ESPN beat writer mock gives Raiders LB Micah Parsons at No. 17

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Marcus Mosher
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Just one more. One more sleep until we find out where the Raiders go in the first round. This is one of the most important drafts in recent memory for the Raiders as they need to hit on several picks to stay competitive in the AFC.

The biggest question surrounding the Raiders in this particular draft is where do they go in the first round? The defense has holes at all three levels and needs to get faster. But the offensive line needs a starting right tackle as it may be their biggest need on the team.

In a recent beat writer mock draft by ESPN, Paul Gutierrez gave the Raiders a defender at No. 17. Which defender did he pick? None other than Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons. Here is what he had to say about the possible selection:

“A playmaking alpha linebacker for defensive coordinator Gus Bradley? Yes, please. Though it’s hard to see Parsons falling into the Raiders’ lap. Still, Las Vegas needs a versatile linebacker to fit Bradley’s scheme and Parsons would nicely complement Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski. A more realistic option in this scenario, if the top three OT prospects are gone by the 17th pick, is for the Raiders to trade back a few slots and select a versatile offensive lineman like USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker. He could slide inside to right guard and Denzelle Good could potentially move to right tackle.”

Of all the positions on defense, linebacker is the one spot that probably has the least amount of question marks. However, Parsons is an incredible athlete with the potential to be an All-Pro linebacker sooner rather than later. If he were to slide to No. 17, it would be tough for Mike Mayock and Jon Gruden to pass on him for a lesser player.

While it still feels likely that the Raiders will go offensive line in Round 1, don’t rule out the possibility they take Parsons. He would add speed to their defense and another playmaker. Parsons is likely on the shortlist of names the team will consider at No. 17.

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