Raiders pass on offensive line, go defense in latest Draft Network mock

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Marcus Mosher
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We are just over two weeks away from the Raiders being on the clock at pick No. 17. As the draft has gotten closer, it appears the team is leaning towards using their top pick on an offensive lineman, specifically, a right tackle to fill the void left by Trent Brown.

The list of offensive linemen the Raiders could consider at No. 17 is long, including USC’s Alijah Vera-Tucker, Alabama’s Alex Leatherwood and Oklahoma State’s Teven Jenkins. However, is there a chance the Raiders could avoid an offensive tackle in Round 1 and go defense?

In a recent mock draft by Trevor Sikkema of The Draft Network, he has the Raiders going Micah Parsons, the linebacker from Penn State, in the first round. Here is what he had to say about the team ignoring the offensive line and going defense:

“The Raiders will likely have plenty of good offensive linemen to pick in the first round, but I’m not so sure they dismantled their offensive line (by choice) just to then spend their first-round pick there. I think they (perhaps foolishly) believe in the guys they currently have. On defense, they need linebackers and edge rushing. Parsons can fill some of that void, with his main contribution coming from the center of that defense.”

It would not be a surprise for the Raiders to go defense in Round 1. However, linebacker is the one position where they appear to be set. The team restructured the contracts of Nick Kwiatoski and Cory Littleton this offseason and re-signed Nicholas Morrow. They also drafted Tanner Muse in the third round last year and he is now recovered from his foot injury who needs to be mentioned.

If the Raiders do go defense, look for them to add another pass-rusher or cornerback. Linebacker depth could certainly be addressed on Day 2 or Day 3, but don’t expect them to go in that direction in Round 1. Parsons is an incredibly talented player, but the Raiders have much more pressing needs at more important positions entering the draft.

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