Yesterday, 133 days from the 2013 NFL Draft, ESPN’s Todd McShay released his first mock draft. McShay laments his projections as “dominated” by defensive players, while citing a general deficit of offensive skill players as the culprit. Surprisingly–to me, anyway–Matt Barkley, quarterback of the USC Trojans, is not among the first rounders. Meanwhile, eagle-scout and all-around great guy, Manti Te’o, slips out of the top-ten, which might be of interest to the Raiders.
Of even greater interest to the Raiders, according to McShay’s mock draft, is Bjoern Werner, the defensive end from Florida State. McShay believes pass rusher will be priority one in the Raiders’ front office. In McShay’s view, the Raiders will have two choices: Werner or LSU DE Barkevious Mingo. Though Mingo possess a “better natural skill set as a pass-rusher,” McShay has the Raiders selection Werner because he “is the more consistent player and has a better all-around game.”
Christopher Hansen is the founder of Raidersblog.com and lead AFC West blogger for the Bleacher Report. Hansen has been covering the Raiders for the past five seasons, and it shows. Hansen’s analysis is always insightful and impartial. You can find his most recent work HERE. If you prefer brevity, then follow him on Twitter: @ChrisHansenNFL
DeMarcus Davis has been a staple in the Raiders’ press box where he provides coverage for the Silver & Black Report. A jack-of-all-trades, Davis mostly focuses on the audiovisual these days, but he will also contribute discerning prose from time to time (as you’ll see below). You can see his work HERE. You can also follow him on Twitter: @DeMarcusRFNET
Chris McClain covers the Raiders for the Silver & Black Report as well. In addition to the Raiders, McClain reports on the Sacramento Kings and Rivercats, the triple-A affiliate of the Oakland A’s. Check out his work HERE. And, follow him on Twitter: @SB_ChrisMcClain
EBSG: If it were up to you, who would the Raiders pick in the 2013 NFL Draft?
CH: Jarvis Jones. The Raiders need a pass rusher and a linebacker. Finding middle or inside linebackers later in the draft is easier and the Raiders should waste another top pick at the position no matter how much the hype grows for Manti Te’o. The Raiders have a lot of needs, but many of those needs can be filled in other ways. Pass rush comes at a premium and the Raiders will have a premium draft pick that need not be wasted on an interior player.
DD: If we’re talking about first round picks, I’d say trade down… that’s even if LB Manti Te’o is there when the Raiders pick. The team has so many holes to fill, draft picks will be a premium for them. Plus, they don’t have a 2nd round selection because of the Carson Palmer trade. Trade down in the 1st round if possible and try to get an extra pick for the 2nd round.
CM: If I were Reggie McKenzie I would take my top-10 pick and try and trade down in the draft to get some extra ammo in draft picks. The team has so many holes in its current roster that not any one top-10 draft pick is going to fix it. More draft picks will allow McKenzie to build some depth and will also allow him to find some late-round gems.
Should they keep their position, which may be a top-five pick, I wouldn’t be surprised if they go offensive line or defensive line. The game is won in the trenches. McKenzie my decide to go defensive tackle in Star Lotulelei out of Utah, or Johnathan Hankins out of Ohio State.
It would be hard for McKenzie to not find a position of need since there are so many holes in the current Raiders roster.
Thanks again to Chris Hansen, Chris McClain and DeMarcus Davis for participating