Las Vegas Raiders Pre Free Agency 2022 Seven Round Mock Draftby Mike Fanelli March 7, 2022 0 comments
The Las Vegas Raiders are coming off their first postseason appearance since 2016. Despite several distractions throughout the season, Derek Carr and intern head coach Rich Bisaccia kept the Raiders on track. After winning the final four games, the Raiders sneaked into the playoffs with a 10-7 record. However, Las Vegas has several upcoming free agents and limited cap space at its disposal. Outside of a few minor trades, the Raiders have the majority of their picks. Las Vegas needs to make the most of them if they want to return to the playoffs next season.
To help with this mock draft, I used The Draft Network’s mock draft simulator.
Make sure to check out all of our other NFL Team Mock Drafts.
Round 1, Pick 22: Jordan Davis, DL, Georgia
Las Vegas has several holes on their roster to address this offseason. One not getting enough media attention is the defensive tackle position. The Raiders have three upcoming free agents at that position, including starters Johnathan Hankins and Quinton Jefferson. With limited cap space this offseason, Las Vegas likely won’t be able to re-sign both starters. Meanwhile, Hankins turns 30 years old at the end of the month. The Raiders could opt to replace him with a rookie like Davis. He was a freak of nature at the combine. Despite weighing in at 341 lbs, Davis ran a 4.78 40-yard dash. Davis also had a 123-inch broad jump and a 32-inch vertical jump. If Davis slides to this pick, the Raiders must take the Georgia product.
For more on Davis, check out our scouting report on him.
Round 2, Pick 53: Christian Watson, WR, North Dakota State
Hunter Renfrow was outstanding for the Raiders last season, totaling over 1,000 receiving yards on 103 receptions to go along with nine receiving touchdowns, all team-highs. However, the duo of Zay Jones and Bryan Edwards won’t cut it anymore on the outside. Watson had an impressive Senior Bowl week, showing he can play with the best players in college football. Then, he went on to have a terrific performance at the combine. The 6’4” 208 lb wide receiver ran a 4.36 40-yard time. He also had a 38.5-inch vertical jump and a 136-inch broad jump. Watson could slide to the Raiders’ second-round pick thanks to the deep wide receiver draft class. If he does, Watson is a slam dunk selection.
For more on Watson, check out our scouting report on him.
Round 3, Pick 86: Quay Walker, LB, Georgia
After acquiring him in a preseason trade, Denzel Perryman went on to have a productive year. He should be back to man the middle of the defense in 2022. However, the rest of the linebacker unit is full of questions. Divine Deablo played well as a rookie, but he won’t have a guaranteed starting spot next year. Meanwhile, K.J. Wright is an upcoming free agent, while Cory Littleton and Nick Kwiatkoski could be cap casualties. Walker was a critical part of Georgia’s dominant defense last season with a career-high 65 tackles and 5.5 tackles for a loss as a senior. Pairing him with Deablo and Perryman would give the Raiders a consistent linebacker unit.
For more on Walker, check out our scouting report on him.
Round 4, Pick 124: Alec Pierce, WR, Cincinnati
Unless the Raiders sign a top-tier free agent wide receiver, they will likely use a pair of picks at the position. Even after drafting Watson in the second round, Las Vegas should spend a mid-round selection on another wide receiver. Pierce hasn’t gotten much national attention but had a productive career at Cincinnati. He finished his season year with a career-high 884 receiving yards and eight receiving touchdowns. Furthermore, his performance at the combine was impressive. Pierce ran a 4.41 40-yard dash and had a 40.5 vertical jump. Pairing Pierce with Watson, Renfrow, and Darren Waller would give Carr an excellent receiving core.
Round 5, Pick 163: Max Mitchell, OT, Louisiana
Last year the Raiders spent their first-round pick on Alex Leatherwood. The plan was for him to play at right tackle. However, he struggled at tackle and finished the year at right guard. Veteran right tackle Brandon Parker is a free agent. While the Raiders could re-sign him, they might decide to fill that spot in the draft. Despite playing at Louisiana, Mitchell had plenty of opportunities against NFL-caliber pass rushers in college. Not only did he hold his own in those games, but Mitchell dominated at times. He is an athletic tackle that can get great depth on his pass set to beat defenders to the point. Mitchell does need to gain some upper body strength. Once he does, he will be a starter for the Raiders.
Round 5, Pick 164: Josh Thompson, CB, Texas
Over the past few years, the Raiders have invested several draft picks at the cornerback position. During the 2021 draft, Las Vegas used a fifth-round pick on Nate Hobbs. Even if they re-sign veteran Casey Hayward, the Raiders need more depth at the cornerback position. Meanwhile, Thompson had a solid career at Texas, playing meaningful snaps since his freshman season. He scored his only career touchdown last season on a pick-six. Furthermore, Thompson is an excellent run support cornerback and can make tackles in space. His physicality also gives him the potential to play some snaps at safety.
Round 7, Pick 224: Amare Barno, EDGE, Virginia Tech
While the Raiders have an excellent duo in Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue, they could use more depth. The starting duo combined for 18 sacks last season. However, Clelin Ferrell and Carl Nassib had three combined sacks in 2021. The Raiders can save $3 million in cap space by releasing Nassib this offseason. They could also try to trade Ferrell, as he has been a bust so far in his NFL career. Meanwhile, Barno was productive during his two years at Virginia Tech, totaling 21.5 tackles for a loss and 10 sacks. Furthermore, he ran a 4.36 40-yard dash at the combine, a record for a defensive lineman. While he will never turn into a starter for the Raiders, Barno would provide rotational depth for Las Vegas.
Follow Mike Fanelli on Twitter @Mike_NFL2
Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images