With the twenty-fourth pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, the Oakland Raiders select…
24. Oakland Raiders: John Ross, WR | Washington
Seriously, how can this be any other pick?! John Ross set the record at the NFL draft with a 4.22 40-yard-dash. Al Davis is going to be resurrected on draft day and walk into the Raiders war room to ensure this pick becomes a reality, even if they have to unnecessarily trade up 10 spots to get him. I get this isn’t Oakland’s biggest need as they just drafted Amari Cooper two years ago who is a stud and have Michael Crabtree opposite him (both 1,000 yard receivers last season btw). How can you not entertain the idea though if Ross is still on the board when the Raiders pick at 24. Oakland had the worst third receiver in the league last year. While free agent signee Cordarrelle Patterson may be able to resurrect his career in that role for Oakland, he should be more heavily leaned on in the return game. The Raiders were 6th in offense last season and added both Patterson and tight end Jared Cook. Not to mention “Beast Mode” Marshawn Lynch is looking to come out of retirement and take over as the feature back for his hometown Raiders. This offense probably looks set for 2017 then, so if the Raiders decide not to do what’s in their DNA, what options do they have on defense?
The Raiders defense finished 26th in the league last year including last in sacks despite Khalil Mack dropping eleven. Depth on the defensive line is needed after the release of veteran Dan Williams and Stacy McGee signing with the Redskins. Linebacker is also a hole after Malcolm Smith got overpaid in San Fran. If Hassan Reddick were available he would be a classic Raiders pick here but I’m hearing he’ll be long gone by this point. Jarrad Davis is another option who would look good in Silver & Black but despite what other analysts are saying in terms of his first round talent, I’m not buying more than two linebackers going on day 1. Last year Buffalo’s Reggie Ragland was projected to be a first rounder and slipped to the second round. Linebackers don’t hold the same value as other positions so I believe Davis and Zach Cunningham go in the second round. In the secondary the Raiders could use a quality corner opposite Sean Smith but this draft class is deep there so they can probably wait.