NFL Draft: Raiders Five Best Options With Pick #35

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Honorable Mentions

Dec 27, 2014; San Diego, CA, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers defensive end Randy Gregory (4) looks on before the game against the USC Trojans in the 2014 Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

It was a tough decision to list any of these prospects as honorable mentions because I gave three out of five of them first round grades, and the other two are on the fringe, but here are the five.

Honorable Mentions: DE/OLB Randy Gregory, ILB Eric Kendricks, OT TJ Clemmings, OLB Eli Harold and TE Maxx Williams.

If the list were based solely off film and potential, no way Gregory misses the cut. But with some off-field questions and his struggle to add and maintain weight, he just misses out. I still would take a chance on him, but McKenzie doesn’t normally make picks like this one until later rounds.

Kendricks is one of the first players I was hoping to land at pick 35, but his value kept rising and now, I’m surprised that he might end up available after all. Kendricks has arguably the best instincts in this class and is seen as a “plug and play” guy, someone who can contribute from day one. But the addition of Curtis Lofton this offseason makes him an unlikely choice, so he’s listed as an honorable mention.

McKenzie has drafted an offensive lineman in the first two rounds twice, and then he took Gabe Jackson in the third round last year, so he likes to address the position early. Clemmings is a mauler with great footwork who can start at right tackle and eventually move over to the left side, but a different tackle makes the cut over him.

Harold is a quality pass rusher with a quick first step, solid hand usage and impressive closing speed. He’s lacking a bit in lower body strength and struggles to disengage from blocks sometimes, but at pick 35, he would offer very good value. But a pair of other pass rushers make the list over him.

Maxx is a very good tight end with impressive pass-catching skills, but he’s a bit limited as a blocker. With the selection of Cooper in the first round, and with TE not being that highly valued, Maxx would be a surprise pick.

Next: Raiders Five Best Options With Pick #35: Preston Smith