This week I have the pleasure of joining the #NFLUKMOCK Draft crew for a post free agency mock
and am representing the Oakland Raiders. I might be a fan of the Seattle Seahawks but I have a lot of
respect for the way they play and the talents of their players, not least ‘Beastmode’ Marshawn Lynch
and Bruce Irvin.
The Raiders have a fine nucleus and were a lot of neutrals favourites going into last season. They
may have had a year under expectations but now find themselves coached again by John Gruden.
They have been active in free agency, with some of the bigger signings including safety Marcus
Gilchrist, corner Rashawn Mathis, running back Doug Martin and receiver Jordy Nelson. That’s a lot
of experience and I feel confident in adding a number of rookies to the mix to improve the situation.
There are holes in the roster, on defence at linebacker and corner, and Derek Carr could use a few
more options in the passing game.
Round 1, Pick 10, Tremaine Edmunds LB, Virginia Tech
He’s young but he’s beastly. Has the ability to play inside and outside so if Oakland ends up resigning
Navarro Bowman Edmunds will be the perfect partner for him to work with and learn from.
Alternatively if he moves on Edmunds can slot right in. With the size, speed and explosiveness to
potential become an all pro linebacker, and time in his career to improve exponentially, this
selection was an easy choice to make.
TRADE: Round 1, Pick 21, Da’Ron Payne DT, Alabama
At 21 the risk was so low in trading up for Da’Ron Payne, in my opinion one of the standout
defensive players of this draft. He is primarily a run stuffing defensive tackle but has the strength
and athleticism to be a force in the passing game too. Giving up a 2 nd and 3 rd to put Payne on a line
already containing Khalil Mack was a no brainer for me. Payne and Edmunds together in the first
round of the draft should help solidify the Raiders defensive unit for some years to come.
TRADE: Round 3, Pick 89, Mark Andrews TE, Oklahoma
Round 2 passed by in a flurry, with confidence that I had added double the talent everyone else was
picking up already in this draft I was content to wait until the 3 rd round. I gave up a 4 th and 5 th round
pick to get back in towards the end of round 3 and get Derek Carr and tight end with bags of
receiving potential. Mark Andrews won’t be a ton of help in blocking, but then neither in Jimmy
Graham and look how he has flourished. Andrews has a phenomenal record in the red zone and last
year was Baker Mayfields top target with 62 receptions and 958 yards, 8 tds.