The Raiders have four of the first 35 picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, including three first-rounders — No. 4, No. 24 and No. 27 (the 24th and 27th selections are courtesy of trades involving Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper). On the heels of a 4-12 record, there are plenty of needs and when the draft gets underway on April 25th, new general manager Mike Mayock insists the team will be prepared.
“Regardless of the scenario, we have to be ready to pick at No. 4 and be excited about a player,” Mayock told reporters Thursday, via the San Francisco Chronicle “Now, we might move up. We might move back. We won’t know until draft night. But if we’re ‘stuck’ at 4, we’ve got to be ready to go.”
Should Oakland move up from the fourth overall pick, it might be for Okahoma’s Kyler Murray (Derek Carr era in coach Jon Gruden’s second year. Mayock warned against reading too much into the the Raiders holding private workouts recently for Murray and Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins ( ), another likely top-10 pick.), the Heisman Trophy winner who could be the first player off the board. Such a bold move would also effectively end the
“I’ve said before … Derek Carr is a franchise quarterback, and we believe that,” Mayock said. “Beyond that, just like at any other position, we’re going to do our due diligence. If we found somebody we liked better, or thought had a bigger upside, you’ve got to do the right thing for the organization.
“But we love Derek. We love what he brings to the table. But like every other position, we’re going to do all of our due diligence. And I happen to work with a head coach that absolutely loves the position. And we’re always going to know about those guys.”
This meshes with what Gruden said earlier this month in an interview with NFL Network.
“He’s going to be our quarterback,” he told Jim Trotter. “I’m not going to address all of the rumors. I could care less about the rumors. He threw for 4,100 yards, threw for almost 70 percent (completions) in a very dire, tough circumstance. So I have a lot of confidence in Carr, what he can do with Antonio Brown, with Tyrell Williams, with Trent Brown coming in here to help our offensive line, with a better defense. Yeah, I’m excited about Carr.”
We don’t think the Raiders would trade up to No. 1 to get Murray, but things get interesting if the Cardinals, who have the first pick, pass on him. Then we’d see just how much Gruden was all in on Carr. More likely, however, is that Oakland addresses needs on defense. But here’s something else to consider: The Raiders filled a lot of needs through free agency — mostly on offense — and if they draft, say, Quinnen Williams at No. 4 they could package some variation of picks No. 24, 27 and 35 to move up in the first round to draft an edge rusher like Rashan Gary, Brian Burns or Montez Sweat.
The machinations of how this could unfold hasn’t been lost on Mayock.
“Jon keeps telling me, ‘Don’t mess it up, dude,'” he admitted. “I took a lot of slings to get you three first-round picks.'”
In our latest mock draft we had them taking Williams at No. 4, Greedy Williams at No. 24, Josh Jacobs at No. 27 and Irv Smith Jr. at No. 35.