1,638

Raiders draft prospect: DT Sheldon Rankins, Louisville

Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins could add a superior interior rush if drafted at No. 14 (AP photo)

Louisville DT Sheldon Rankins could add a superior interior rush if drafted at No. 14 (AP photo)

Ninth in a series of profiles of potential selections by the Raiders with the No. 14 pick in the first round of the NFL draft Thursday night.

Position: Defensive tackle

 Ht/Wt: 6-1, 299

 College: Louisville

 Year/age: Sr./21

 Rank: No. 14 by NFLDraftscout.com, No. 27 by Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network, No. 9 by Profootballfocus.com, No. 3 ranked interior defensive line by Mike Mayock, NFL Network. Continue Reading

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538

Raiders draft prospect: LB Reggie Ragland, Alabama

Eighth in a series of profiles of potential selections by the Raiders with the No. 14 pick in

Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland is the closest thing to a true middle linebacker among premium picks in the draft (AP photo).

Alabama linebacker Reggie Ragland is the closest thing to a true middle linebacker among premium picks in the draft (AP photo).

the first round of the NFL draft Thursday night.

Position: Inside linebacker

Ht/Wt: 6-1, 247

College: Alabama

Year/age: Sr./22

Rank: No. 15 by NFLDraftscout.com, No. 10 by Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network, No. 28 by Profootballfocus.com, No. 3 ranked linebacker by Mike Mayock, NFL Network. Continue Reading

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1,458

Raiders draft prospect: CB William Jackson III, Houston

Cornerback William Jackson III of Houston could be a target of the Raiders at No.. 14 (AP Photo)

Cornerback William Jackson III of Houston could be a target of the Raiders at No.. 14 (AP Photo)

Sixth in a series of profiles of potential selections by the Raiders with the No. 14 pick in the first round of the NFL draft on April 28

Position: Cornerback

Ht/Wt: 6-0, 189

College: Houston

Year/age: Sr./23

Rank: No. 21 by NFLDraftscout.com, not ranked in top 50 by Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network, No. 16 by Profootballfocus.com, not ranked among top five cornerbacks by Mike Mayock, NFL Network. Continue Reading

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1,175

Raiders ‘still going to grind’ despite the offseason hype

FullSizeRender 2The Raiders aren’t insulated enough in their building to keep from hearing a little of the external hype following their prize-winning offseason.

Oakland upgraded its roster significantly with the signings of left guard Kelechi Osemele, linebacker Bruce Irvin, cornerback Sean Smith and safety Reggie Nelson. And that’s all before next week’s draft, which is what general manager Reggie McKenzie is being sure to remind his scouts. Continue Reading

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202

Aldon Smith ‘in great spirits,’ Raiders hoping for the best

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said Aldon Smith was "in great spirits" when he visited the facility to sign his contract. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said Aldon Smith was “in great spirits” when he visited the facility to sign his contract. (Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group)

The Raiders can’t maintain much contact with suspended linebacker Aldon Smith, but general manager Reggie McKenzie felt good about the interaction he had with him earlier this month when re-signing him to a two-year deal.

“He left in great spirits, probably the best that we’ve seen,” McKenzie said of Smith’s trip to the Raiders’ Alameda headquarters to sign his contract.

Smith, suspended for a calendar year in November for his repeated off-the-field problems, is barred from participating in the offseason program and can’t be with the team until he’s reinstated by the NFL. He can apply 60 days before the suspension is scheduled to end on Nov. 17 to allow the NFL time to make its decision. Continue Reading

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111

Status quo remains on Raiders DE Mario Edwards Jr.

edwards

Mario Edwards is with the Raiders for their offseason program. (Raiders.com photo)

Raiders defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. is known to be working out with his teammates t the team’s Alameda facility. Beyond that, the status of the 2015 second-round pick remains up in the air.

“Nothing’s really changed from what we’ve talked about previously,” Raiders coach Jack Del Rio said Friday during a pre-draft press conference along with general manager Reggie McKenzie.

McKenzie revealed the week of the Super Bowl that the neck injury that forced Edwards to miss the final two games last year and appeared to be genetic and something he’s had for a number of years.

The most the team has revealed beyond that is that Edwards would see a doctor and team physicians in April to further determine the course of action. Whether that’s happened or any results from those exams remains unclear. Continue Reading

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190

Raiders draft prospect: T Ronnie Stanley, Notre Dame

FILE - In this Nov. 7, 2015, file photo, Notre Dame offensive lineman Ronnie Stanley (78) plays in an NCAA football game between the Pittsburgh and Notre Dame, in Pittsburgh. Defensive tackle Sheldon Day and offensive tackle Ronnie Stanley is a top offensive line prospect who could eventually take over at left tackle for Donald Penn. (AP photo)

Ronnie Stanley is a top offensive line prospect who could eventually take over at left tackle for Donald Penn. (AP photo)

Fifth in a series of profiles of potential selections by the Raiders with the No. 14 pick in the first round of the NFL draft on April 28

Position: Offensive tackle

Ht/Wt: 6-6, 312

College: Notre Dame

Year/age: R-jr/22

Rank: No. 9 by NFLDraftscout.com, No. 15 by Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network, No. 15 by Profootballfocus.com, No. 2 offensive tackle by Mike Mayock, NFL Network.

Resume: Second-team Associated Press All-America selection. Agile and has great feet for handling edge rushers in pass protection. Has 13 starts at right tackle and 27 at left tackle and has the athleticism to play on either side and play in any scheme. Two-time Notre Dame offensive lineman of the year. Would have likely been a top-tier pick had he come out after the 2014 season. Continue Reading

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2,079

Raiders draft prospect: CB Vernon Hargreaves III, Florida

Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III could step in and play as a slot corner if Raiders bite at No. 14.

Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III could step in and play as a slot corner if Raiders bite at No. 14.  (A.P. photo)

Fourth in a series of profiles of potential selections by the Raiders with the No. 14 pick in the first round of the NFL draft on April 28:

Position: Cornerback

Ht/Wt: 5-10, 204

College: Florida

Year/age: Jr./20

Rank: No. 10 by NFLDraftscout.com, No. 11 by Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network, No. 19 by Profootballfocus.com, No. 2 cornerback by Mike Mayock, NFL Network. Continue Reading

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2,826

Raiders draft prospect: DE Shaq Lawson, Clemson

Shaq Lawson had 24.5 tackles for losses and 12.5 sacks last season for Clemson and could be targeted by the Raiders. (AP photo)

Shaq Lawson had 24.5 tackles for losses and 12.5 sacks last season for Clemson and could be targeted by the Raiders. (AP photo)

Third in a series of profiles of potential selections by the Raiders with the No. 14 pick in the first round of the NFL draft on April 28:

Position: Defensive end, edge rusher

Ht/Wt: 6-3, 269

College: Clemson

Year/age: R-jr./21

Rank: No. 8 by NFLDraftscout.com, No. 24 by Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network, No. 12 by Profootballfocus.com, No. 3 edge rusher by Mike Mayock, NFL Network.

Resume: Had an amazing 24.5 tackles last season for losses with 12.5 sacks in a breakout year. In a game against Notre Dame tackle Ronnie Stanley, considered either the first or second-best offensive tackle in the country, Lawson had seven tackles and 3.5 tackles for losses. A first-team Associated Press All-America selection over Ohio State’s Joey Bosa and Oregon’s DeForest Buckner, both considered Top 10 selections.

What to like: Junior year production is exactly what general manager Reggie McKenzie and coach Jack Del Rio are looking for _ players who have the requisite skill level but most importantly show up on film. Although not a prospect along the order of Khalil Mack, Lawson, like Mack, has the upper and lower body strength to hold edge and be stout against the run.

What to watch: Can be pushed aside on inside running plays. Until the breakout junior season, Lawson’s production never matched his reputation and skill set. Started once as a sophomore with 3.5 sacks. Presence of linemate and potential first-round pick Kevin Dodd may helped him gain favorable match-ups.

Why he’s the pick for the Raiders: McKenzie and Del Rio are both of the belief you can never have too many linemen, and with the retirement of Justin Tuck and second-year player Mario Edwards Jr. dealing with a neck injury, the Raiders are thin at defensive end.

Why he’s not: Although one of the best edge players in the draft, that’s not saying a lot since it’s a down year in that area. Simply may not be high enough on the Raiders board to justify the pick.

Quotable: “I bring a lot of different moves to the pass rush. People say I’m mostly a power guy, but I don’t see myself as just a power guy. I can spin, beat you off the edge, run past you, everything,” _ Shaq Lawson at the NFL scouting combine.

 

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