College and NFL coach mock draft gives Raiders talented defensive end

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Free agency is only a few days away and we are already seeing the needs of the Raiders changing before our eyes. A week ago, the offensive line seemed like it was in good shape. But now, the team will need to replace three starters with Richie Incognito and Gabe Jackson released and Trent Brown traded.

While improving the offensive line will certainly be on the top of Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden’s priority list, the lack of a pass-rush still might be this team’s biggest problem area.

So, what do coaches around the NFL and college football believe the Raiders will do in the first round? In a recent mock draft written by Bruce Feldman of The Athletic, he talked to several coaches and decision-makers and asked them to predict each team’s pick in the first round.

For the Raiders, the pick was Miami defensive end Gregory Rousseau, who opted out of the 2020 season. Here is a snippet of what one coach had to say about the former Hurricane defensive end:

“There’s still so much untapped upside with him. He’s still learning how to rush the passer. He’s even longer than (Jaelan) Phillips, and he has so much leverage. It’s hard for guys to get their hands on him. He wins the reach battle, and he plays very hard. He’s always chasing guys down. He’s also a great kid.”

As a redshirt freshman, Rousseau dominated the ACC, totaling 19.5 tackles for a loss and 15.5 sacks. He’s still learning the defensive end position as he is a former wide receiver and has just one year of play on the edge under his belt.

In order for Rousseau to reach his potential in the NFL, he’s going to need a few years to learn and develop. The Raiders wouldn’t be a bad landing spot for him as Rod Marinelli is highly regarded as one of the best defensive line coaches and teachers in the league.

Given his incredible height, weight, speed and upside, Rousseau would make for a fun pick at No. 17 for the Raiders. His Pro Day is set for March 29 and you can bet that the Raiders will be on hand to watch him work out.

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