The Oakland Raiders hold the No. 24 pick in the NFL Draft after losing to the Texans in the Wild Card round of the playoffs, and they're expected to draft a defensive player in the first round.
Oakland needs to upgrade both their secondary and linebacking core - particularly at inside linebacker - and will address both needs in the draft. In ESPN's Todd McShay's latest mock draft, he has the Raiders drafting Florida linebacker Jarrad Davis in the first round:
At 6-foot-2 and 238 pounds, Davis' best fit is at weak-side linebacker. He's an explosive athlete with great range who profiles as an every-down player in the NFL. He could also play middle linebacker if he bulked up a bit. Oakland has needs at both positions and could use a Kwon Alexander-type player like Davis at the second level.
Opposing teams took advantage of Oakland's weak linebacking core by running up the middle, and they ranked just 23rd in the league in rushing defense. Malcolm Smith and Perry Riley were their two starters at inside linebacker last year, both of whom are set to be free agents this offseason.
Davis had 60 tackles in just nine games this past season for the Gators, along with six tackles for loss and two sacks. He was limited due to an ankle injury that lingered throughout the season and will not participate in drills at the NFL Combine because of it.Back to the Las Vegas Raiders Newsfeed