Raiders select small-school cornerback in ESPN’s 7-round mock draft

·2 min read

The Raiders will be taking a cornerback fairly early in the 2022 NFL Draft. That much we know. They’ve done extensive work on the cornerback class so far and it wouldn’t be a surprise at all if that’s the direction they go at No. 86.

So who might the Raiders consider with that pick and is there a small-school sleeper we should watch over the next few days?

In a recent seven-round mock by Matt Miller of ESPN, he has the Raiders taking one of the most intriguing players in the draft in Joshua Williams from Fayetteville State. Here is what Miller had to say about the pick:

“A small-school prospect with big-time potential, Williams would fill a need at cornerback that the Raiders have not been able to solve. At nearly 6-foot-3, Williams has the size and length to be a matchup problem for the many great receivers in the AFC West.”

Williams is someone who has risen dramatically in the pre-draft process. He went to the Senior Bowl and played well against much better competition. Plus, he has elite size at 6’3, 195 pounds with 33-inch arms.

He was fantastic during the 2019 and 2021 seasons for Fayetteville State (no season in 2020 to COVID-19) as he totaled 24 pass deflections and five interceptions. Williams was named first-team All-CIAA and was among the best players in the conference.

He’s probably not ready to be a full-time starter right away, but he could contribute on special teams as a rookie. But given his size and athleticism, he should be ready to compete for a starting job by the 2023 season.

Williams is expected to be a top-100 pick, so this is where he is slotted to go. But will the Raiders be the one to pick him in the third round? We will find out in just a few days.

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Cornerbacks squarely on Raiders draft radar