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Phiadrian Mathis
Las Vegas Raiders

Raiders Mock Draft 2022: Help in the Trenches

  • Ryan Fowler
  • March 22, 2022
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After what was a quiet start to the legal tampering period, the Las Vegas Raiders’ roster now includes wide receiver Davante Adams and defensive end Chandler Jones headlining either side of the ball. Newly minted general manager Dave Ziegler has done everything in his power to keep Las Vegas in contention for a division title that will likely come down to the final weeks of the season. Using our Mock Draft Machine, I looked at which prospects the Raiders could, and should, target when the draft rolls around. Here is my seven-round mock, including scheme fit, on each prospect:

ROUND 3 (NO. 86 OVERALL): PHIDARIAN MATHIS, IDL, ALABAMA

Initially looked upon as a landing spot for Georgia’s Jordan Davis or Devonte Wyatt before allocating assets in the trade for Adams, Vegas adding an experienced interior talent in the form of Phidarian Mathis is much needed. Clogging up space and eating up bodies is something Mathis became accustomed to doing in Tuscaloosa and will help free up one-on-one opportunities for the aforementioned Jones and edge rusher Maxx Crosby on the outside.

ROUND 4 (NO. 126 OVERALL): COBY BRYANT, CB, CINCINNATI

An alpha opposite Sauce Gardner this fall for the Bearcats, Coby Bryant has all the makings of a high-level CB2 in the NFL. The biggest question he needed to answer for me during the pre-draft circuit was his ability to cover top receivers and he more than showcased that capability at the Senior Bowl. He has a nastiness and a ‘my ball’ attitude on the perimeter and should slide nicely into a youthful Vegas secondary.

ROUND 5 (NO. 164 OVERALL): CAM JURGENS, IOL, NEBRASKA

An athletically-gifted mover of men, Cam Jurgens has come on late in the evaluation process but earned himself a ton of money after showcasing his athletic profile at the combine. It’s gone so far as to force some talent evaluators to flip on his film. Dubbed a ‘Day 3 Tyler Linderbaum,’ Jurgens possesses more than enough ability to start from day one and will provide Ziegler with a boatload of value that should outplay his rookie contract within his first two campaigns.

ROUND 5 (NO. 165 OVERALL): BRAXTON JONES, OT, SOUTHERN UTAH

Another Senior Bowl standout, I’ve enjoyed studying Braxton Jones this fall. Whether it’s the small-school decal on his helmet or the pure mass (6-foot-7) that may have trouble adjusting to the speed of the NFL game, Jones has garnered a day three designation by most this far in the pre-draft process. But high-level athletes at tackle are hard to come by and a player like Jones learning under the tutelage of an NFL offensive line coach is a ball of clay that should mold well into a nice depth piece along the Raiders’ front five.

ROUND 7 (NO. 227 OVERALL): KEVIN AUSTIN JR, WR, NOTRE DAME

If you were to pick any offense to slot Kevin Austin Jr. into, it should be Vegas with its high level of shot plays and opportunities to press vertically. Austin’s fundamental athletic profile separated him from the rest of the day three wideouts at the Combine and his 39-inch vertical and 11-foot broad jump showcases the explosiveness he’ll offer on the outside. At 6-foot-2, 200 pounds, the frame is there for the former Golden Domer to earn targets.

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Ryan Fowler