It’s almost that time of year, when owners, coaches, general managers, and the rest of the front office lock themselves in a room and heavily debate which players to draft to improve the team. This room is called the “War Room” for a reason. Everyone in this room is heavily opinionated and has become attached to a prospect that they don’t believe the team can do without.
In this segment, we will put ourselves in the war room and go over the picks we believe teams need to make when they’re on the clock. We’ll cover all 32 teams, but today’s segment is dedicated to the: Oakland Raiders.
A lot of the Raiders’ offseason needs are along the offensive line. Robert Gallery, Langston Walker and Samson Satele are free agents, meaning the Raiders will need to consider tackles, guards and centers in the upcoming draft. Because of the lockout, free agency is on hold and it’ll be interesting to see how teams approach the draft not knowing for sure which free agents they’ll be able to resign.
Quarterback could be a need in Oakland as well. Jason Campbell was up and down last season, but it’s not looking like the Raiders will target any of this year’s top passers. Of course, it’s the Raiders so who the hell knows; maybe they draft Ricky Stanzi with the 48th overall selection—their first in this year’s draft. Receiver is another need, but given that Darrius Heyward-Bey was their first round pick not long ago, it’s unlikely Oakland admits defeat just yet.
On defense, the biggest need is cornerback. Nnamdi Asomugha is expected to leave and although the Raiders invested a lot of money in Stanford Routt, I expect them to look for a talented young corner in this draft. The Raiders could also look for help along the defensive line and at outside linebacker in the draft.
Oakland Raiders Mock Draft
Round 2 (#48): Gabe Carimi, OT, Wisconsin Badgers: I’ll stick with what Jayson Braddock and I gave the Raiders in our latest two-round mock draft. It’s hard to say what will become of the tackle class this year. The top five could go in the first round, or a couple could sneak into the second round, where they’d be great picks. Fortunately for the Raiders, they need offensive line help and if Carimi is available, this is a great pick—something Raiders fans could get used to I’m sure.
Round 3 (#81): Kendric Burney, CB, North Carolina Tar Heels: If the 48th pick is not a cornerback, this pick will almost surely be used to lock up a hopeful replacement for Asomugha and complement to Routt. Johnny Patrick and Davon House have been rising quickly, so both could be gone by this point. If they’re available, though, one of them could be the pick.
Round 4 (#113): Brandon Fusco, G/C, Slippery Rock: The Raiders could select multiple offensive linemen in this draft. Fusco’s stock has been across the map and he could go anytime on Day Three.
Round 5 (#148): Rob Housler, TE, Florida Atlantic Owls: If a team likes Housler, they could use a fourth rounder on him. If he’s available when Oakland picks in the fifth, he’d be a great pick for an offense that could be sans Zach Miller.
Round 6 (#181): Darius Morris, G/T, Temple Owls: More offensive line help for Oakland. Morris could play tackle or could play the guard spot for the Raiders.
Round 7 (#220): Tori Gurley, WR, South Carolina Gamecocks: The Raiders may not look for a receiver early in the draft, but adding a little depth to the position is something they may look to do later.
Round 7 (#243) compensatory pick: Zach Clayton, DT, Auburn Tigers: I expect the Raiders to either add a little depth to the defensive line, or look at another offensive lineman later in the draft.
That’s how it played out in our Mock of the Oakland Raiders “War Room”.