By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, February 18th, 2013 at 11:58 am in Oakland Raiders.
NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock said in a national conference call he thought Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd could be a potential target for the Raiders with the No. 3 overall pick in the 2013 NFL draft.
Mayock, available in advance of this week’s NFL scouting combine, said he liked Floyd (6-foot-3, 303 pounds) ahead of Utah’s Star Lotulelei (6-4, 325), a player who heading into the combine is considered to be more of a top 10 pick than Floyd on most lists.
“Oakland is in a very good place. They need D-linemen, and they can get one in this draft. This kid from the University of Florida, Sharrif Floyd, he’s the prototypical three-technique in this draft and I think he’s going to be a big-time impact player that people don’t know about,” Mayock said. “I’ve got him rated higher than the Utah kid and he’s a natural at what they do.”
Defensive tackle Richard Seymour is an unrestricted free agent, as is injury-replacement in the starting lineup, Desmond Bryant. Starter Tommy Kelly is no lock to return because of a high salary cap number.
The Raiders are presently without picks in the second and fifth rounds because of trades for Carson Palmer and Aaron Curry in 2011. They’ve added a second seventh-round pick in the Louis Murphy deal to Carolina and also will probably receive a compensatory pick or picks by the time the draft takes place.
While trading the No. 3 overall pick is no doubt enticing, and would potentially enable the Raiders to recoup the lost picks, it may be easier said than done.
Mayock said the 2013 draft is exceptionally deep because of a strong junior class, but not particularly top heavy.
“I think the fifth pick in the draft and the 25th pick are very similar,” Mayock said.
Mayock, who correctly forecast the Raiders selection of Darrius Heyward-Bey in 2009 well in advance of the draft based on the way Al Davis leaned heavily on size, strength and speed, said the organization has changed the way it identifies talent in the Reggie McKenzie-Dennis Allen era.
“I think there’s a very radical divergence from the past Raider way,” Mayock said. “I don’t mean that positively or negatively. I just mean different. I like where Reggie and Dennis are headed. Reggie comes from Green Bay. In Green Bay, Ted Thompson’s been a guy that grinds. He’s out in the field all the time. He’s a true old-school evaluator, where h wants a football player first and an athlete second, and I think Mr. Davis was a little bit the opposite.
“He wanted that athlete first and that he thought he could mold into a football player.”
Mayock also sees four offensive linemen as being players who could go in the top three _ Texas A&M tackle Luke Joekel, Central Michigan tackle Eric Fisher, Alabama guard Chance Warmack and North Carolina guard Jonathan Cooper.
The Raiders could use an instant starter at either at right tackle, where Khalif Barnes is a free agent, or either guard spot, where Mike Brisiel was brought in because of his familiarity with the zone bocking scheme and Cooper Carlisle is a free agent.