Round 1 (24th Overall): DT Malik McDowell
At this point, the Raiders have missed out on all the marquee defensive tackles available in free agency, and it makes the most sense for them to pursue McDowell from Michigan State. He has elite talent and could help fill the glaring need of an inside pass-rusher for Oakland.
His work ethic and leadership are concerns, but the defense has immense leadership with Khalil Mack, Bruce Irvin and Reggie Nelson to hopefully get McDowell on the right path.
If they do, he has the potential to be a scary good player in the future.
Round 2 (56th Overall): LB Jarrad Davis
Oakland missed out on inside linebacker Dont’a Hightower, LB Zach Brown and have not re-signed last year’s starting MLB Perry Riley.
LB Jarrad Davis, from the University of Florida, would fill one of the Raiders’ biggest needs.
Davis is touted as a high-character guy, has NFL caliber talent, and a history on special teams, a combination that any general manager would love.
Round 3 (88th Overall): CB Jourdan Lewis
CB David Amerson and CB Sean Smith were serviceable for the Raiders last year, but were too often beat by smaller, quicker receivers.
If the Raiders can bring in a guy like former Michigan CB Jourdan Lewis to cover the quicker receivers, then the team should be able to mitigate Amerson and Smith’s weaknesses.
Lewis, who is small, quick and feisty, could be a day 1 starter in the slot and would be an immediate upgrade from past nickel corner DJ Hayden.
However, Lewis has been charged with domestic violence. The incident could make him completely un-draftable in the eyes of owner Mark Davis, but it could also have him drop far below the third round and make him into one of the best value picks of this draft.
Round 4 (130th Overall): S John Johnson
Safety is not a pressing need at this moment, but the Raiders are going to need someone to pair alongside SS Karl Joseph for the future with FS Reggie Nelson on the wrong side of his career’s peak.
S John Johnson, from Boston College, has starting experience at both safety and corner. He has fluid hips, good instincts and a nose for the football according to his NFL.com draft profile.
In the NFL, he could transition to either a slot corner or a high safety, for he is better at covering than tackling.
While FS Nelson is still a Raider, Johnson could make an impact by playing in the slot and by adding depth to the safety and corner position. Once Nelson retires, Johnson could move into a starting safety role next to SS Joseph, who is a better tackler and plays in the box, which would compliment Johnson’s skill set.
Round 5 (168th Overall): WR Dede Westbrook
Wide receiver is not a big need for the Raiders, but when there is someone this talented available in the fifth round, it is hard to not take a flier.
WR Dede Westbrook, from Oklahoma, was an elite college football player. He won unanimous first-team All-American honors, won the Biletnikoff award, and hauled in 80 catches for 1,524 yards and 17 touchdowns in his last season as a Sooner.
His frame and an accusation of domestic violence in 2012 and 2013 are concerning for NFL teams, but he can move into the slot to hide his smaller frame and was never convicted in either assault case.
He is definitely worth the risk of a fifth round pick.
Round 6 (208th Overall): RB Elijah Hood
The Raiders lost RB Latavius Murray to free agency and have not replaced him with anyone since. There are rumors about Marshawn Lynch joining Oakland, but until it happens we have to assume the Raiders will look to fill their hole at running back through the draft.
Hood lacks the speed to be an every-down starter, but has the power to be a short yardage back. Therefore, in combination with the speed of Richard and Washington, Hood could be a solid addition to Oakland’s backfield.
Round 7 (242nd Overall): CB Des Lawrence
Cornerback is still a massive need for the Raiders. They might as well keep drafting corners until they get lucky and hit at the position in the draft.
Former Tarheel CB Des Lawrence has the ideal frame listed at 6 foot, 188 pounds. He is a physical press corner who uses his hands well, is smart in coverage and has special teams experience (important for a projected non-starter).
He is ultra competitive but lacks ideal speed and quickness at the NFL level. Hopefully with the guidance of bigger and experienced corners Smith and Amerson, he can develop into a starting cornerback down the road.
Round 7 (244th Overall): LB Calvin Munson
LB Calvin Munson was a productive starter for three years at San Diego State.
He is intense, powerful and plays well with his hands, but he lacks the agility to make an impact as a starting linebacker at the next level.
He will provide good support in the run game, but will be a huge liability in coverage. At the very best, he could be useful for run-heavy situations.
However, he has shown to be a good player on special teams, which is where he will need to find his role to make the team.
Like cornerback,the team should just keep drafting linebackers until one of them will stick.
This shouldn’t be considered a throw-away pick because he can play special teams if he doesn’t pan out as a linebacker.