We're nearing the 2018 NFL Draft, as we're a little over a week away.
Let’s take a closer look at who the draft experts have the Silver and Black selecting:
Expert | Matt Miller
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.
Expert | Chris Trapasso
Breakdown: Another surprise early in the draft, with Edmunds going ahead of Roquan Smith. WIth the former Virginia Tech star, there's just too much upside for Reggie McKenzie and Jon Gruden to ignore.
Expert | R.J. White
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.
Expert | Mel Kiper Jr.
Breakdown: This pick has been the same since Mock Draft 1.0 because Smith just makes sense as the new face of Jon Gruden's defense (with Khalil Mack, of course). Oakland's linebacker play was abysmal in 2017, and Smith is the type of sideline-to-sideline player that every defensive coordinator covets. Smith can play all three downs, and he also could pitch in and rush the passer.
Expert | Todd McShay
Breakdown: The Raiders would love Roquan Smith as well, but he's off the board here. Edmunds is a physical freak (4.54 40 at 6-4, 253 pounds), who can play sideline to sideline at linebacker and gives Oakland more speed on defense.
Expert | Lance Zierlein
Breakdown: The Raiders want to get bigger and better up the middle. Vea's ability to stuff the run with his massive frame and underrated quickness makes him a great fit.
Expert | Bucky Brooks
Breakdown: Explosive sideline-to-sideline player would quickly become Khalil Mack's tag-team partner as a destructive force on the second level.
Expert | Daniel Jeremiah
Breakdown: Oakland is desperate for playmakers in the back end. Fitzpatrick has an ideal combination of versatility, ball skills and intelligence.
Expert | Charley Casserly
Breakdown: The Raiders bolster their defense by adding the best linebacker in the draft.
Expert | Charles Davis
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
Breakdown: They've already signed Tahir Whitehead, and adding Smith instantly gives the Raiders a great group at the second level for Paul Guenther's defensive scheme.
Expert | Peter Schrager
Breakdown: Total playmaker against the run and pass. He was often the best player -- lack of size, be damned -- on the field in SEC games loaded with talent. The Raiders need defensive talent, and they need it in all areas.
Expert | Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz
Breakdown: Aiding former defensive player of the year Khalil Mack is a priority for Jon Gruden, and Edmunds is the kind of player who can help redirect attention from opposing offenses. His supersized frame (6-5, 253) and remarkable athleticism should make him an asset both as a run stuffer and edge rusher.
Pro Football Focus
Expert | Steve Palazzolo
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.
Expert | Walter Cherepinsky
Breakdown: Donald Penn, 35 by the end of the month, is coming off a Lisfranc injury and reportedly won't be ready to return for a couple of months. This is obviously a big concern. Meanwhile, Oakland has a huge hole at right tackle. Offensive tackle is a position absolutely must be addressed early in the draft.
Mike McGlinchey is the top tackle in this class, and there's speculation that he'll be a top-10 pick. This is the most logical destination for him in that range.
Expert | Dan Kadar
Breakdown: Although the Raiders have signed four cornerbacks and two safeties, they still could use a player like Fitzpatrick. He can be lined up in the slot and in deep coverage. Fitzpatrick has great awareness and the top athleticism to take advantage of it.
Expert | Albert Breer
Breakdown: The hope of Smith falling seems to be slowly dying. And Oakland has quietly done its work on this freakish athlete.