Is it too early to talk draft? It could be, but who cares? This is RaidersSnakepit.com. We do what we please.
It’s the offseason in Oakland, so let’s talk about how your beloved squad can get better. So, we will talk about the draft and free agency any time we choose.
For today’s exercise, we are going to look at some fits in the first and second rounds. The Raiders pick either No. 9 or No 10 based on a coin flip with the hated San Francisco 49ers at the NFL Combine next month.
First round possibilities, served in alphabetical order:
Saqoun Barkley, RB, Penn State: I don’t think the odds are high. I can see him getting drafted in the top five. Plus, it is a deep running back class. If he somehow falls to the Raiders, perhaps they will pounce.
Bradley Chubb, DE, North Carolina State: The Raiders have other needs, but a Khalil Mack-Chubb partnership is intriguing. The Raiders need defensive playmakers and Chubb is one. Doubtful he falls to Raiders, though.
Minkah Fitzpatrick, DB, Alabama: He would be an awesome fit for the Silver and Black. He can play cornerback and safety, and the Raiders need help at both spots. Also, it has been reported that his position coach at Bama, Derrick Ansley, is taking the same gig with the Raiders. Problem is, Fitzpatrick will likely require a trade up for the Raiders to get him.
Calvin Ridley, WR, Alabama: The Raiders could use a receiver and Ridley is one of a few possibilities who could be taken in in the top half of the draft. The Raiders could probably trade down a bit and get Ridley.
Roquan Smith, LB, Georgia: At this very moment, this is the guy the Raiders should draft. He would fill a huge need and he should be available when Oakland picks. He would go a long way to repairing this defense.
Nick Chubb, RB, Georgia: Yes, I can see Smith and Chubb go from being Georgia teammates to being Raiders’ teammates. Chubb could be available to the Raiders in the second round. He would be a very nice value pick.
Derrius Guice, RB, LSU: He’s another running back that makes sense to Oakland in Round 2.
Bryce Love, RB, Stanford: Sense a theme here? Love is intriguing because he can catch the ball out of the backfield. That makes him a nice fit for Jon Gruden’s offense. UPDATE: He has since announced he is going to back to school for the 2018 season.
Trenton Thompson, DT, Georgia: He’d be good value. Bringing in Smith and Thompson from that great college defense, wouldn’t hurt the Raiders.
Leighton Vander Esch, LB, Boise State: Scouts like this guy. Could be a steal.
Conclusion: It’s early and things will change. We will do this exercise again. But for now, these are some of the names to consider for the Raiders early in the draft.