JBB Draft Profile: Derron Smith, FS, Fresno State, Potential Third Round Steal

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Nov 9, 2013; Laramie, WY, USA; Fresno State Bulldogs safety Derron Smith (13) runs after making an interception against the Wyoming Cowboys during the second quarter at War Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Babbitt-USA TODAY Sports

Without a dramatic turnaround in the next nine games, the Raiders seem destined for the #1 pick in the 2015 draft, a pick that many, including JBB’s Carl Cockerham, believe should be used on dominant USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams. Williams would become an impact player immediately in a position of dire need for the Raiders and would help to shore up what has been one of the worst defenses in the NFL so far through 7 games.

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But defensive line isn’t the only  position where the Raiders need help, and luckily the Raiders have at least six more draft picks to use to find players to help make an impact or add depth and become long-term contributors. Another key defensive position that the Raiders can improve in the draft is the safety position. Currently, the Raiders free safety spot is manned by Charles Woodson, the ageless wonder who turned 38 earlier this month and who’s contract is set to expire after this season. There is a strong possibility that Woodson may retire after this season, and should he return, it would likely be for only one more season. The Raiders need to find a long-term solution to one of the most important positions on the field, a position that is the “captain” of the secondary unit and can also be a key force in the run game. A great free safety can make or break your defense.

While the Raiders may have a more glaring need at middle linebacker, the middle linebacker position is not particularly deep in the 2015 draft, and with the Raiders likely looking to take a wide receiver at the top of the second round, their probable first pick of the 3rd round will see all of the immediate impact middle linebackers already off the board. It is at this pick that the Raiders may look to find a long-term solution at the free safety position, especially if none can be found in free agency. One prospect who may be available and who could make an impact right away is Fresno State safety Derron Smith.