It’s April, so you know what that means for NFL fans? It’s draft month.
What’s certain is this: The draft, which runs April 27-29, will be held in Philadelphia for the first time since 1961.
However, there is no certainty or consensus on who analysts think the Raiders will select with the 24th pick. Of the 13 writers sampled over five websites, there are 11 players mentioned. The majority believes the Raiders will look to improve their defense, but three experts have offensive guys coming off the board – and all play different positions.
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Unlike early picks, like the 49ers at No. 2, later selections are proving harder to agree on.
Here’s a roundup of who some analysts think the Raiders will take in the draft:
Updated April 5
Chris Burke is one of a few analysts who think the Raiders will add to an offense that ranked sixth in terms of yardage and seventh in scoring last season. He has Oakland taking Washington receiver John Ross, who benefited from playing with Folsom High graduate Jake Browning in the Huskies’ high-scoring offense in 2016.
“Ross’s injury history could be all that keeps him from pushing toward the top 10,” Burke wrote. “By this point, he’s a steal. All the better for the Raiders that they should be in the market for another weapon on offense.”
Updated April 5
Terrance Biggs has tabbed Ohio State linebacker Raekwon McMillan as Oakland’s choice.
“While the Raiders have a talented front seven, the LB corps lacks that playmaker to patrol the inside,” Biggs wrote. “While Perry Riley gives you heart and toughness, his limitations in coverage hurt the team. McMillan brings a free-flowing acceleration to the field. Provided Haason Reddick and Zach Cunningham are off the board, McMillan is a sound pick at 24.”
Updates range from March 30 to April 7
Six analysts, six different players considered. Two guys think the Raiders will select a cornerback, so there’s a small bit of accord.
Pete Prisco has LSU’s Tre’Davious White as the choice. Staying in the Southeastern Conference, Ryan Wilson thinks it will be Alabama’s Marlon Humphrey going there. Humphrey is one of two players selected by multiple analysts (NFL.com’s Lance Zierlein being the other).
The most interesting pick by a CBS analyst is one on offense. Dane Brugler has the Raiders selecting Florida State running back Dalvin Cook, which would help the team which lost starter Latavius Murray to Minnesota (assuming Oakland doesn’t bring Marshawn Lynch to him hometown team).
“Running back isn’t the No. 1 need on the roster, but if Oakland is one of the several teams who have Cook rated as the top back, the value would make sense,” Brugler wrote.
Updates range from March 27 to April 11
All five experts have the Raiders going defense, and three analysts say linebacker is the position of choice.
“Cunningham is an instinctive, athletic linebacker who can play all three downs,” Casserly wrote.
Updated April 6
Draft analyst Eddie Brown is looking at Florida defensive tackle Caleb Brantley as the Raiders’ first-round pick.
“Brantley is an effective interior pass-rusher who also helps create sacks for his teammates – just in case you figured Khalil Mack had reached his ceiling,” Brown wrote.
He added that the Raiders’ biggest needs are running back, defensive tackle and cornerback.