The Raiders may be planning a surprise for draft day.
Oakland, which has the No. 4 selection in the first round Thursday, could make an unexpected choice, reports Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network.
The fact that Raiders general manager Mike Mayock made the decision to ban his team’s scouts from team facilities before this draft – to stop possible leaks to other teams – could indicate the team wants to safeguard its intentions.
Rapoport reported the Raiders made the move because they are looking at “some sort of surprise pick at No. 4 that would necessitate absolute secrecy.”
“That is what I understand,” Rapoport said. “A pick at No. 4 that we are not expecting. So what that actually is, I do not know. I have some thoughts. Maybe that’s Devin White (LSU linebacker). Maybe it’s a quarterback like Dwayne Haskins (Ohio State) or Kyler Murray (Oklahoma) if he’s there. Maybe it’s an offensive lineman. No one has mocked them there. A tackle, perhaps. But from what I understand it is a pick that should surprise us at (No.) 4.”
The Raiders have three first-round picks, at Nos. 4, 24 and 27. It’s been widely projected the team will take the best defensive lineman or edge rusher available, such as Quinnen Williams, Nick Bosa or Josh Allen, at No. 4.
But Mayock – in his first draft as a GM after years as a media analyst – and head coach Jon Gruden don’t have a draft history together, so it’s hard to read their intentions.
White would be an interesting choice. He was selected the Butkus Award winner this past season as the nation’s top linebacker. The inside linebacker led LSU with 123 tackles in 2018, including 12 for losses, had three sacks and three forced fumbles. He’s 6 feet tall and 237 pounds and is athletic, having transitioned from being a terrific running back in high school.
White is projected to go in the first round, but a bit lower than No. 4.
Wrote Eric Ting of the San Francisco Chronicle, of the Raiders possibly taking White with the fourth choice: “White would fill a need for the Raiders, but top-five selections have rarely been used on inside linebackers in recent years.”
This post was originally posted at http://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/Raiders-May-be-Planning-a-Surprise-Pick-at-No-4-508947711.html.