn State

What was said about Allen: “Everyone and their mother knows the Raiders need an edge and Allen led all college edge defenders in overall grade this past season.”

What was said about Williams: “Wilkins had far and away the best season of his career in 2018, but he’ll turn 24 already as a rookie. The Raiders at the moment can use all the NFL-ready talent they can get.”

What was said about Oruwariye: “Oruwariye had the best week of any corner at the Senior Bowl earning the highest win rate during the 1-on-1s. He’s an incredibly smooth athlete for being 6-foot-1 with 32-inch arms that likely moved up some boards.”

Ryan Wilson, CBS Sports
No. 4: 
DL Quinnen Williams, Alabama
No. 24 (via Chicago): DE Jachai Polite, Florida
No. 27 (via Dallas): LB Mack Wilson, Alabama

What was said about Williams: “Quinnen Williams could end up being the best player in this draft class. He was dominant last season for Alabama after sitting behind Da'Ron Payne (a Redskins first-rounder last spring) in 2017. The Raiders desperately need an edge rusher but Williams' ability to regularly bring pressure up the middle makes him hard to pass up here.”

What was said about Polite: “Polite, who had a breakout season at Florida, has an explosive first step and off-the-chart physical abilities. His knack for getting in the backfield was unrivaled at times this fall, and he'll give Jon Gruden a much-needed legit pass-rushing threat off the edge.”

[RELATED: Breaking down early Raiders seven-round forecast]

What was said about Wilson: “The Raiders defense needs help everywhere and Wilson is coming off a great season with the Crimson Tide and possesses the skills NFL teams look for in their linebackers these days: Sideline-to-sideline speed, ability to cover athletic tight ends, and a high IQ. Wilson stands out in all these areas.”

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