2013 NFL Draft: Raiders Will Have Plenty of Options with the 3rd Pick
Elias Trejo – Mar 19, 2013
The Oakland Raiders hold the 3rd overall pick in the 2013 NFL Draft. Barring a trade with another team, Reggie McKenzie will have his first 1st round pick ever as a Raider GM. As I sit and watch Oakland sign a handful of defensive players, I can't help but ask, "Who are the Raiders going to draft with the 3rd pick?" Mckenzie is a man that wants to build through the draft, and this pick needs to be the cornerstone of the franchise for years to come. Oakland can't afford to miss on this pick like they've missed on every 1st round pick, except for maybe one in the last 10 years.
Today, on March 18th, I realized that only 2 of the last 10 first round picks that the Raiders have drafted are on an NFL roster. The rest are out of the league or looking for teams. It's bad enough to not have first round picks on your team, but it's even worse when they aren't even in the league anymore. So not to put any extra pressure on McKenzie, but this draft is kind of a big deal. So who will the Raiders pick?
The more I look at their signings, I wouldn't be surprised if Oakland drafted an offensive player. Perhaps West Virginia's Geno Smith is the guy Oakland needs to draft. He's the only quarterback with a first round grade, but would he be worthy of the No. 3 overall pick? If the Raiders trade out of the 3rd pick, it's because somebody thinks Smith is worth the 3rd pick and more so why wouldn't the Raiders think that?
Other players the Raiders could be looking at is Luke Joeckel from Texas A&M or Eric Fisher from Central Michigan. If they're on the board when the Raiders are on the clock they could be viable option, especially if McKenzie has one of them as the top player available. You can never have too many good offensive lineman. As rookies either of them could compete with the Jared Veldheer for the starting left tackle spot and the loser of the competition can play right tackle in 2013. I wouldn't complain if they went this route as it would help improve the pass protection as well as the running game.
Oakland could also be looking to load up their defense. They've already signed six defensive players, all of which are younger than 30 years old. Adding another young pass rusher wouldn't be a bad idea. The more I hear about Ziggy Ansah the more I wonder if he could be the pick? He is a phenomenal athlete from BYU and has the size to be a special player. Of course you have players like Barkevious Mingo, Shariff Floyd and Dion Jordan. All of which seem to have positives and could be the cornerstone for the Oakland Raiders future.
Speaking of cornerstones, specifically the word corner, who is going to play cornerback for the Raiders? Is it possible that Oakland is filling every other position other than cornerback because they are targeting a cornerback in the draft? DeMarcus Milliner is a player to watch that may be on the Raiders radar. He could also be the player that changes the entire landscape of the draft. Look for teams like the Detriot Lions, Tennessee Titans and Cleveland Browns to possibly trade up to draft Milliner. Basically every team picking in the top 15 needs a top cornerback and Milliner is the guy. No other cornerback in the draft is worthy of a top 10 pick.
If Oakland is able to trade out of the 3rd pick most people think it will be because a team wants quarterback Geno Smith. I think it's more likely that a team makes a move for Milliner, especially a team that knows the Lions will pick him up with the 5th pick if he is still available. The Raiders could pick up a top 10 second round pick and a later pick if they can make a trade with the Titans, Browns or New York Jets. They would also still have the ability to pick up a pass rusher in the first round. The options are really endless for the Oakland Raiders and McKenzie will have an opportunity to show what kind of GM he is in the 2013 NFL Draft.
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