The Oakland Raiders are ready for their rebuild, and it all starts with a massive 2019 NFL Draft.
Owning the fourth pick in the draft was likely not the plan entering the 2018 NFL season for the Oakland Raiders. Neither was having three first rounds picks, but that is where they are. After the trades that sent Khalil Mack to the Bears and Amari Cooper to the Cowboys, Oakland is set up to control the 2019 NFL Draft. Owning a total of ten picks in the 7-round marathon gives Jon Gruden and company power to wheel-and-deal their way around the draft board.
There are question marks all over the roster but it will start under center. Does Gruden believe in Derek Carr or will he go out and find his quarterback of the future? It is clear that he has a vision for this team, but it’s not easy for anyone to see. With the way Carr finished the season, and his massive contract, I expect him to return to be the starter next season. Oakland will use this 2019 draft as a pivot to the team’s new stadium and home in Las Vegas. Look for at least one “splashy” pick with that in mind.
This mock draft was done with FanSpeak’s On The Clock tool.
Round 1 – Pick 4
Clelin Ferrell, EDGE, Clemson
A running joke all season was how often Gruden mentioned a pass rush and getting to the quarterback. It was ironic given that this was coming from the man that just traded away an elite pass rusher in Khalil Mack. Luckily for for him, this class is loaded at the edge position. Even in this mock draft where two players were taken with the first two picks, Gruden is able to get a guy.
Clelin Ferrell has been one of the nation’s best pass rushers for three straight seasons at Clemson. In his career he has 27 sacks, including 11 this year. He’s been a part of a team that has been to two National Championships and has shined in some of those games.
On the field, he is a polished player who can contribute immediately. Ferrell may not be the level of athlete as the guys who go ahead of him, but he can still win in multiple ways in the NFL. Not to say he is not gifted athletically. The 6-foot-5 edge has shown a an insane first step and cornering ability for a man his size.
His first step is coupled with a wide array of pass rush moving, includings a deadly chop and rip move that leaves tackles perplexed at what just happened. Ferrell is a stout run defender too which increases his draft stock. There is never a scenario in the league that Ferrell should come off the field. He may not be Khalil Mack but Gruden would be enamored with getting the National Champion Ferrell to replace him.