The Raiders gets JOK to avoid being a JOKE.
The Oakland Raiders are on the clock in our Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft. While they have a former media draft analyst at general manager in Mike Mayock, we’re kicking him out of the war room for this mock.
Making the pick for the Raiders this year is POD commenter Son of Sparticus. Last year, the Raiders notoriously had an awful defense that got defensive coordinator Paul Guenther fired before the end of the season. Will they decide to add talent on that side of the ball, or find a piece to complement Derek Carr on offense.
Before we get into the Raiders’ pick, check out our Community Mock Draft tracker for the picks that have gone before them.
With the 17th pick in the Pride of Detroit Community Mock Draft, the Oakland Raiders have selected Notre Dame linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah.
Here’s Son of Sparticus explaining the pick:
The Raiders took a baby step forward in pandemic-stricken 2020, improving to 8-8 from 7-9 in 2019. While the second year of the Jon Gruden/Mike Mayock experiment did show some signs of becoming a playoff contender (at least for a wild card), there remain several holes on this roster. And while linebacker isn’t the most glaring, the talented Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah from Notre Dame is just too good to pass up at 17.
A true sideline-to-sideline defender, JOK fits the modern game as a three-down backer, given he can both cover and rush the passer. He possesses outstanding diagnostic instincts in the run game, allowing him to almost always be in the right place at the right time.
While the Raiders are still committed to both recent free agent signings Nick Kwiatkoski and Cory Littleton financially through 2022, both struggled somewhat in 2020 (Kwiatkowski with injuries, Littleton with performance). Thus enter a more athletic, more mobile piece in JOK cementing the future at LB.
He tallied 13 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks in 2020, showing how disruptive he can be behind the line of scrimmage. His RAS 8.71 is highlighted by the three-cone and shuttle dominance, showing off his amazing lateral quickness and short area burst. Not surprisingly, he excels at covering tight ends and running backs, too. Athleticism and production. That’s a hard combo to beat.
At least one analyst thinks he’s the best LB in this draft, better than Micah Parsons!
While I’m not ready to say he’s LB1 in the 2021 draft, given how this mock has fallen, I think the All American, Butkus Award-winning ACC Defensive Player of the Year is the best choice at #17 for the Raiders.
Erik Schlitt’s thoughts:
There is little disputing the value of snagging Owusu-Koramoah here, as he is a top-20 player in this draft. My concern is JOK is more of a hybrid LB/S and there’s some overlap with the role Jonathan Abram (2019 first round pick) holds with the Raiders. If they want to play him more traditionally, then he overlaps with Littleton. They can live with all these players on the field at the same time, and if they think JOK has the highest ceiling of the bunch—he probably does—then he’ll find his way on the field a lot.
Other options the Raiders should consider here is OL Alijah Vera-Tucker (USC) and RT Teven Jenkins (Oklahoma State ). After dismantling over half their offensive line in cap saving moves this offseason, the Raiders could use a plug-and-play lineman to anchor the offensive front. This is right in the range Vera-Tucker should go and he could be an important piece to their future.