2024 NFL Mock Draft: Las Vegas Raiders full 7-round projection in early-February

2024 NFL Mock Draft: Las Vegas Raiders full 7-round projection in late-January
2024 NFL Mock Draft: Las Vegas Raiders full 7-round projection in late-January / David Eulitt/GettyImages
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Round 2, Pick 44: Patrick Paul, Tackle, Houston

When you draft your franchise quarterback in Round 1, what better way to help him out than protecting his blind side in Round 2? The team does have Kolton Miller under contract for cheap money through 2025, but it's hard to pass up on Houston's Patrick Paul.

Paul is a mountain of a man at tackle. He stands 6-foot-7 and weighs 333 pounds. He specializes in pass blocking, allowing just one sack on 1,609 snaps in the last two seasons. He does a great job at absorbing the bull rush and countering quicker pass rushers. He shows great awareness in identifying stunt blitzes and is highly effective in short-yardage situations at moving his guy off the line of scrimmage.

He is strong but loses some of that power when he gets too high in his stance. He loses his balance when his upper body gets out over his feet, but in the run game, is good at initiating contact and driving through the defender.

Round 3, Pick 7: Mike Sainristill, Cornerback, Michigan

The Raiders finished in the lower half of the league in passing yards allowed and interceptions in 2023. They had one of the league's best pass rushers in Maxx Crosby, but couldn't capitalize because of deficiencies in the secondary. With their third-round pick in 2023, they address that by selecting Michigan cornerback Mike Sainristill.

He has a bit of a smaller frame (5-foot-10 and 182 pounds) and runs a 4.45-second 40-yard dash. He did not make the starting lineup in Ann Arbor until his junior season, and he racked up 50 total tackles, two sacks, and six pass break-ups, but did not get any interceptions. In 2023 he only made 29 tackles but logged six pass break-ups and five interceptions. Quarterbacks who targeted him saw a passer rating of just 66.6 when doing so.

He has quick feet and fluid hips, which allows him to stay with receivers as they change direction. He explodes out of his backpedal and shows elite closing speed. He has great instincts and does a great job recognizing routes. Because of his size, he does struggle to tackle running backs and physical receivers.