Oakland Raiders Mock Draft, Part 1: Rounds 7-4

5 of 5

Oct 25, 2014; East Lansing, MI, USA; Michigan State Spartans linebacker Taiwan Jones (34) celebrates defense stop during the 2nd half of a game at Spartan Stadium. MSU won 35-11. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Round 4, Pick 102 Overall

Selection: Taiwan Jones, ILB, Michigan State

With the acquisition of veteran middle linebacker Curtis Lofton, the Raiders appear to have filled the gaping hole left by the absence of Nick Roach at the middle linebacker position, meaning the Raiders will not have to reach early to take someone like Eric Kendricks or Denzel Perryman to start right away. But middle linebacker is still an important role for a defense orchestrated by former Pro Bowl NFL linebackers Jack Del Rio and Ken Norton, Jr., and a position they want to groom a young player for.

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Buffalo Bills re-sign Taiwan Jones according to reports
Buffalo Bills re-sign Taiwan Jones according to reports /


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  • Taiwan Jones is a typical 2-down thumper type middle linebacker. He’s incredibly slow (ran a 4.95 second 40 at the Combine) even as linebackers go, but he’s big, strong and physical and can attack the inside gap and put a running back on the ground. He struggles in space, and isn’t totally instinctive, however, and is at best a developmental project who will mostly see the field on special teams as a rookie, while learning how to be an NFL 2-down thumper from Curtis Lofton. Jones does possess some ability to rush the passer, however, meaning he might get on the field in special packages as an inside blitz specialist.

    On Thursday morning, before the draft, I will reveal my projected top 3 picks by the Raiders, including who I believe they will take with the 4th overall pick.