KRM: Raiders take Khalil Mack.

NCAA Football: Bowling Green at Buffalo

If you’re out to rebuild your defense, this is a good place to start.

Lives in Las Vegas, favorite sports book is the Nugget, OU alumnus:  Pete Franklin’s degenerate credentials are impeccable.  We asked him to get a Mark Davis haircut and give us a pick for the Raiders.  No word on the Davis cut, but the pick is in.



Who can say what it was like growing up in the Al Davis household?

The Raiders are similar to the rebuilding teams that we’ve seen before in Cleveland.  I’m thinking that they are a cross between the Browns teams of Heckert’s first and last years.  Most of this similarity comes in the way of QB.  The Raiders’ trade for Matt Schaub reminds me of the Browns signing of Jake Delhomme combined with the hail mary draft pick of Weeden.  Quite simply, Reggie MacKenzie’s days are probably numbered in Oakland if this team does not significantly improve its talent this offseason and he knows it.

Front Office

Reggie McKenzie was hired in 2012 in the aftermath of longtime GM Al Davis’ death.  He was highly recommended by former coach John Madden who interviewed him along with new owner Marc Davis.  Prior to Oakland, he moved up the chain in Green Bay to become third in command before moving on to the Raiders.  I’m sure that he will pattern this draft after the type that the Packers have had in the past mostly because that is the only blueprint available to him firsthand as a front office guy.  His go-to guys in player evaluation seem to be his brother Raleigh, another former All-Pro offensive lineman, and head coach Dennis Allen.  Raleigh McKenzie replaced the Raiders head scout who had been there 33 years and may or may not be an upgrade since he was coaching high school football before being hired.



Work is cut out for Reggie McKenzie.

Whether the Raiders actually make progress this year will be open for interpretation.  It seems that the knowledgable fans in Oakland realize what a chasm McKenzie fell into when he took on the GM’s role.  The team had about 150 million in salary when the cap was 120 million.  The team was bare of top draft picks from the Carson Palmer deal (first and a second), and the drafting of Terrelle Pryor (supplemental third).  Getting rid of Palmer was not easy either as bringing in his replacement, Matt Flynn, cost the team more in cap space than it would have to keep Palmer, … and neither played.

My take

McKenzie has given the Raiders stability and guidance that the team has been desperately lacking.  Is he truly worthy of heading up an NFL draft though?  Last year he tried to shore up the offensive line in the second round, this year he thinks FA’s on the O-line will help.  Don’t rule out an offer for Alex Mack coming from the silver and black.  The Raiders would be much better served moving Wisniewski back to guard where he excelled before moving to center out of necessity.

McKenzie needs to add talent to an old defense and I think the fan base realizes that.  Davis needs to sell tickets and wanted Watkins; McKenzie needs to take a playmaker on defense.

Thankfully for the McKenzie the Browns made it an easier by taking the one hit wonder Clowney directly preceding the Raiders pick.  Reggie McKenzie values guys with strong work ethic and K. Mack is the anti-Clowney in that regard.

The Pick

LB Khalil Mack Buffalo!

Rather easy choice for McKenzie as Clowney is probably better suited to a 4-3 defense, while Mack seems like a prototypical 3-4 OLB.  Mack was the best player on the field his senior season while Clowney was hardly on the field.  Mack gets to play opposite LaMarr Woodley, thus learning from a legitimate 3-4 OLB.  I’d be on the horn to try to trade down, but it would take me exactly 2 seconds to decide on Mack as my pick here.


Sounds like bad news for Nick Roach and/or old friend Kaluka Maiava.

OXR is now on the clock for the Falcons.
Pick #TeamSelection
(linked to KRM post)
1TexansBlake Bortlesjpftribe
2RamsGreg RobinsonDave Kolonich
3JaguarsSammy WatkinsClevTA
4BrownsJadeveon ClowneyZarathustra
5RaidersKhalil MackPete Franklin
6FalconsJake MatthewsOXR
7BucsJohnny ManzielPeterM
8VikingsTeddy Bridgewatertrashycamaro
9BillsTaylor Lewanclay
10LionsHa’Sean Clinton-Dixbluedog93
11TitansAnthony Barrkanick
12GiantsEric EbronRod of Disaster
13RamsMike EvansMatt Borcas
14BearsAaron DonaldJRich
15SteelersDarqueze Dennard tmoore94
16CowboysLouis NixGrandRapidsRustlers
17RavensJustin GilbertMGBode
18JetsBrandin CooksZarathustra
19DolphinsZack Martintrashycamaro
20CardinalsCalvin PryorJRich
21PackersJace AmaroClevTA
22EaglesMarqise LeeGrandRapidsRustlers
23ChiefsRa'Shede Hagemanclay
24BengalsBradley RobyOXR
25ChargersKyle Fullertexinottawa
26BrownsDerek CarrChuckKoz
27SaintsOdell Beckham tmoore94
28PanthersXavier Su'a-Filojpftribe
29PatriotsTimmy Jerniganbluedog93
30NinersJason VerrettRod of Disaster
31BroncosCJ MosleyPete Franklin
32SeahawksCameron FlemingDave Kolonich
33 (2nd rd)TexansTroy NiklasMatt Borcas
34RedskinsStephon Tuittkanick
35BrownsRyan ShazierMGBode
  • actovegin1armstrong

    “At five the Raiders choose Dri Archer from Kent State”. The ghost of Al Davis will possess Roger Goodell forcing this pick.

    • mgbode

      I was perusing Al’s draft history a little while ago and noted that he only took big-time athletes from big-time schools in the 1st round (all measurables above production still, of course). It was the 2nd round where he would take the freak athlete from the smaller school.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Sorry, well then maybe the ghost of Al Davis will not do any meddling in this year’s draft. Just a hunch.

      • Bluedog93

        There was a long period there where it seemed like every year the Raiders’ pick was hailed as Davis finally coming around to picking a solid, consensus best player available who, two years later, would be cited as another example of Davis picking an athletic underachiever nobody else would ever consider. Rolando McClain is a great example of that, actually. And while I suppose there probably were some people who really were skeptical of JaMarcus Russell, if I hear someone say they knew all along he would be a bust the safe bet is that that person is lying; Russell was as consensus a #1 pick as I can remember.

        • mgbode

          Russell was far from consensus at least on Browns boards. Russell v. Quinn v. JoeT v. AP was pretty lively debate from what I remember.

          • Bluedog93

            Well, mock drafts aren’t the same as player rankings, but still I look at and think “Man, that’s a lot of J. Russell if there really was a debate going on.” If you want to agree that he was a consensus top 4 or top 5 player that year, I don’t think it disproves my larger point.

          • mgbode

            Fair enough, he was a consensus top5 guy. Was mostly noting that there were quite a few dissenters on him due to his “lack of love for the game”, sloppy mechanics, and his huge shooting up the draft board because he played a no-defense ND in the bowl game.

            I, for one, didn’t like him. But, I did like Quinn, so it’s not like I was much better 🙂

  • After letting Veldheer go and not getting Saffold, I’ve had Raiders pencilled in as an automatic o-line pick. I guess Austin Howard signing takes care of the Khalif Barnes issue and maybe they’re projecting good things for Menelik Watson’s second year. If McKenzie is in win now mode, maybe it would be hard to take Jake Matthews.

    A shiny new WR for Schaub would be nice but they did sign James Jones and I like Rod Streater.

    D-backfield is a bit of a mess but if DJ Hayden can stay healthy for a solid year that could change.

    Yeah, sure Mack works here. It ain’t sexy. But Rolando McClain was sexy and that didn’t work out so great.

    • zarathustra

      You are right about the o-line being a need, but if they were to sign mack…and it sounds like a foregone conclusion that they will sign incognito…well they would still need a tackle so Jake Mathews would make sense. And if Reggie McKenzie could not be vetoed on the pick and they weren’t in win-now mode maybe mathews would be the pick. The saffold affair pretty clearly indicates that mark Davis has veto power over all personnel decisions so I would bet on a sexy pick in the davis family tradition.

      • mgbode

        I have yet to read how they could sign Mack. Has anyone been able to come up with a plausible scenario that Oakland would actually do and we would not match? And yes, I get that it is Oakland, so normal rules do not necessarily apply.

        • zarathustra

          Oh, I think there is close to a zero percent chance they sign mack–though the raiders are maybe the only team that could pull it off. I was just working with the point mentioned in the above post. Regardless, they need a lineman and probably won’t take one at five.

          • mgbode

            gotcha, fair enough.

        • Petefranklin

          I was just seeing him wanting to return to the Bay Area, although they are another losing team. I think the Raiders could construct a deal that would make it somewhat unreasonable to sign Mack along with Haden, Cameron, Gordon, two first rounders this year and the franchise QB if Hoyer turns out to be one, in 2015-16

    • Petefranklin

      Yes the Oline sucked terribly by the end of last year. Remember that Raleigh Mckenzie played under Joe Bugel in the Hogs heyday in D.C. Those teams were full of castoffs or lower draft choices built around Joe Jacoby. The pieces around Jacoby and later Jim LaShay were kind of interchangeable with injury. Maybe he does draft Matthews as his anchor, but that defense really needs help…Kaluka Maiava does not help make a defense better, he’s just a body.

      • Petefranklin

        Side note: I’m still bitterly pissed at the Raiders and Marcel Reese for dropping a last second 4th down TD in the endzone vs. the Chargers that cost me my backdoor cover as my best bet in week 16. I would have made a deep run in the Cheddar playoffs if he catches that. It does go back to the O-Line though, McGloin was running for his life every play because the line was letting the Chargers blitz come right up the gut, like 10 plays in a row! McGloin just tossed it in Reeses area as he was shoved down about one second after the snap.

        • Cheddar grudges are perfectly sensible bases for your draft stack-ranking. I think it explains ‘some’ of the Bridgewater luv and I promise you CJ McCarron is off my board.

      • Considering Nick Roach had 1100+ snaps at MLB and he’s behind Maiava on the depth chart.. I think you can say mike-backer is a need, yes.

      • actovegin1armstrong

        Absolutely love Kahlil Mack, he is the best player you kids have picked so far.
        I have him as the best player in this draft.

        • Petefranklin

          I think he’s the third safest behind Robinson and Watkins

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