Trying to predict what Jon Gruden and the Raiders will do is always difficult, but here are five guys the franchise might draft in Round 1.
The Oakland Raiders went to great lengths to bolster their roster in free agency. Signing Trent Brown and Lamarcus Joyner to big-money deals combined with the trade for Antonio Brown makes this team look a lot different than it did in 2018. There are still plenty of holes for Oakland to fill via the draft, though.
The Raiders could still go in several directions with their No. 4-overall pick. Head coach Jon Gruden is always unpredictable and new general manager Mike Mayock will certainly want to put his stamp on the franchise. It’s very likely the team will look to take the best player available regardless of the position he plays.
Fortunately, the talent at the top of this year’s draft happens to line up with what the Raiders need most of all. Gruden’s team was comically bad rushing the passer last season. It would be a major surprise if they don’t spend some serious draft capital to fix that issue ahead of next season. Here are five players the Raiders could take when the NFL puts them on the clock.
5. Ed Oliver
Ed Oliver might be one of the riskiest players in the entire draft. At his best, he’s a dominating defensive lineman who can control the game at defensive tackle or defensive end. At his worst, he’s a volatile personality that may end up out of the NFL in five years.
There may not be a coach in the NFL who believes he can handle difficult personalities more than Gruden. If he and Mayock really think he’s the most talented player available when they get the chance to make a selection, they won’t hesitate to shock the world and select Oliver.