There are at least seven teams and eight picks before the San Francisco 49ers get around to making a pick in the 2018 NFL Draft (potentially more if they lose the coin flip against the Oakland Raiders), and we’re going to go through those teams, looking at their needs and how they can impact the 49ers on draft day.
Today, we’re taking a look at the Raiders who finished the season with a 6-10 record, putting them in line for the ninth or 10th overall pick in the draft, pending that coin flip.
Oakland Raiders (6-10)
Biggest need: CB
Need that impact 49ers: CB
Other needs: OT, WR, ILB, DT
I cannot imagine a more infuriating NFL Draft scenario than the 49ers losing the coin toss against the Raiders and Minkah Fitzpatrick falling all the way to the ninth overall pick. Because in that scenario, I’m positive the Raiders would take him, and that would be a huge blow to the 49ers, who would surely make that pick if they could.
Both teams have a big need at corner. For the 49ers, Dontae Johnson needs to go, while Ahkello Witherspoon needs somebody opposite him. Gareon Conley might be a good corner for the Raiders, but they have a need even if he ends up being great.
Donald Penn has dealt with leg injuries the past two seasons and will turn 35 in April, so offensive tackle is also a fairly large need for the Raiders. David Sharpe was a fourth-round pick last year, but he was abysmal in his short time at left tackle as a rookie.
Inside linebacker is a need if NaVorro Bowman doesn’t return to Oakland, but I tend to think they’ll bring him back. Bowman played quite well down the stretch for the Raiders, and I think he’s a great fit there.
Defensive tackle is a fairly large need, and you can expect Jon Gruden to focus on that side of the ball in the draft. The Raiders add a defensive tackle every offseason, but nobody quite fills the need. Justin Ellis wasn’t good, Eddie Vanderdoes doesn’t look like someone who is special, and tore his ACL in the season finale.
Wide receiver is a concern given how Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper underperformed last season. That said, I think the first-round selection is going to be a cornerback.