With the fourth pick in the 2015 Arrowhead Pride mock draft, Oakland Raiders GM TheOtherIndian selects...
Let me start off by thanking Mr Davis for the opportunity to be the GM of the Oakland Raiders.
My fellow Raiders. I feel your pain. After years of mediocrity, you deserve a better football team. It's not fair when the kids in the Oakland community feel Christmas came early when the team has three wins when December rolls around. They deserve better. You deserve better. That is why, I promise to leave no stone unturned until the Oakland Raiders are back to where they belong, i.e. being the Second Best Football team in the AFC West. (I don't want to get your hopes up, but we can't really catch the Chiefs, we just can't. Let's just accept the truth and move on.)
Let's start the discussion about the draft. We are here today to decide who will be the face of our franchise in 2015, the fourth pick in the NFL draft.
But before we can decide on the best player available at the fourth pick, we first need to look at the state of our franchise. Contrary to popular belief of progress made in the last few years, my predecessor, Mr. McKenzie, left more holes on this roster than a 10 year old dartboard in my local Fox n Hound.All the money that Mr Davis saved by flying Southwest to interview his future head coach candidates ...
...and cutting his own hair instead of going to a hair saloon, was spent on ONE center. My very close friend, Mr. Dorsey, says we overpaid by about $3 million per year on that deal. It's decisions like these that have set this franchise back, year after year. But today, we mark an end to such practice. Lets all do our jobs, draft and develop the best players in the country and take care of our own instead of flashing money in free agency.
With this, lets take a look at the three positions of dire need on our depth chart. After signing Hudson, Allen, Lofton, Helu Jr. and Trent Richardson, we were able to address the C, S, ILB and RB positions respectively. This leaves us with glaring holes at G, DE and WR.
The best draft pick is always the one that can match need with the best player available. We all want our QBOTF, Mr. Carr, to be able to stand and deliver passes from the pocket, however, there isn't a guard in this draft class that can be classified as top five talent. I am afraid but we may have to endure a few more 3rd and 48s this season (sorry for scrapping those wounds).
Thus, taking a guard will be a massive reach this year and not a sound strategy for the fourth overall pick.
This brings us to the DE and the WR position. The players who match that need in the top five are Leonard Williams from USC, Dante Fowler Jr from Florida, Kevin White from West Virginia and Amari Cooper from Alabama. Without going too much into their stats (all four have top five stats for their respective positions), Leonard Williams seems to be the ‘lion' of this draft. Pairing him and Mack might allow our defense to generate a few 3rd and 48s of our own. But since Williams and Cooper are off the board, we have to choose between Dante Fowler Jr and Kevin White. Both players have high upside as both have not fully developed their game.
In Kevin White, we have a rare combination of speed, size and athleticism. Kevin White had a monster season with 109 receptions and 1,447 yards, third and sixth in the nation in 2014; establishing himself as one of the top WRs in the upcoming draft. However, it was his combine performance that really raised his stock into the top two WR's. When my predecessor was doing this during the NFL draft, I was actually paying attention and was blown away by Kevin's combine performance. He ran a 4.35 40-yard dash and had 23 reps at the bench press. At 6'3 and 215 pounds, that's mind boggling and his size, speed and strength will be a nightmare and a huge mismatch against any secondary. When I look at Kevin White, I can see him being the next Dez Bryant, if his progress goes as expected.
With Dante Fowler Jr., we can have the best pass rushing twins in the NFL, by pairing him with Khalil Mack. With Fowler, the Raider nation might have a pairing that have the potential to ascend to the heights of a pair (Hali and Houston) that have been the envy of the raider nation for far too long. When looking at a pass rusher, one has to look at consistency as the stats can get skewed by accumulating sacks against inferior competition. Dante had atleast one tackle for loss in all but one game in 2014, which shows that he is consistent. Also, Dante is the only pass rusher in the draft who is built well enough to not only be a good pass rusher, but can also set the edge in the run game. Ultimately, what should make our decision easier is to see which player fits our system and our division better than the other. Derek Carr has the arm to make all the throws but his accuracy leaves a little to be desired. He had a 58 percent completion percentage, and 12 interceptions in 2014. Kevin White's height and long arms should provide carr with a little more room for error. Also, with the elite pass rush of the Kansas City Chiefs and more than serviceable pass rush of the Denver Broncos, Carr might not have a lot of time to throw the ball. If the routes don't have the time to develop, that would lead to a lot more contested catches in the short to mid field range, an area where Kevin should excel with his strength and physicality. Since our offense doesn't have a No 1 WR but our defense does have a No. 1 pass rusher, the decision is made for us.
Thus, with the fourth pick in the 2015 NFL draft, the Oakland Raiders select ...
West Virginia WR Kevin White
I hope Kevin White forms a long term partnership with Derek Carr, for his success would directly lead to mine in winning the GM position of the Kansas City Chiefs in the AP's mock draft for 2016.