NFL Mock Draft: Raiders bolster defense in first two rounds

NFL Mock Draft: Raiders bolster defense in first two rounds

With the 2017 NFL Draft set to start on April 27, the experts at Rotoworld put together the following seven-round Mock Draft for the Oakland Raiders.

Round 1 (24): CB Chidobe Awuzie, Colorado
Reggie McKenzie loved D.J. Hayden, but had to admit that mistake. It didn't work out. I could see McKenzie viewing Awuzie in a similar light, but actually worthy of a first-round pick. Awuzie offers slot experience, a trait that is difficult to find in higher-end college prospects.
 
Round 2 (56):
LB Jarrad Davis, Florida
The Raiders prioritize athleticism at linebacker, with Heeney, Jenkins, and 2015 free agent signing Malcolm Smith fitting that mold. Davis is definitely a plus athlete. Davis dealt with an injury for a good portion of 2016, but he might be this year's Deion Jones.
 
Round 3 (88): RB D’Onta Foreman, Texas
The Raiders let Latavius Murray walk in free agency and added nothing to the roster. Foreman is an outstanding fit behind Oakland's lane-clearing offensive line, as he offers tremendous athleticism and big-play ability for a 235-pound back. Let him run through and away from those lanes.
 
Round 4 (129): EDGE Joe Mathis, Washington
Mathis certainly has his fans in the draft media. Pass rushers are difficult to come by on the third day, but Mathis could be available due to a foot injury.
 
Round 5 (168): LB Jayon Brown, UCLA
Brown flew under the radar on the all-star circuit, but he’s another linebacker with range.
 
Round 6 (208): DL Josh Tupou, Colorado
A massive body to help on the interior. True nose tackles are difficult to come by in this class.
 
Round 7 (242): WR Fred Ross, Miss State
A productive slot receiver.
 
Round 7 (244): OT Dan Skipper, Arkansas
Skipper is a massive man who will likely land on a practice squad.

Carr discusses contract negotiations with Raiders: 'These things take time'

Carr discusses contract negotiations with Raiders: 'These things take time'

Raiders general Reggie McKenzie plans to extend quarterback Derek Carr’s contract this offseason. That isn’t a new thing, something that has been in the works for some time. He re-affirmed that fact last week, citing his team’s commitment to work out a long-term deal likely the biggest in franchise history.

Carr was reportedly frustrated with the pace of contract talks after the NFL draft – they’re supposed to heat up this spring and summer – but said he believes a deal will get worked out before training camp begins.

That’s his deadline for an offseason deal, the point where he wants focus honed on football.

“I have an agent who is in charge of that and I am confident that he and Mr. (Reggie) McKenzie will work it out,” Carr, a Fresno State alum, told the Fresno Bee. “I am only focused on becoming a better football player and helping my teammates become better players.

“I have complete faith it will get done before training camp. These things take time. The Raiders know I want to be here; this is my family, and I know they want me to be their quarterback.”

The sides have discussed parameters of a long-term deal, with greater specifics to be ironed out in the future. Carr has long said he wants to be a Raider his entire career. The Raiders want him as the public face of their franchise. A new deal is expected by all parties, a sentiment that has never wavered on either side.

Carr is scheduled to make a $977,519 in base salary in 2017, the final year of his rookie contract.

Raiders offseason program intensifies as OTA sessions begin

Raiders offseason program intensifies as OTA sessions begin

The Raiders offseason program is five weeks old. Players have lifted weights. They’ve improved cardiovascular shape. They’ve done drills in position groups and discussed schematics. They’ve added rookies to a group now 90 strong.

On Monday, they can finally put on helmets. They still can’t wear pads or have full contact, but the Raiders can play 11-on-11. Receivers will be covered. Quarterback Derek Carr will throw into traffic. Generally speaking, the competition cranks up a bit.

The NFL collective bargaining agreement has strict mandates regarding offseason activity, and a period formally called “Phase III” allows for more realistic on-field football work.

The Raiders will conduct 10 OTA sessions over the next three weeks. The media can watch three of them. Tuesday is the first, with another in each of the next two weeks. These sessions are technically voluntary, though the Raiders generally hover around perfect attendance. Head coach Jack Del Rio prefers his team be unified in the offseason. Players know it and show up.

There is a mandatory minicamp from June 13-15 which wraps the offseason program and starts a quiet period that extends until training camp begins in late July.

These OTAs offer an opportunity for new players to learn the system, for adjustments to be made and for chemistry to be built heading into a 2017 season where expectations are high.