The Las Vegas Raiders miraculously sneaked into the playoffs, but their postseason dreams ended in their Wild Card matchup with the Bengals. Their future is cloudy with the team firing general manager Mike Mayock and interviewing for a new head coach. Still, the 2022 NFL Draft is around the corner, and it’s never too early to simulate potential scenarios. So, let’s run a 7-Round NFL Mock Draft for the Raiders and view the top 2022 prospects who could be available when Las Vegas is on the clock!
Las Vegas Raiders 7-Round NFL Mock Draft
Using PFN’s free Mock Draft Simulator with trades, equipped with the current NFL Draft order, let’s see who the Raiders should target with their eight picks.
According to Spotrac, the Raiders are projected to have roughly $39 million in cap space this offseason. Additionally, they have few key free agents this offseason. As a result, Las Vegas can largely utilize the “best player available” (BPA) strategy in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Round 1, Pick 22: Nakobe Dean, LB, Georgia
The Raiders have been searching for a true LB1 for a decade now. No matter what decision-makers ultimately come in, you sprint the card up if Nakobe Dean is available at No. 22. Dean’s trigger is best-in-class, and he is disciplined with his eyes, making for a deadly pairing.
Other alternatives at No. 22: Tyler Linderbaum, C, Iowa; David Ojabo, EDGE, Michigan; Drake London, WR, USC
Round 2, Pick 53: Drake Jackson, EDGE, USC
Drake Jackson has struggled at times and occasionally seemed to lack motor late in games. Nevertheless, he still improved upon his 2020 campaign, which already drew the eyes of scouts. Jackson brings versatility, having produced off the edge standing up and with his hand in the ground.
Las Vegas needs to target high ceilings and potential in this draft, which Jackson has in spades.
Other alternatives at No. 53: Jalen Tolbert, WR, South Alabama; Martin Emerson, CB, Mississippi State; Abraham Lucas, OT, Washington State
Round 3, Pick 86: Bernhard Raimann, OT, Central Michigan
Bernhard Raimann could propel himself into the Day 1 discussion with a stellar outing at the Senior Bowl. However, as it stands, the Central Michigan OT may realistically fall to the back end of Day 2. That would be a steal for a Raiders team in desperate need of OL help. Raimann is 6’7″, 307 pounds, and possesses strength with above-average athleticism. His first step as a run blocker is explosive, and he would quickly usurp Brandon Parker as Las Vegas’ starting right tackle.
Other alternatives at No. 86: Daniel Faalele, OT, Minnesota; George Pickens, WR, Georgia; Coby Bryant, CB, Cincinnati
Round 4, Pick 123: Tariq Woolen, CB, UTSA
Tariq Woolen is a pure upside pick. 2021 was just his second season playing corner full time, having lined up as a receiver the years prior. Yet, he’s proven invaluable for UTSA’s defense the past couple of seasons. And standing at 6’4″, 205 pounds with impressive physical tools, Woolen could turn out to be a quality starting CB with proper NFL coaching quicker than some may think.
Other alternatives at No. 123: Max Mitchell, OT, Louisiana; Mario Goodrich, CB, Clemson; Khalil Shakir, WR, Boise State
Round 5, Pick 163: Skyy Moore, WR, Western Michigan
Skyy Moore follows in the footsteps of teammate D’Wayne Eskridge, who the Seattle Seahawks took in the second round last cycle. While Eskridge was a tall, lengthy speedster, Moore is a shorter (5’10”) separator who plays bigger than his size. He will be one of the biggest risers when it is all said and done, so don’t expect him to be available here when April rolls around.
Other alternatives at No. 163: Kyle Philips, WR, UCLA; Marcus Jones, CB, Houston
Round 5, Pick 164: Jamaree Salyer, G, Georgia
Jamaree Salyer kicked into guard during the 2021-2022 CFP National Championship and played much better than he did at tackle. He only allowed 1 sack during his four-year college career and was seasoned against SEC talent. Salyer could start in Year 1 and join Raimann in revamping the Raiders’ offensive line.
Other alternatives at No. 164: Matt Bedford, G, Indiana; Tre Williams, EDGE, Arkansas
Round 6, Pick 217: Troy Andersen, LB, Montana State
We often see some FCS and lower-level talent fall through the NFL Draft cracks due to the difficulty of projecting their play. However, that shouldn’t be an issue with Montana State’s Troy Andersen. He racked up 147 total tackles this year and has experience in the slot.
Andersen can run step for step with most running backs and tight ends and flashed the ability to locate the football in phase. Oh, and he was a first-team run-first QB in the conference in 2018 — what is there not to like?
Other alternatives at No. 217: Josh Paschal, EDGE, Kentucky; Jack Sanborn, LB, Wisconsin
Round 7, Pick 226: Jaylen Watson, CB, Washington State
After shining on the JUCO stage, Jaylen Watson took his talents to Washington State in 2020. All he has done since is earn back-to-back All-Pac-12 honors and an invite to the Senior Bowl. At 6’3″ and 204 pounds, the Raiders land two massive corners in this 7-Round NFL Mock Draft.
Other alternatives at No. 216: Bamidele Olaseni, OT, Utah; Bryan Cook, S, Cincinnati