The 2015 NFL draft is 62 days away, and the debate of who the Oakland Raiders should draft with the 4th overall selection will continue all the way up until that selection is announced…and probably will still continue even after that.
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With the NFL Combine being over, you would think that the dust would start to settle a bit and a clear front-runner would emerge, but it seems to be just the opposite.
By most accounts, there are no less than five different players the Raiders should consider with their first round draft pick.
Leonard Williams continues to be the front-runner and the best selection, if available. He is the consensus best player in the draft at this point, so it’s not very likely he falls in Oakland’s lap.
The other popular scenario is a trade down, if one of the Quarterbacks is available when Oakland is on the clock. The most commonly talked about name here is Marcus Mariota, and the most commonly talked about trade partner is the Philadelphia Eagles.
For the purposes of this poll, those two options have been excluded.
That leaves us with five different players to choose from. Here they are, listed alphabetically by last name. (click on the names for a detailed scouting report)
Beasley was considered a mid-late first round pick until he absolutely blew up the Combine. He added 20+ pounds of weight, benched pressed 225 pounds 35 times, ran a 4.53 40-yard dash and killed it in all of the agility drills.
He’s got a lightning fast first step and a deadly spin move. He also is a great scheme fit, since he can play a LEO role similar to that of Bruce Irvin in Seattle, if that’s the defense that Del Rio and Norton Jr. choose to implement.
Cooper is the savvy-route runner who lit up SEC defenses the last few years, and has been the co-favorite at #4 amongst Raider Nation for much of the offseason.
At just 20 years young, Cooper is extremely polished, especially for his age. At 6’1″, 211 pounds, Cooper clocked a 4.42 40-yard dash, tested extremely well in the agility drills and measured in with massive 10″ hands.
Fowler is the relentless pass rusher with great power and valuable versatility. At 6’3″, 261 pounds, Fowler is an intriguing option because he can play both defensive end and outside linebacker, depending on the scheme the Raiders are using.
The simplest way to explain Fowler right now is that he is chaos, but if that chaos can be honed in and unleashed properly, he has a chance to be a special player.
Gregory is considered to be the most raw of the top pass rushers in this draft class, but the one who has the most upside. At 6’5″, 235 pounds with a frame plenty capable of packing on more weight, Gregory has a ton of room to grow.
He uses his hands effectively, his swim move is top-notch and he is quite the athlete. Similar to Fowler, Gregory also is a versatile player because of his combination of size and athleticism.
Like Beasley, White was a bit late to party. Some in the draft community preferred White over Cooper before the Combine but it seems to be a 50/50 split now.
At 6’3″, 215 pounds, White opened eyes with a blazing 4.35 40-yard dash and tested well in the agility drills. White excels is in jump ball situations and is a physical receiver who is comfortable playing through contact.
So…with all that being said, let’s see what Raider Nation thinks. Vote for who you think the Raiders should draft 4th overall, and drop a comment as to why.