After their win in Week 9, the Raiders sit at 4-5 after nine games. And with the way things have been going, there is a chance that they could get to 7-8 wins this season, given their schedule.
That likely put them out of the top 10, which means they won’t be in range for any of the top quarterbacks. Intstead, they could use their first-round selection to beef up the interior defensive line.
In a recent mock draft by Pro Football Focus, Trevor Sikkema gave the Raiders an impact defensive tackle to pair with Maxx Crosby and Tyree Wilson. His name is Jer’Zhan Newton from Illinois. Here is why Sikkema believes this would be a home-run pick for Las Vegas:
Many teams will want Jer’Zhan Newton’s services, especially since he might be the only defensive tackle taken in the first round. Because of that — and just how good he is — he should be a top-15 pick. The Raiders win that sweepstakes in this mock, and they desperately need it, given how good Newton is as a run defender.
Newton hasn’t posted big sack totals in his career (15 career sacks in four years), but he does have a whopping 24.5 tackles for a loss. He is one of the best run-stopping defensive tackles in this class and that is exactly what the Raiders need in the middle of their defense.
The Raiders are likely to use their top pick on defense next year, whether that be at defensive tackle or cornerback. They desperately need help at both spots, but Newton would be a fantastic fit in Patrick Graham’s defense.