The Ringer – Danny Kelly
Pick 13 – Isaiah Simmons, LB Clemson
Pick 18 – Tee Higgins, WR Clemson
The Ringer’s Danny Kelly mocked two highly touted Clemson Tigers to help the Raiders on both sides of the football.
The linebacker position has been a glaring need for years, but every regime that has been brought aboard appears to overlook the position and address holes on the roster elsewhere. In a league that has evolved into being so dependent on the pass, coverage linebackers are a must have and the Raiders are certainly lacking in that area.
Isaiah Simmons is the ultimate Swiss Army knife in this year’s draft class. He’s the most versatile defender, playing positions all over the defense at Clemson. He played weak side linebacker and safety the majority of time, showing he can thrive in either position.
His biggest asset is his coverage ability, matching up against tight ends, running backs and occasional slot receivers. The addition of his freakish athleticism would be a significant piece to help anchor down the middle of the field in a position where the Raiders need immediate help.
Oakland’s wide receiver corps entered the season with a completely new core. They entered the year with significant expectations, but overall the production has not been there. The Raiders possesses a group of pass catchers who are more suited as a No.2 or No.3 in most offense’s, so drafting a playmaker in round one would make a lot of sense.
Tee Higgins exemplifies the big-play pass catcher who can spread out the defensive with his vertical speed. His frame is somewhat thin, however, he comes from a basketball background and that shows up on his film quite often, as he’s exceptional at winning the contested 50/50 catch.
Over his last two seasons in the ACC, Higgins has posted 25 touchdowns while being an intricate part to Clemson’s national championship offense.