Day 2 is done after an exciting haul of players, and the Raiders go into day 3 with 3 picks: -121 overall (4th Round) -139 overall (4th Round) -172 overall (5th Round) However, it wouldn’t take long for Mayock & Gruden to dive into action and make a trade up with Detroit, swapping our 4th & 5th round pick, to move up 12 places in the 4th to 109 overall.
Round 4 – 109th
Round 4 – 121st
Round 5 – 172nd
…and with that pick at 109, the Raiders select:
John SimpsonOffensive Guard – Clemson
Another pick for the Silver & Black out of Clemson, and this time it’s 6’4”, 312lbs offensive lineman; John Simpson. Simpson plays primarily at guard – an expected position to be addressed in the draft after Gabe Jackson didn’t have the best year – not ideal when you’re eating up $9.6m in cap space – 5th highest on the Raiders roster and 4.36% of total team allowance. Behind him on the depth chart is Denzelle Good; not a bad back-up and only costing $2.5m, but beyond that, the only other back-up at natural guard is Lester Cotton Sr. Hopefully Simpson can plug right in opposite veteran guard Incognito, as many are speculating he could be a day 1 starter, especially if the Raiders are shopping Gabe Jackon, as various reports indicate. Simpson was impressive at the combine, posting up 34 bench reps – ranking 3rd overall in the OL class. He was also 19th overall in the 3 Cone (8.03) and 16th overall in the Shuttle (4.87). The difference between Simpsons’ numbers and 1st place numbers in the 3 cone & shuttle were 0.77 & 0.40 respectively – negligible. However the difference between Simpson’s bench press of 3rd highest, was a massive 9 reps, or 36% more, than the numbers posted at around 20th overall. For a 4th round pick, those numbers are excellent, and he comes into a locker-room full of former Clemson teammates & alumnis around him. He’ll be an ideal rookie to develop into our already powerful offensive line, finding holes for Josh Jacobs and keeping Derek Carr upright.
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Amik RobertsonCCornerback – Louisiana Tech
With the last pick of their draft, the Raiders selected highly thought of CB out of Louisiana Tech, Amik Roberson. There was a lot of hype around the young corner, and some reports state that the only reason he dropped into day 3 was because of his height; coming in at 5’ 8.5”. Mayock saw past that, which his tape most certainly confirms is worth doing – he plays with toughness, grit and strength. His man to man press coverage is excellent, he bullies receivers at the line, disrupting the route and then making a play on the ball. A classic Raiders style bump and run corner, as put by Jon Gruden. Over his 3 year college career at Louisiana Tech, over 38 games, his stats were as follows:
- Tackles: 184
- Solo: 138
- Tackle for loss: 23
- Sack: 4.0
- Interceptions: 14
- Return Yards: 265
- Defensive touchdowns: 3
- Forced Fumbles: 2
- Fumble Recoveries: 2
The Raiders secondary is now looking incredibly interesting with a plethora of young talent; both upfront with last year’s draft picks and some newly acquired talent in free agency, as well as in the backfield with much of the same. Our defence ranked #25th overall in passing yards allowed per game last year, a stat we much hope to improve to read similar to our rushing yards allowed per game, where we were 8th best in the league. Exciting times ahead for the Silver & Black.