2020 NFL 7-round mock draft: Raiders bolster edge, WR in 1st round
The Raiders pass rush in 2019 has taken large strides in the right direction, however, as a team they still rank among the bottom third of the league. Benson Mayowa doesn’t project as a long-term solution at pass rusher, so taking one in the first-round would be ideal. Matching one of the better rookie pass rushers to go along with Maxx Crosby could eventually turn into a solid duo coming off the edge for years to come.
A.J. Epenesa would finally provide some high-end upside off the edge which the Raiders have been missing the last two seasons. Epenesa has been a highly productive college player and his physically that he plays with looks to translate into the NFL. At 6’6″ 280 pounds he still has adequate speed to go along with his power rush that he leans on quite often.
Epenesa posted a double-digit sack season in 2018 with 10.5 through 13 games. His sack ability is what jumps off the screen, but he’s also an impact player in stopping the run as he recorded 16.5 tackles for loss in 2018 as well. This season he has started off a bit slower — posting 3.5 sacks, 3.5 tackles for loss, 21 total tackles and three passes defended in eights games.
- Versatility (Can play in a 3-4 and 4-3)
- Speed and power
- Counter moves