Raiders 2019 NFL Draft Pick Or Pass: Big Board
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The NFL Draft is finally almost here and as we wrap up our series breaking down a number of the prospects in play with one of the Oakland Raiders’ first-round picks, the bow on the entire set is going to be my big board. At the end, I’ll highlight some notes on my thinking, but this is simply a 1-27 list of my preferred players (for the Raiders) this year. As you might have guessed, this does factor in team need — but that doesn’t trump overall grade, it’s simply a combination of the two.

So, here goes…

  1. Nick Bosa
  2. Quinnen Williams
  3. Josh Allen
  4. Devin White
  5. Ed Oliver
  6. Montez Sweat
  7. TJ Hockenson
  8. Rashan Gary
  9. Devin Bush
  10. Brian Burns
  11. Christian Wilkins
  12. Clelin Ferrel
  13. Jeffrey Simmons
  14. Byron Murphy
  15. Deandre Baker
  16. Rock Ya Sin
  17. Greedy Williams
  18. Dexter Lawrence
  19. Marquise Brown
  20. Josh Jacobs
  21. Noah Fant
  22. Irv Smith
  23. LJ Collier
  24. Taylor Rapp
  25. Jerry Tillery
  26. N’Keal Harry
  27. Nassir Adderley

As you glance over the list, you’ll notice a few things that are radically different than most “big boards” you’ll probably see elsewhere — and that’s intentional. Again, I’m writing this from the perspective of the Raiders, which means no matter what there are some guys that they simply cannot consider drafting with one of their first three picks.

The most obvious omission? The quarterbacks. I’m a Derek Carr guy, and even if I weren’t, I’d still advocate for focusing elsewhere this year and giving Carr a chance to prove himself with actual weapons and protection. At the end of the day, drafting a quarterback would be a massive disappointment for me.

The second position group I excluded was offensive line. The Raiders drafted a tackle in the first round last season and just made another tackle the most expensive tackle in the NFL. Simply put? You cannot draft a tackle this high — and if we’re talking about guards or a center, it’s a hard-pass in the first round for me.

You’ll also probably notice that just six offensive players made my board — and, again, that’s intentional. The Raiders spent big on their receiving corps this off-season, making that position group a low-priority. If I had to choose between a receiver or defensive back with similar grades? I’m taking the defensive back every time.

The exception, of course, comes in the form of tight ends, a running back and a pair of high-end receivers that might make me change my mind. At tight end, the Raiders could definitely use some help — and so if pick No. 24 or 27 could land them Noah Fant (Iowa) or Irv Smith (Alamaba), I’d be fine with it. The NFL is a scoring league and so another weapon wouldn’t be out of the question. The same type of thinking applies to Josh Jacobs — although the running back group is so deep, I’d prefer defense, defense, defense early on.

Really, that last thought is the summary of my approach: defense, defense, defense. With head coach Jon Gruden there’s approximately a 0% chance that the Raiders pick three defensive players in the first round — but with the talent in this draft, it’s really what would make the most sense. If the Raiders could leave Nashville with a pair of defensive linemen and a defensive back, it would be an unequivocal home run — and it’s the quickest way to make 2019 the start of the next great era of Raider football.