Who the Raiders and 49ers could and should pick at the top of the NFL draft

The Pick, The Fit and The Surprise for the Bay clubs, currently slated to pick No. 1 and No.2

Tommy Call
November 15, 2018 - 9:00 am

When both the Raiders and 49ers have a combined three wins heading into Week 11, it’s safe to say it’s been an awful football season in the Bay Area.

A way to cope with a grim record is looking to the upcoming draft — the glass-half-full view. Luckily for both Bay Area teams, they are in line for some high picks, but not just any high draft picks— the highest draft picks. If the season ended right now, the Raiders would be on the clock with the first overall pick of 2019, with the 49ers 10 minutes behind them drafting at No. 2.

A lot will change before The first team officially goes on the clock, but the NFL draft is something Bay Area fans need to start paying attention to now. With that being said, let’s fast forward to April and preemptively choose picks for the Raiders and 49ers.

1. The Oakland Raiders

The Need: EDGE, WR, LB, S, RB & Basically everything

The Pick: Nick Bosa, Edge, Ohio State

The Fit: Do we even need to talk about how bad the Raiders pass rush is anymore? Isn’t it obvious by now how bad they need a legit edge?

Earlier I mentioned how alot will change between now and April, 

Well, one thing that’s stayed consistent since the end of the 2018 draft is Nick Bosa’s rule as the consensus No. 1 prospect. If there’s one player that can make Jon Gruden look somewhat smart for trading Khalil Mack, it’s Bosa.

Bosa has all the tools you want in a pass rusher and more. He’s got a healthy combination of speed and power, but what gives him clout as the No. 1 overall prospect is his refined hand usage as a pass rusher. Bosa uses his hands and technique to move offensive linemen out of the way. For such a young pass rusher, he has a veteran approach to every snap. Adding Bosa to a defensive line with Maurice Hurst, PJ Hall and Arden Key turns the defensive line from a weakness to a strength.

The Surprise: Many of you reading this probably already guessed Bosa would be the guys listed as the No. 1 draft pick. So here let’s take a shot at an outside guess for the Raiders first overall pick — Daniel Jones, QB, Duke.

Jones is a new trendy name amid the inconsistent 2019 draft class. Jones comes from offensive guru David Cutcliffe’s offense at Duke and has a lot of the tools you want in a starting QB. Going first overall might be a reach especially for the Raiders, but would anything Gruden do surprise you at this point? Derek Carr has continued to regress and Gruden might be looking for a clean slate at QB, making Jones a name to keep in mind when April rolls around.   

2. The San Francisco 49ers

The Need: EDGE, WR, CB, S, OL

The Pick: Greedy Williams, CB, Louisiana State University

The Fit: In recent years the 49ers have passed on players like Marshon Lattimore and Minkah Fitzpatrick to fill other holes on their team. This year with the second overall pick they don’t miss on the No. 2 cornerback in this years class, Greedy Williams.

Most of the time when Williams gets talked about his name is the basis of the conversation. Yes, the name Greedy is awesome, but the Tigers defensive back is much more than just a name. Williams has the size and length the 49ers covet to play outside corner with the physicality and athleticism to match up with some of the best wide receivers in the NFC.

If the 49ers plan to slow down the Rams in the future, they need to address the corner position as Ahkello Witherspoon continues to regress. San Francisco would be a great landing spot for Williams as he can play alongside Richard Sherman as a mentor.

It was really hard to not list an edge rusher like Jachai Polite, or a receiver like Hakeem Butler here, but let me explain — this draft class is especially deep at both edge and receiver which means some will probably slide to to the second round. With corner being rather slim, it makes sense for the 49ers to grab a defensive back early in hopes of drafting a falling edge or receiver later.

The Surprise: The 49ers have a bevy of options with their top overall pick with edge rusher, wide receiver and defensive back all being likely options, but position that hasn’t been talked about is offensive line. Why? Because it’s been the strength of the time. A name that would shock many 49er fans would be Jonah Williams, OL, Alabama with the second overall pick of the 2019 draft.

If there’s one thing this 49ers front office regime has shown, it’s their love for the offensive line. The 49ers spent money on Weston Richburg and then spent a top ten pick on Mike McGlinchey. Both moves have paid off well and with Joe Staley only having one year left on his deal, offensive line isn’t something to completely throw away.

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