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Raiders 2018 mock draft: Oakland selects cornerback Denzel Ward

With the 10th pick in the POD mock draft, the Raiders select...

Big Ten Championship - Ohio State v Wisconsin Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

It’s time for the Las Vegas Oakland Raider to make their pick in the Pride of Detroit Community Mock draft. Acting as their interim general manager is commenter ShamuS2D2. With the 10th pick in the draft, the Oakland Raiders have selected Ohio State cornerback Denzel Ward.

Here is ShamuS2D2 with the reasoning for the pick:

Asked about his remaining off-season needs, head coach Jon Gruden was not shy and immediately mentioned his dismal secondary. So for the second year in a row, Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie looks again to Ohio State to grab a CB in the first round. Denzel Ward is ranked by many experts as the top corner in the class. Ward has some blazing speed, posting a 4.32 in the 40-yard dash, showing rare athleticism that earned an impressive 9.7 RAS score. Those physical gifts translate to the field as he excels in playing both man-to-man and in coverage. Pairing him with last year’s pick Gareon Conley, who’s coming back from injury, not only reunites the Ohio State duo, but solves a long glaring issue for a Raiders defense that has lacked identity in recent years.

Last year this mock skewed to a defensive bias, so here are some quick comments in regards to the other three positions that Gruden is still looking to address:

OT: On an otherwise talent-loaded offensive line, the right tackle spot is a flaming dumpster fire by comparison. After consideration none of the top three tackles in this draft seemed sure-fire enough to justify a top 10 pick.

WR: I love you, coach Gruden, but I already let you bring in Jordy Nelson to be the WR2 during free agency. It’s time to address the many holes on defense.

Interior DL: The track record shows that both McKenzie and newly minted DC Paul Guenther prefer first-round defensive picks (especially a top 10 pick) to be reserved for pass rush and corner. With a talent like Ward still on the board, DT becomes easy to ignore until another round.

Follow along with all of our picks with our Community Mock Draft tracker.


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