The Raiders have the fewest sacks in the NFL as of this writing, so they could definitely use a potent edge rusher to bolster their defense. Arden Key is a special talent, so having him across from Khalil Mack could really go a long way in improving Oakland's meager pass rush.
Pick change; previously Roquan Smith, LB
Rd. 2, Pk. 8
Derrius Guice, RB, LSU
The Marshawn Lynch signing has been a failure, so the Raiders need to move on from him and find a new starting running back.
Pick change; previously DeShon Elliott, S
Rd. 3, Pk. 7
Justin Reid, S, Stanford
The Raiders desperately need to improve their safety play next to Karl Joseph, if their blowout loss to the Patriots is any indication.
The Raiders could use an upgrade at middle linebacker. Davis is an instant plug-and-play contributor for Oakland. His intelligence and character are a great fit with Khalil Mack and Derek Carr.
Davis collected 60 tackles, two sacks and four passes broken up in 2016. Davis was a strong inside presence who made a ton of clutch tackles for Florida in 2015. He was an unsung hero of one of the best defenses in the nation and was a beast who season in the SEC Championship along with the other late-season games against elite competition. In 2015, Davis totaled 98 tackles with 11 tackles for a loss, four passes broken up, an interception and 3.5 sacks.
The 6-foot-1, 238-pounder is fast, physical and instinctive. He has sideline-to-sideline speed with the athleticism to be a three-down defender. Davis could be a Mike (middle) or a Will (weakside) linebacker in a 4-3. He also could function on the inside of a 3-4.
The Raiders could use an interior disruptor and pass-rusher.
In 2016, Adams had 44 tackles with 8.5 for a loss, 4.5 sacks, two passes batted and one interception. There were times where he looked like a first-rounder with his size and speed. From a skill-set perspective, Adams is an early round talent, but his motor varies between hot and cold. The 6-foot-3, 308-pounder possesses an interesting body type that could fit as a 4-3 three-technique or a 3-4 defensive end. He had a very good Senior Bowl performance, rushing the passer really well in the one-on-ones.
In 2015, Adams had 44 tackles, three for a loss, 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass broken up. He dominated that season's opener against Louisville and seemed poised for a massive year, but that didn't come to fruition as his motor was too inconsistent. Adams recorded 43 tackles, eight for a loss and three sacks in 2014.
Rd. 3, Pk. 3
Jeremy McNichols, RB, Boise State
The Raiders were able to add Marshawn Lynch, but he isn't a long-term answer. Oakland could use a mid-round pick on one of the many excellent values at running back.
McNichols (5-9, 214) doesn't have great size, but he was a tough runner for Boise State in 2016. The junior averaged 5.4 yards per carry for 1,709 yards with 23 touchdowns. He also had 37 receptions for 474 yards with four touchdowns. As a sophomore, McNichols averaged 5.6 yards per carry for 1,337 yards with 20 touchdowns. He had 51 catches for 460 yards with six scores. McNichols could at least be a back for the passing game in the NFL.
Rd. 4, Pk. 4
Vincent Taylor, DT/3-4DE/NT, Oklahoma State
The Raiders could use multiple interior defensive line additions.
Taylor (6-3, 304) is a sleeper prospect who could end up being a nice value pick in the mid-rounds of the 2017 NFL Draft. He has disruptive speed at the point of attack and the strength to fight off blockers. Taylor played well as a junior and decided to skip his senior year. In 2016, Taylor totaled 51 tackles with 13 for a loss, seven sacks, two forced fumbles and one pass broken up. He recorded 48 tackles with 8.5 for a loss, five sacks and a pass broken up in 2015. Taylor has quality size and athleticism with good upside to develop.
Rd. 5, Pk. 5
Jordan Sterns, S, Oklahoma State
The Raiders could use some safety depth behind Karl Joseph and Reggie Nelson. Additionally, Nelson is a free agent next year.
Rd. 6, Pk. 6
Kareem Are, G, Florida State
The Raiders grab some offensive line depth, and Are could be a steal.
Rd. 7, Pk. 7
Ishmael Zamora, WR, Baylor
The Raiders hosted Zamora and have taken players with character issues in the past.
Rd. 7, Pk. 7
Hardy Nickerson, ILB/OLB, Illinois
The Raiders further bolster the weak middle of their defense with a good run defender.
The Raiders could use more running back talent as Marshawn Lynch was just a short-term signing. <br> <br>
Jefferson has 76 tackles with 8.5 tackles for a loss and four sacks halfway through 2017. In 2016, he recorded 59 tackles with 5.5 sacks and three passes broken up. Jefferson (6-3, 238) was highly recruited and showed why as a freshman contributor for the Longhorns. He totaled 61 tackles with seven for a loss, 2.5 sacks, three passes broken up and one forced fumble. Jefferson was a bigger presence than the stats illustrate. <br> <br>
The junior possesses a nice combination of size and speed, plus a ton of athletic upside. However, Jefferson needs to start producing up to his skill set. Some sources have said they've heard that Jefferson doesn't love football. They say that can be seen in his work ethic, preparation, and lack of production.
The front seven was a weakness last year, but Reggie McKenzie addressed the secondary in the first and second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. I think taking Obi Melifonwu over Zach Cunningham was a big mistake. Along with linebacker help, the Raiders' defensive line could use an interior run stuffer and disruptor. This is a great fit and value for Oakland/Las Vegas. <br> <br>
Payne has dominated at the point of attack this season, stuffing runs while showcasing his freakish speed and athleticism. In 2017, he has 40 tackles, two sacks and a pass batted. I've heard general managers and scouts raving about Payne this year. <br> <br>
Scouts were already raving about Payne's potential in the preseason. He has been the Crimson Tide's best defensive lineman in 2017, following Jonathan Allen's moving on to the NFL. Payne (6-2, 319) is a run plugger with a lot of potential to grow. When given the opportunity to rush the passer in 2016, Payne was impressive, and sources have said that he helped set up sacks for Jonathan Allen, Tim Williams and Ryan Anderson last season.
The Raiders could use more linebacker talent next to Khalil Mack. Here's a three-down starter who is dangerous against both the run and the pass. <br> <br>
Smith (6-1, 225) is a linebacker who has impressed some scouting sources, who have compared him to the Falcons' recent second-day picks, the LSU duo of Deion Jones and Duke Riley. Smith is a fast and physical linebacker who flies around the field. <br> <br>
Smith has 27 tackles with one sack and one pass batted so far in 2017. Last season, he led Georgia in tackles with 95. Smith also had five tackles for a loss, one pass batted and two forced fumbles.
The Raiders need more interior defensive line help. Here's another defender to pair with Eddie Vanderdoes. <br> <br>
Wilkins played well for Clemson in 2016 as part of a tough defensive line that controlled the point of attack. As a sophomore, he had 48 tackles with 13 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks and 10 passes batted. Because of injuries, Wilkins played a lot of defensive end. He showed nice athleticism and versatility, but is at his best on the inside using his mismatch speed against guards. Wilkins made 33 tackles and two sacks as a freshman in 2015. The 6-foot-4, 310-pounder has a nice skill set with upside and could also fit as a 3-4 defensive end.
The front seven was a weakness last year, but Reggie McKenzie addressed the secondary in the first and second round of the 2017 NFL Draft. I think taking Obi Melifonwu over Zach Cunningham was a big mistake. Along with linebacker help, the Raiders' defensive line could use an interior run stuffer and an edge rusher to go across from Khalil Mack. This is a great fit and value for Oakland/Las Vegas. <br> <br>
Chubb has 67 tackles with 24 for a loss, 10 sacks, three forced fumbles and two passes batted on the year. He was awesome against Florida State, making some huge plays to lead N.C. State to a road upset with two sacks, a forced fumble and seven tackles. Chubb is dominating the competition this year and is playing like a top-10 pick. <br> <br>
The 6-foot-4, 275-pound Chubb has scheme flexibility and is a tough defender for the Wolfpack. He has good quickness for a big defensive end and has shown the ability to get off blocks with his strength and hand usage. Chubb has developed some variety in pass-rushing moves and looks like an asset as a future three-down starter in the NFL. In 2016, he totaled 58 tackles with 22 tackles for a loss, 10.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and one pass batted. As a sophomore in 2015, Chubb collected 5.5 sacks.