1. Barkevious Mingo – 6’5 240 – LSU
The Oakland Raiders lacked a pash rush last year and need to improve it quickly in order to compete next year. Mingo is a great pass rusher that has the size speed and strength you need from a pass rusher at 6’5 240. He is also decent against the run. Mingo will most likely be either a 4-3 end or a 3-4 OLB I prefer him as a situational pass rusher on third downs early in his career. Look for Mingo to shine at the combine and may compete to become the number one overall pick in the draft.
2. Star Lotulelei – 6’4 320 – Utah
Raiders had a poor run defense Nd pass rush in 2012. DT Richard Seymour is a FA and Tommy Kelly has a big contract and could be released. They both played disappointingly last year. Star is a stout on the line and viscous in the run game. He is extremely athletic and can play in a 4-3 or a 3-4. Don’t be surprised if a team puts him at the 1 tech in a 3-4. Though Star does need to work on his pass rush, he has the look to become the next great NFL lineman.
3. Geno Smith 6’3 220 – West Virginia
Carson Palmer had an average season last year at QB for the raiders, though most of his stats came from garbage time minutes when the Raiders were playing catch up. Palmer is 33 and is not a QB that can be leaned on to carry a team to the playoffs or a franchise QB. Geno Smith is considered the top QB prospect in the upcoming draft. Smith is extremely accurate but doesn’t have elite arm strength. He can become a franchise QB but dome are skeptical on him. With Palmer making $13M this year don’t be surprised if the Raiders cut him and either take Geno at number three or trade down and take him.
4. Damontre Moore DE – 6’4 250 – Texas A&M
Moore had a great year with the argues and is considered a top prospect. With the Raiders woes at pass rushing, Moore can become that 10+ sack guy for them. He is a 4-3 end with a good burst off of the line. He can beat opponents with his quickness and some times a bull rush. He doesn’t have elite explosiveness you would like in a pass rusher and is still developing in the run game. Look for Moore to be taken in the top ten.
5. Sheldon Richardson DT 6’4 295 – Missouri
Richardson is a rare athlete that was an absolute force on the line with Missouri. He has a non stop motor and is very fast. Richardson has been climbing up board of mock drafts because of his production at Missouri and his unreal athletic ability. Though some think that Richardson will become lazy and not care once he gets his NFL paycheck, he has tremendous upside. Richardson is still raw and unpolished though. He has the ability to play both DE and DT because of his strength and quickness. If Richardson proves that he’s not just in it for the money he will become a top 5 pick this year.