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Oakland Raiders 2018 Mock Draft Tracker: 7.0

Posted Mar 26, 2018

We're a month from the draft, take a look at who the analysts have the Raiders selecting.

The 2018 NFL Draft is a month away.

Let’s take a closer look at who the draft experts have the Silver and Black selecting:

Bleacher Report

Expert | Matt Miller

Selection: Josh Jackson, CB, Iowa

Breakdown: Even after selecting cornerback Gareon Conley in the first round last season, the Oakland Raiders are in need of help at the position. The prospect of pairing Conley, who missed most of the 2017 season with a shin injury, and Josh Jackson looks like an instant fix for a secondary that was torched often last year.

Jackson has ideal size (6'1", 192 lbs) and grabbed eight interceptions in his junior year before entering the NFL draft. He doesn't have blinding speed (4.56 seconds in the 40) but is quick and physical at the line of scrimmage. His press and bail technique are the best of the top-tier corners I've studied.

The Raiders could look to get younger on the offensive line with this selection, but new coach Jon Gruden should resist the urge to draft offensive players and instead focus on fixing his defense.


CBS Sports

Expert | Chris Trapasso

Selection: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Breakdown: Don't overthink this, Gruden. Smith is a sideline-to-sideline tackling machine with plus coverage ability. Suddenly, paired with Tahir Whitehead, the Raiders would have a dynamic linebacker duo for the first time in a while.

Expert | R.J. White

Selection: Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State

Breakdown: The Raiders are seeing massive turnover at the cornerback position with David Amerson, Sean Smith and T.J. Carrie out the door. Rashaan Melvin was a nice pickup, but Shareece Wright is nothing more than depth. Enter Ward, an elite cover corner who has everything but prototypical size. He'll be an excellent slot corner and should excel in Oakland, where Melvin and Gareon Conley can match up with bigger receivers.


ESPN

Expert | Mel Kiper Jr.

Selection: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Breakdown: This match makes too much sense, so I'm sticking with it. Smith could be the centerpiece of Jon Gruden's defense, playing inside linebacker. He had 137 tackles, 14 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks last season, and he was a force in the College Football Playoff, making plays from sideline to sideline.

Expert | Todd McShay

Selection: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Breakdown: Oakland has needs all over on defense (CB, LB, edge rusher) and not enough available cap room to make huge upgrades in free agency. Smith would be a good building block for the Raiders' defense, as a rangy weakside linebacker with fast eyes and terrific closing speed. He's also a great leader and possesses tremendous football character.


NFL.com

Expert | Lance Zierlein

Selection: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Breakdown: The Raiders have been in need of help at inside linebacker for a while, and they get an ascending playmaker in this spot.

Expert | Bucky Brooks

Selection: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Breakdown: The Raiders need more speed and playmaking ability on the second level of their defense. Smith is a sideline-to-sideline defender with outstanding instincts and awareness.

Expert | Daniel Jeremiah

Selection: Jaire Alexander, CB, Louisville

Breakdown: Alexander is coming off a phenomenal combine performance and Oakland needs an upgrade in the secondary.

Expert | Charley Casserly

Selection: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

Breakdown: Edmunds is the best all-around LB in the draft.

Expert | Charles Davis

Selection: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

Breakdown: Don't worry, Mr. Davis, Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie has not forgotten your mantras about speed, and selects a multi-dimensional 'backer who can run with TEs, RBs, and chase down QBs, too.

Expert | Chad Reuter

Selection: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Breakdown: If the Raiders want speed at the second level, they'll go for Smith.


USA Today

Expert | Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz

Selection: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

Breakdown: The 6-5, 253-pounder is the kind of singular physical prospect that Al Davis would have coveted. Oakland needs all the defensive help it can find, and Edmunds brings a rare physical makeup, albeit one kept in check by instincts that are still under development.


Pro Football Focus

Expert | Steve Palazzolo

Selection: Bradley Chubb, EDGE, NC State

Breakdown: The Raiders are still looking for a viable threat opposite Khalil Mack and Chubb offers a three-down option on the edge. He’s outstanding in the run game, where he rarely loses and finished second in the draft class with a run-stop percentage of 11.0. Chubb has continued to improve as a pass-rusher, where he has the burst to challenge tackles and pairs that with the power and hand usage to win off the edge.


WalterFootball.com

Expert | Walter Cherepinsky

Selection: Tremaine Edmunds, LB, Virginia Tech

Breakdown: The Raiders added a couple of semi-decent linebackers in free agency, but they still need a stud player at the position if they don't want to field one of the weakest units in the league again.

Compared to Anthony Barr by some, Tremaine Edmunds is a very athletic linebacker with great instincts.


SB Nation

Expert | Dan Kadar

Selection: Derwin James, LB/S, Florida State

Breakdown: There are a ton of possibilities for the Raiders with the 10th pick. This pick has typically been reserved for Washington defensive tackle Vita Vea, but after signing Justin Ellis, he may not be the choice. James is a player Oakland could use as a hybrid safety/linebacker, letting him come up against the run or covering tight ends out of the backfield.


MMQB

Expert | Albert Breer

Selection: Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia

Breakdown: Another fit I’ve loved for a while, this is where “best player available” meets a crying need for a team. Smith has potential, as a middle linebacker, to emerge as the nerve center of a defense for a decade.


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