We are finally about to get to the end of the Top Ten in our 2018 Daily Norseman Community Mock Draft. In the interest of brevity from here on out, I’m just going to put the five most recent picks here at the top of the page. If you want to see the entirety of the draft, you can check out the stream where we have all of the individual posts in one place.
5. Denver Broncos - Quenton Nelson, G, Notre Dame
7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama
8. Chicago Bears - Denzel Ward, CB, Ohio State
9. San Francisco 49ers - Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia
Now, to round out the Top Ten, we now take a look at the Oakland Raiders and their new/old coach, Jon Gruden. Gruden appears to be assembling a heck of a Madden 2012 team this offseason, but now the Raiders will be forced to take someone of a slightly newer vintage. Who will the Silver and Black turn to with the tenth overall pick? Let’s take a look.
2017 record: 6-10 (3rd place, AFC West)
DE Tank Carradine (free agent signing), TE Derek Carrier (free agent signing), OT Breno Giacomini (free agent signing), S Marcus Gilchrist (free agent signing), CB Leon Hall (free agent signing), LB Emmanuel Lamur (free agent signing), RB Doug Martin (free agent signing), CB Rashaan Melvin (free agent signing), WR Jordy Nelson (free agent signing), FB Keith Smith (free agent signing), LB Tahir Whitehead (free agent signing)
CB David Amerson (signed with Kansas City), DE Denico Autry (signed with Indianapolis), CB T.J. Carrie (signed with Cleveland), WR Michael Crabtree (signed with Baltimore), P Marquette King (released), OT Marshall Newhouse (signed with Buffalo), FB Jamize Olawale (traded to Dallas), WR Cordarrelle Patterson (traded to New England), CB Sean Smith (released), TE Clive Walford (waived, claimed by New York Jets)
Defensive tackle - The Raiders have a couple of pretty solid run-stuffers at defensive tackle in Justin Ellis and Eddie Vanderdoes. However, they need a player that can get after the quarterback from the interior to pair with one of those big guys.
Offensive tackle - The Raiders are pretty solidly set on the interior of their offensive line, with guards Kelechi Osemele and Gabe Jackson flanking center Rodney Hudson. Donald Penn is a solid left tackle, but he’s 35 years old and the Raiders could start looking into a replacement for him. At the other tackle spot, Newhouse was a disaster last season, and is now plying his trade in Buffalo. The team signed Giacomini to replace him, but the Raiders can almost certainly do better than that.
Secondary - The Raiders’ pass defense was woeful in 2017, and they have holes all over the place. Karl Joseph is decent enough at one safety spot, but his job is more of an in-the-box sort of safety. The team brought back Reggie Nelson, who isn’t getting any younger, and the team isn’t sure what to do with Obi Melifonwu. . .is he a safety or a corner? Speaking of corners, the Raiders started Amerson and Smith at the corners last year, and they’re both gone, so that tells you how that went.
Wide receiver - The Raiders released Michael Crabtree and have replaced him with Jordy Nelson while also expressing interest in Eric Decker. Not a promising sign. They can also never be sure which Amari Cooper is going to show up in any given week. In any event, they need help at the receiver spot to give Derek Carr some more targets.
Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida - The title of the second-best corner in this year’s class is up for debate, but we’ll give Hughes that title in this case. He transferred from North Carolina to Central Florida, and only played one year for the Golden Knights. He’s a little rough around the edges, but is outstanding in man coverage and may have the highest upside of any corner in this class.
Derwin James, S, Florida State - James has been passed on most draft boards at the safety position by Minkah Fitzpatrick (who went two picks ago), but was widely regarded as a potential Top 5 selection going into the 2017 college football season. He’s more of an in-the-box safety than a center fielder, but certainly has the skills to eventually develop into a player that can do both.
Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame - McGlinchey would almost certainly step in immediately at right tackle for the Raiders, and the Raiders could draft him with an eye on him potentially taking over for Donald Penn at left tackle. McGlinchey is probably the best pure offensive tackle in this class, and the Raiders certainly could use him right away.
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama - We’ve had Ridley on the board here for a while, but he could potentially make a lot of sense for the Raiders. He’s got speed to burn and could be a very solid option out of the slot. As we detailed above, the Raiders’ receivers need an injection of youth, and Ridley could potentially provide it.
Vita Vea, DT, Washington - I know we said that the Raiders need pass rushers on the interior and not run stuffers, but Vea is just the sort of guy that screams “Raider” to me for some reason. He’s big, he’s nasty, and while he’s mostly a run stuffer now, he certainly has the athletic ability to develop into a solid pass rusher, too.
That’s a look at the Oakland Raiders, folks. Tomorrow, we’ll start the “Next Ten” of our draft with the Miami Dolphins at #11. . .and hey, we get to talk about quarterbacks again! Won’t that be fun?
With the tenth pick in the 2018 Daily Norseman Community Mock Draft, the Oakland Raiders (should) select ____________
This poll is closed
Mike Hughes, CB, Central Florida
Derwin James, S, Florida State
Mike McGlinchey, OT, Notre Dame
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama
Vita Vea, DT, Washington