49ers and Raiders chase defense early after falling out of the race for Nick Bosa in Tommy Call's mock draft 2.0

Wins have hurt the 49ers and Raiders draft position, but how much?

Tommy Call
December 18, 2018 - 1:13 pm

Over the past few weeks something new has happened in the Bay Area football atmosphere— winning. As great as these wins have been for the culture of the young cores, the phrase “winning solves everything” might not apply to the 49ers and Raiders. Each have been eliminated from the playoff picture and are entering draft season with needs all over the field.

The Raiders stealing a win at home against Pittsburgh in Week 14, and the 49ers building a two-game win streak have helped the fanbase and the aforementioned culture, but what did those wins do to the draft order?

Entering Week 14, the 49ers and Raiders were slated to pick No. 1 and No. 2 overall. Now, the 49ers have fallen back to No. 3, while the Raiders are back and No. 2.

The level of prospect that you can land first overall versus the prospect you get and at No. 2 and No. 3 is fairly large in this specific draft. Ohio State edge rusher Nick Bosa is clearly this draft's most highly touted prospect and it looks like both Bay Area have won their way out of his range. After Bosa there are still a bevy of talented defensive prospects available, but who do the Bay Area teams want? A debate that will change a lot from now till April, but with the season over in two weeks we are officially in mock draft season.

2. Oakland Raiders

Ed Oliver, Defensive Lineman, Houston

Another defensive tackle?

Well, Ed Oliver isn’t your average big man.

Trying to find the next Aaron Donald has been a trend in the NFL of late and the Raiders will be in line to select a player that is actually worthy of a Donald-esque comparison. Oliver is an anchor in the run game that can consistently dominate double teams with ease, but what makes Oliver special is his elite pass rushing traits for an interior defensive lineman. The Raiders used two picks on defensive tackles in 2017, but if Bosa is off the board the Raiders can’t afford to pass on Oliver if he falls in their lap.

Interior defensive pressure is quickly becoming one of the most dominant powers in the NFL simply because the talent on the interior offensive line cannot match the talent of the interior defensive line. The talent disparity between offensive line and defensive line is at an all time gap. You cannot block interior pressure without leaving your tackles on an island versus edge rushers— another talent thick position at the NFL.  

The Raiders aren’t just one pick away from contention. They need to build a foundation and that could start on the defensive line. Oliver, Maurice Hurst and PJ Hall could be a formidable defensive front for years to come.  

4. San Francisco 49ers

Josh Allen, Defensive Edge, Kentucky

Personally, Josh Allen is one of my favorite prospects in the entire 2019 class. The one player that could challenge Bosa as the top overall prospect especially if he has good workouts at the Senior Bowl and combine.

Allen was a production machine for the Wildcats this season almost single handedly dragging Kentucky football into contention for the first time in years. Allen racked up 14 sacks, 18.5 tackles for loss and five forced fumbles this season in Lexington.

College stats can sometimes be deceptive, but Allen’s production is something to marvel at. Allen racked up these numbers against the best competition in the SEC, and it wasn’t like he was hiding or being disguised by talent all over the field. This is Kentucky where he was clearly the best player and other teams were trying to double team him, and run away from his side of the field, but it didn’t work — he still dominated.

This type of production versus this competition is why some scouts believe it could all transfer over to the next level. Another aspect of Allen’s game that’s interesting is his versatility. Versatility can be an overused buzzword during draft season as every prospect at the top of the draft should have some level of versatility to their game, but Allen’s unique coverage skills makes him worthy of the label. With solid coaching and scheme Allen’s coverage ability could be something that he can continue to develop.

If Allen is available he could change the 49ers defense. His edge rushing ability could bump Solomon Thomas inside to a more natural three technique and with DeForest Buckner continuing to grow the 49ers would have a nasty defensive line set for a long time.

25. Oakland Raiders

Marquise Brown, Wide Receiver, Oklahoma

Leading into Jon Gruden’s hiring in Oakland all we heard about is how much of an “offensive guru” Gruden was. So far in 2018 we haven’t seen that, but has his lack of weapons hampered his offensive creativity? Possibly. Selecting one of this classes best playmakers would give Gruden a potential game changer to work with.

This draft class is limited at wide receiver with a group of lanky, big-bodied athletes. A few years ago that would’ve sounded great, but not in 2019. Look around the NFL, some of league’s most dangerous playmakers stand under six feet tall. Whether it’s Tyreek Hill, Brandin Cooks or Antonio Brown, these speedsters give playcallers that ability to create mismatches with linebackers or slow-footed safeties. Enter “Hollywood” Brown.

Brown is this draft classes devastating burner that could be a problem at the next level. Brown has the speed to pair with crafty underneath route running. This Raiders team needs some electricity and Brown brings that to the table. Some may say this is a reach as he only stands at 5-10, but again the Raiders are building for the future, and they need to do whatever it takes to bring talent to that roster.

27. Oakland Raiders

Dakota Allen, Linebacker, Texas Tech

Whoever is picked here with the Bears pick will never get a fair shot as they will always be linked to future Hall of Famer Khalil Mack. As such, selecting a guy with high character here could be important. Luckily for the Raiders, one of the countries best leaders is also a stud at a position of need.

You may recognize Dakota Allen’s name for his time on season two of  Netflix’s “Last Chance U." Allen is one of the show's success stories as he handled his situation with class on the show. After spending a year at the JUCO level, Allen returned to Texas Tech as a captain and is now in line to be a top-50 draft pick.

Allen’s character isn’t the only reason he’s mocked to the Raiders in the first round, he’s also got the skill to match. He’s an absolute tackling machine in the Big 12 that also has some coverage skills in the middle of the field. How long have the Raiders been searching for a middle backer to lead the team on defense? It feels like a decade and Allen could be the guy to finally fill that hole.

Bonus second round picks:

33. Oakland Raiders

Oshane Ximines, Old Dominion, Edge Rusher

35. San Francisco 49ers

Hakeem Butler, Iowa State, Wide Receiver

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