Reggie McKenzie is playing the ‘what if’ game. As in what if the Raiders still owned the 17th pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. Turns out mock drafts aren’t done only by obsessive fans and Mel Kiper. McKenzie told the Chronicle that if the Raiders had their first round selection that Alabama pass rusher Courtney Upshaw would have been the pick.
But the pick Upshaw wouldn’t have been a slam dunk.
McKenzie goes on to say that Upshaw would have been the choice by barely beating out Stanford guard David DeCastro.
This game of fantasy drafting doesn’t mean much but it does indicate what McKenzie is thinking.
DeCastro has the look of a guy that will start every game of a very productive pro career. To plug him in with Stefen Wisniewski would have the Raiders set on the interior of the offensive line for the next decade. But DeCastro ultimately wouldn’t have been a Raider, unless Upshaw came off the board first.
That is where McKenzie’s game of fantasy draft falls apart. There is no telling what would happen on draft day. For all we know McKenzie might not have even had the chance to grab DeCastro or Upshaw.
Still, that Upshaw is that high on Oakland’s board says a lot.
Most see Upshaw as a hybrid, 3-4 player that would lineup outside being able to rush from both a standing position and with one hand in the dirt. Clearly the Raiders are looking for a pass rusher to replace Kamerion Wimbley and there are strong indications that Dennis Allen is going to be running some form of the 3-4. That much is very obvious by the type of prospects the Raiders have been looking at leading up to the draft. Now comes McKenzie’s mock to further that speculation.
While McKenzie’s mock is little more than a brief conversation piece it does show just where Oakland’s priorities are with the 95th pick. But like McKenzie, we’ll all have to wait it out until the Raiders are officially on the clock Friday.