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New FSM Feature: Raiders Mock Draft v1.0

Franchise Sports Media

The NFL Draft is around the corner, and the Raiders have some needs, but which way will they go to fill them? Will they trade up, trade back, or stand pat? Joe Arrigo does his first mock draft with an unexpected twist.

 

Raiders Mock Draft v1.0 | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Ethan Miller/GettyImages

It’s draft season, and the Las Vegas Raiders have some interesting decisions to make in the 2024 NFL Draft.

What direction should new general manager Tom Telesco go? Should he trade up for the new franchise signal caller? Should he draft the QB later? Should Telesco continue to build a bully of a defense?  What about the right tackle position? Should he target that need before taking a quarterback?

Decisions, decisions.

Everybody knows the Raiders have a need at quarterback, even with the signing of Gardner Minshew and having Aidan O’Connell on the roster. Will they trade up for their reported desired target in LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels, or will they stand pat and take one at pick #13? Lastly, will they trade back to accumulate more picks and then draft the quarterback later?

I went on Pro Football Network’s mock draft simulator for this exercise. I chose only the Raiders, and I was able to make trades. I decided to go into this draft simulator and decide, based on the first two picks of the draft, which would give me the direction I wanted to go. 

As luck would have it, or as the board fell, Jayden Daniels was available when New England came up on the clock at pick #3. So I had to make my first decision. Do I trade up for the quarterback of the future, the player my head coach really wants, or do I stay put?

Here’s a spoiler: I ended up with more draft picks than when I started.

Find out the answer in my Raiders mock draft  v1.0 right here! 

 

Raider Mock Draft v1.0

 

Raiders Mock Draft v1.0 | Franchise Sports Media
Graphic Credit: Pro Football Network

 

Raiders Mock Draft v1.0 | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Matthew Dobbins/USA Today Sports

Round 1 (#3) via trade with New England:

Jayden DanielsQuarterback – LSU:

The first two picks went Caleb Williams to the Bears and, surprisingly, Drake Maye to Washington. That led me to try and trade up with the Patriots for Antonio Pierce’s most desired target, Daniels.

It took two attempts, but New England agreed to swap picks in this draft (picking up #13), and the Raiders gave up a second this year and a first and third next season.

Strengths:

– Platinum-grade big-play generator with his running ability and deep passing chops

– Turbocharged athlete with rare speed, lateral agility, bend, and evasive twitch

– Has enough arm talent to layer velocity and touch on vertical routes and slot fades

– Instinctively IDs speed and leverage mismatches deep, with touch to take advantage

– Brings incredible placement on loft and back-shoulder throws, throwing to WR leverage

– Doesn’t get scared off his spot and can deliver passes with rushers bearing down

 

Weaknesses:

– Has a very slender and narrow frame that could invite long-term durability concerns

– Arm strength, while solid, is visibly non-elite, limiting top-end velocity

– Is very inconsistent anticipating over the middle of the field, occluding NFL transition.

– Sometimes, he tries to do too much on scrambles, diverting infield and boxing himself in.

 

Raiders Mock Draft v1.0 | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Ron Jenkins/Getty Images

Round 3 (#88) via trade with Green Bay:

T’Vondre SweatDTTexas:

When the Raiders came back up on the clock in the third round, I got a call from Green Bay. They offered pick 88 and pick 202 to move up eleven spots. I took the deal to add more picks so I could add more depth later in the draft. I also had Sweat targeted at pick #77, so getting him (and his size) at pick #88 and adding a pick was fine with me.

I know about his off-field incident a few weeks back. If convicted, Sweat could be punished by serving up to 180 days in jail, a fine of up to $2,000, or both.

The interior defensive lineman was a unanimous first-team All-America selection after last season and was instrumental in Texas posting the No. 3 run defense in college football. Sweat recorded 127 total stops and five sacks during his collegiate career.

Strengths:

– Absolutely massive interior defender whose size renders him almost immovable.

– Has very good initial burst for his size, hinting at unrevealed disruptive potential.

– He can function as a brick wall with his frame density, mass, leverage, and strength.

– For his size, he is natural at acquiring leverage and loading his base off the snap.

– Swallows up double teams and stalls out displacement at a high level at the nose.

– Has an unrelenting, size-defying playmaking motor, which enables him to finish plays.

 

Weaknesses:

– Visibly lacks elite explosiveness and lateral quickness, a natural trade-off for his size.

– Still improving at channeling power from his initial momentum as a pass-rusher.

– Has some wasted motion with hands as a pass-rusher and can more efficiently load.

– Doesn’t have the quickness to break off anchors and enter outer gap pursuit.

 

Round 4 (#112):

Blake FisherOTNotre Dame:

Blake Fisher is a well-proportioned athlete with room for added strength, specifically in his lower half. He’s well-coached and technically sound to counter a variety of skill sets. 

Fisher will not displace bodies in the run game but consistently wins the leverage battle to shift opponents’ equilibrium to his advantage. Quick, spring-loaded hands to ‘win first’ inside the armpit of defenders. Once hands are clamped, the rep is usually over. He uses his base well to strike and keep opponents square to his chest. Fisher is excellent when asked to seal 5-tech DEs inside. He has the quick footwork and hips to throw his body to the outside shoulder of the defender, walling off the six-hole. More strength will assist as a man-mover in the run. 

In space, Fisher has the necessary athleticism to pull and attack both second-level and perimeter defenders on quick bubble screens. His athletic profile is not elite, but he is consistently in the right position to put a hat on a hat.

In pass pro, Fisher showcases excellent footwork combined with vice grips for hands and a quick anchor. Attacks defensive ends, not allowing a runway to build speed. Excellent kick-slide and is rarely caught off balance. Will hinge at the waist to ‘lean’ on pass rushers after hands are attached to take the air out of a rep, slowly walking his feet back to neutral ground. High-level coaching is apparent due to his nuanced hand and leverage techniques to stymie rushers quickly. Excellent length.

Concerns remain about his ability to counter more nuanced pass rushers that combine both speed and power (Ohio State). Can give up outside arc easily at times due to a shallow kick-step to close off an inside move. If hands fail to establish early, Fisher can be pushed back, but he is never put on his backside or completely removed from the path of the rusher. Aggressiveness can hurt him at times (hand timing/placement) against power-laden rushers that strictly utilize a bull rush.

Overall, Fisher is a refined offensive tackle with the fundamental skill set to succeed quickly at the NFL level. A nuanced hand approach against a variety of pass-rush moves is evident. Strength in the run game remains a spot for improvement, but the refinement in both areas showcases a mature approach to the position that will only improve over time. He has experience in both gap (471 career snaps) and zone (307) schemes. All of his 710 collegiate snaps came at right tackle. – Draft Network

 

Raiders Mock Draft v1.0 | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Brett Davis/USA TODAY Sports

Round 5 (156) via trade with Cleveland:

Elijah JonesCBBoston College:

When pick #148 came up, Cleveland came calling. They offered picks 156 and 206 to move up eight spots. Again, I was adding another late pick in this draft to sure up depth for a player for whom I was going to take eight spots earlier in Jones.

Elijah Jones is an experienced corner who has been a staple in Boston College’s secondary since the day he stepped foot on campus. Jones was a five-year player who has been a starter every season. He developed into one of the best corners in the country, earning first-team All-ACC honors in his last season while also earning an invitation to the Senior Bowl. 

Jones is a long corner who has a lean frame. He is an average athlete who is a fluid mover but has average overall speed and explosiveness. In coverage, Jones displays excellent instincts and awareness—especially in zone or off-man when his eyes are toward the quarterback. Jones can read the quarterback, and peel off his receiver and flow to the football. He is then able to make a play on the ball as he has excellent overall ball skills. He is comfortable in his pedal and displays good foot quickness and the ability to plant and go when the receiver breaks his route off. 

Jones has good length to be competitive at the catch point and has had a ton of pass breakups throughout his career. With that said, there are times when Jones is outmuscled at the catch point, and the receiver can still come down with the football. Jones primarily plays from off coverage, and that is likely because he does not trust his speed man-to-man. He is a long strider and doesn’t have a quick gear shifter to get to full speed when he is forced to open and turn and run. Receivers can pull away from Jones on crossers and in breaking routes, forcing Jones to play from the trail position. Jones is a competitive football player who displays a good ability to read, and react and trigger to make the tackle. 

Overall, Jones’ length, instincts, and ball skills will be an attractive skill set for zone-heavy teams, but he is a pretty scheme-dependent player.Brentley Weissman (Draft Network)

 

Round 7 (#202 via Green Bay):

George HolaniRBBoise State:

His quickness and ability to maximize rushing lanes between the tackles are defining and valuable. NFL offenses love jitterbugs who can be efficient in limited touches and help as pass catchers. We’ve seen more powerful offenses rotate specialists in favor of investing in expensive one-back systems.Ian Valentino (PFN)

 

Round 7 (#206 via Cleveland):

Sataoa LaumeaOGUtah:

A big body who projects best as a guard in the NFL, Laumea has serious power as he drives defenders wherever he wants them to go. His giant 6’4″, 321-pound frame isn’t going to do well when asked to move laterally, but he can get to the second level enough in gap schemes to have confidence in. He’s a run-first blocker who will benefit from the lack of extra space he has to overcome at tackle.

His pass-blocking ability could use some work. He’s prone to bending at the waist and reaching into defenders’ bodies too much. Laumea also gives up his inside shoulder because he wants to throw his inside hand instead of keeping it open for redirections.

Technical refinements aside, Laumea can fit well into the right scheme and carries a solid Day 3 grade entering the offseason.Ian Valentino (PFN)

 

Round 7 (#208):

Cornelius Johnson – WR – Michigan:

Cornelius Johnson has long been lauded as a size/speed threat. He was a four-star recruit in the 2019 cycle who came out of high school with a documented 4.58 40-yard dash time. That figure came even before Johnson was introduced to Michigan’s developmental program. And though he hasn’t produced at an elite clip, he’s shown flashes of his potential each season.Ian Cummings (PFN)

 

Raiders Mock Draft v1.0 | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Andrew Ferguson/Tennessee Athletics

Round 7 (#223):

McCallan CastlesTETennessee:

Pros: McCallan Castles is a small-school prospect with high-level traits. He is a former transfer from Cal and was a top recruit out of high school. He offers very good size and length and is a good overall athlete. He primarily operates as a receiving tight end for the Aggies and is moved all across the formation to create mismatches. Castles offers good speed off the line and eats up grass with his long stride. He is able to stress the seam vertically and can clear past second-level defenders with ease. He has excellent ball skills, hands, and body control and can easily locate and track the ball. Castles has a large catch radius and is a nightmare to cover in the red zone. He runs a full-route tree and offers good wiggle and fluidity, and the top of the stem is in and out of breaks to create separation. He is a difficult tackle with the ball in his hands and runs hard, gaining yards after the catch. 

Cons: McCallan Castles needs to continue to add strength and mass to his frame. He struggles to play on the line scrimmage as he lacks the necessary power at the point of attack to generate movement in the run game. He is much more of a positional/wall-off blocker than a mauler at this stage in his development. He is more of a smooth athlete than explosive and doesn’t create much separation out of breaks as a player who can really explode out of cuts. He doesn’t create after the catch and relies on his size and strength rather than his elusiveness. Overall, I like his ability as a receiver but he must improve as a blocker to ever contribute at the next level.Brentley Weissman (Draft Network)

 

Raiders Mock Draft v1.0 | Franchise Sports Media
Photo Credit: Kevin Snyder/MSU Athletics

Round 7 (#229):

DeCamerion RichardsonCBMississippi State:

Prospect evaluation is ultimately about projecting what players can be. And in that exercise, Richardson stands out as a high-potential investment for NFL teams to consider.

Richardson first joined the Mississippi State Bulldogs as a three-star recruit in 2020, joining a defensive backfield that’s produced NFL talents like Martin Emerson and Emmanuel Forbes.

In his third year, Richardson saw his first full-time starting action, amassing 85 tackles, a tackle for loss, and three pass breakups in 2022. In 2023, he reached a career-high seven pass breakups and declared for the 2024 NFL Draft with eligibility remaining.

Richardson sometimes gets lost in the 2024 NFL Draft class, but all of the physical tools are there, and at its best moments, the tape is extremely compelling. At the NFL Combine, Richardson reaffirmed that potential with a 4.34-second 40-yard dash, a 6.96 three-cone, a 35″ vertical, and a 10’8″ vertical.

All of the measurements and testing numbers tell of unmatched upside with Richardson — but are there silver linings on the tape to warrant taking him early in the 2024 NFL Draft?Ian Cummings (PFN)

 

 

The Raiders season is officially over. Keep coming back to FSM for all your Raiders Draft coverage. Thanks for visiting FranchiseSportsMedia.com for your Las Vegas Sports news today.

 

Franchise Sports Media. Las Vegas sports news about Las Vegas Sports teams.

-Joe Arrigo   Franchise Sports Media

Follow Joe on X, Threads, and Instagram: @JoeArrigoFSM

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