Front office transactions
OT Donald Penn 32yo unsigned
FS Charles Woodson 39yo retired
DE Justin Tuck 32yo retired
WR Rod Streater 27yo unsigned
WR Andre Holmes 27yo unsigned
C Tony Bergstrom 29yo unsigned
FS Taylor Mays 27yo unsigned
WR Jermey Ross 27yo unsigned
LS Thomas Gafford 32 unsigned
FAST Free Agency
Last season the headliner in free agency was on the offensive side of the ball, this season it’s the defenses’ turn to receive such attention.
DE Mario Williams – The second most pivotal acquisition of the off-season. This traditional 9-tech 43 DE would be the perfect complimentary piece to Khalil Mack’s game. The Raiders would instantly have the best defensive line in the NFL. Either player can effectively rush from either side of the ball with either his hand in the dirt or standing. Don’t put to much stock into who’s rushing from what side.
— UPDATE —
The Bills plan to lock up Cordy Glenn by franchise tag if necessary. Hence, the Bills cannot afford to keep Williams aside from the fact their relationship with Williams is now toxic. Williams has stated he is willing to take a pay cut. Malik Jackson has multiple ties to the Raiders. However, GM Elway has made keeping Jackson in the fold a priority.
SS George Iloka – Style and stature very reminiscent of SEA SS Kam Chancellor. Can play either safety position.
Word right now is that Iloka has a decent chance to reach free agency. Spotrac.com calculates Iloka’s value near 4yrs/$24M
It appears the Rams have made resigning CB Trumaine Johnson a priority.
Quick NFL Mock Draft
(1) OSU DE Joey Bosa – Current Titans LT Lewan was a top 15 LT in 2015 and a very young player. The Titans already have their cornerstone OT. This one is easy, the Titans draft best player in the draft who is also the most marketable and probably has the highest floor. It’s a no-brainer.
(2) Ole’ Miss OT Laremy Tunsil – Current LT Joe Thomas has been hinting he wants out for years. Drafting Tunsil makes Thomas expendable and frees up money to resign RT Schwartz. Possibly, Thomas could be traded later for the assets to acquire a QB later in this draft or the next.
** TRADE **
(Note: This trade will occur immediately after the conclusion of the 2016 draft)
(3) FSU CB Jalen Ramsey – Arguably the most transcendent player in the draft falls in the bolts lap.
(4) RB Ezekiel Elliot – The Cowboys shake up sports analytics and draft a transcendent player at RB giving the Cowboys a dynamic offense.
(5)Clemson DE Shaq Lawson – Jags go with the best edge rusher available to pair with 2015 1st rounder OLB/DE Dante Fowler
(6) Alabama DT A’Shawn Robinson – GM Ozzie Newsome LOVES his BAMA Boys and Robinson is going to be a good one.
(7) Cal QB Jared Goff – Keapernick wants out. 49ers don’t want the PR associated with the last time they needed a QB and passed on the on the best prospect from Cal.
(8) North Dakota QB Carson Wentz – QB isn’t want Miami goes into the draft looking for until one falls in their lap.
(9)Florida CB Vernon Hargreaves III – CB is a position of need and TB loves prospects from Florida. Hargreaves had a down season but he’ll likely shine at the combine.
(10)Ole’ Miss WR LaQuon Treadwell – With Cruz unsure to return to form the Giants now have a hammer & sickle combination at WR.
(11)Notre Dame OT Ronnie Stanley – Now that Cutler is playing better the Bears need to protect him.
(12)Memphis QB Paxton Lynch – QBotF to be slowly groomed behind Brees.
(13)Michigan State OT Jack Conklin – LT Peters is 34yrs old and expensive. Lane is younger and extremely athletic swings over to the left. Conklin slides in at RT.
** TRADE **
(14)Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg – Houston squashed rumors they were interested in trading for Keapernick. The Texans would content to wait on hackenberg to fall to them until there’s a run a QBs. It’s imperative to ahead of the QB needy Rams in the draft.
Oakland Raiders Mock Draft
(22) * OLB Darron Lee l Height: 6’01 ¼” l Weight: 232lbs l 40: 4.47 l Yr: rSo
Reminiscent of: Bucs OLB Lavonte David (2nd rd; 58th overall ’12)
2016 Outlook: Starting WILL
Lee is a sure tackler with outstanding range and athleticism. Based on his unique skill set Lee is one of my favorite value based selections for a position of need for the Raiders. Of the coverage LBs available in the draft Lee is the best option, Lee has fluid hips and with a 4.47 40 he was faster than all but 5 WRs at the combine. In this mock the Raiders trade down while also acquiring one of the best talents in the draft.
(44) OG Germain Ifedi l Height: 6’05 ¾” l Weight: 324lbs l 40: 5.25 l Yr: rJr
Reminiscent of: Ravens OG Kelechi Osemele (2nd rd; 60th overall ’12)
2016 Outlook: Starting RG
I’m very weary of Texas A&M players as the tend to struggle mightily in the pros in pass protection coming from a college spread offense. However, in this particular case Ifedi’s tremendous athleticism cannot be ignored, in addition the presence of OL coach Mike Tice. Rumors suggest that the Raiders would be very interested in Osemele should he reach FA. Rather than engage in a bidding war, perhaps the Raiders opt for Osemele’s doppelganger.
(52)** FS Vonn Bell l Height: 5’10 ¾” l Weight: 199lbs l 40: DNP l Yr: Jr
Reminiscent of: Former Colts SS Mike Doss (2nd rd; 58th overall ’03)
2016 Outlook: Starting FS
With the trade down the Raiders acquire a crucial additional pick. The Raiders are hemorrhaging at multiple positions on defense and the additional pick would go a long way towards addressing multiple needs.
With the 52nd pick the Raider acquire what is considered to be the best safety in the draft. The Raiders run a single high safety which Bell is very experienced in running. He is also very adept at man coverage and is annually near the top in team tackles. I think Bell can make the transition to FS easily in today’s NFL but can, and will, play either safety position easily. Imo, Bell is Mike Doss 2.0 who amassed 101 tackles his rookie season.
“Coach Ash told me at the beginning of the week that my performance could make or break the team,” Bell said. “I had to be able to play the deep balls and tackle very well because I’m the one high safety … just me and him having that conversation, I told him I could chow down for him.”
A two-year starter at safety, Bell lined up mostly as a single-high and nickel safety in Ohio State’s secondary and emerged as a defensive playmaker for the Buckeyes during the team’s national title run in 2014.
(75) SS Jayron Kearse l Height: 6’04” l Weight: 216lbs l 40: 4.62 l Yr: Jr
Reminiscent of: Bengals S George Iloka (5th rd; 167th overall ’12)
2016 Outlook: Depth
This pick needs a lot of explanation as many will question why the Raiders would use a draft pick and free acquisition on the same position. FA Iloka has been transcendent for the Bengals, however he does miss a few games every year. Kearse is a very similar player to Iloka, but similar to Iloka when he first came in the league, he needs a LOT of work. Iloka will be a mentor to Kearse on how to play both safety positions as a longer player.
(111) CB Rashard Robinson l Height: 6’01 ½” l Weight: 171lbs l 40: 4.51 l Yr: Jr
Reminiscent of: Seahawks CB Tharold Simon (5th rd; 138th overall ’13)
2016 Outlook: Depth
Rumors and rouses run abound at this time of the year. It’s impossible to gauge how genuine the interest in Robinson is however with so MANY long CBs with size and speed in the draft it is reasonable to think that the Raiders will address position during the draft at some point.
It is highly anticipated that Robinson will perform much better at his LSU Pro Day. Robinson needs to get a LOT stronger and increase his base and functional strength.
According to a report by Tony Pauline from Draft Insider, Robinson is at least on the Giants’ radar.
Personnel people from the Oakland Raiders and New York Giants believe Robinson would’ve competed for the top cornerback spot in this year’s draft had he played the past two seasons and built upon his impressive freshman campaign. I’m told he will measure over 6-feet/2-inches and is expected to run the forty in the 4.3’s at the combine. I’ve also been told Robinson has been invited to participate at LSU’s pro-day. As someone told me earlier today teams are willing to roll the dice on tall corners that can run fast as the demand far outstrips the supply.
(131)*** WR Marquez North l Height: 6’02 ½” l Weight: 223lbs l 40: 4.48 l Yr: Jr
Reminiscent of: Former Raider WR Denarius Moore (5th rd; 148th overall ’11)
2016 Outlook: Depth
I love this kid as a developmental prospect. I compared him to former Tennessee and Oakland WR Denarius Moore because similarly, I believe North will be a better pro than college player. North is a phenomenal athlete who did not disappoint at the Combine. I really hope the Raiders target North as a developmental WR late in the draft.
(142) RB Tre Madden l Height: 6’00 ¼” l Weight: 223lbs l 40: DNP l Yr: rJr
Reminiscent of: Bucs OLB LaVante David (4th rd; 125th overall ’15)
2016 Outlook: Depth
Southern Cal routinely produced quality RBs. Madden may not be a transcendent athlete but consistent with SC backs he’ll be very solid in pass protection, a quality athlete and a knowledgeable football player.
(176)**** WR Jalin Marshall l Height: 5’10 ½” l Weight: 200lbs l 40: 4.60 l Yr: rJr
Reminiscent of: Pats Slot WR Julian Edelman (7th rd; 232rd overall ’09)
2016 Outlook: PR/KR/Slot
The combine didn’t do Marshall any favors, he measured smaller than expected and tested slower than expected. However, Marshall’s tape shows that he is a phenomenal athlete and inpactful football player. Marshall may not have length but he is stout for his size and will secure the returning duties for a number of years.
(202) OG Jake McGee l Height: 6’05 ½” l Weight: 250lbs l 40: 4.83 l Yr: rSr
Reminiscent of: Former Raider TE Brandon Meyers (6th rd; 202nd overall ’09)
2016 Outlook: Receiving TE
Current receiving TE Rivera will be a FA in 2017 and was one of the least effective TEs in 2015. Walford will take over the bulk of the TE duties, however, the Raiders do need a quality receiving TE to pair him with and Rivera isn’t getting it done. The 2016 is loaded with quality TEs late and someone should be brought in to compete with Rivera.
(53) ILB Kendell Beckwith l Height: 6’02 ⅛” l Weight: 252lbs l 40: 4.80 l Yr: Sr
Reminiscent of: Former Pats MLB Brandon Spikes (2nd rd; 60th overall ’10)
2017 Outlook: Starting MLB
You might have missed the nuance of this pick, but if MLB Beckwith is the Raiders first pick of the 2017 draft, overall pick #52 assumes that the Raiders will make the playoffs in 2016. w00t!