NFL Draft Expert Mike Mayock
It's no secret that one of the key components to becoming a successful team in the NFL is building through the draft. In 2017, the Oakland Raiders will be slated with the 24th overall pick and have a slew of talented players to choose from.
The upcoming draft class in particular is loaded with a wide array of defensive prospects, and features a standout class of secondary players. Evaluating all the talent can be a handful, but luckily, NFL analyst Mike Mayock does that for us, and Monday morning he shared his thoughts on the 2017 draft class via conference call.
The Silver and Black finished 26th in yards allowed per game last season, and will enter the draft – along with free agency – looking to add some depth to their defensive unit. While breaking down the Raiders, Mayock shared that he believes the team could use the 24th overall pick to add a playmaker, whether it's on offense or defense.
"I think when you're looking at Oakland, when you're that late in the round anyway, I think you've got to take a step back and get a really good football player," said Mayock. "I think the running back situation is interesting. I'm not sure there are going to be any tackles at that point. I think they also have to look at linebackers and at 24, I think there are some interesting guys off the line linebackers."
The Silver and Black certainly don't have a shortage of playmakers on the team, but Mayock could have a point when it comes to adding some depth to the linebacker corps. With defensive end Khalil Mack and linebacker Bruce Irvin rushing the edge, the Raiders defense can take a step forward with a capable playmaker in the middle of the field.
At the top of Mayock's player by position list is Florida State running back Dalvin Cook, Alabama defensive lineman Jonathan Allen, and Alabama linebacker Reuben Foster. The NFL Combine will kick off Wednesday afternoon in Indianapolis, and NFL Network will air live coverage March 3-6 beginning at 6 a.m. PT.