It is the season when mock drafts take over NFL fans. So many pundits put out their predictions on where they believe players will be taken in the 2014 NFL Draft. ESPN's resident "draft guru" Todd McShay put up his latest mock draft today and it brings a big surprise for the Oakland Raiders.
McShay has the Raiders selecting wide receiver Sammy Watkins in the first round (ESPN Insider link), which is a very viable pick. Then the surprise comes. He has UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr falling to Oakland in the second round.
“I don't have Barr ranked as high as some others, but he is a good speed rusher off the edge who could help in Oakland,” McShay said in his write-up.
Barr lost a little bit of his stock after only posting 15 bench press reps of 225 pounds at the NFL Combine. That raised questions about his strength at the next level. On the other hand, he ran well which was his greatest asset at UCLA. Barr posted 4.66 seconds in the forty yard dash and blazed through the three cone drill in 6.82 seconds. His production in college was very solid. Barr posted 42.5 tackles for loss, 23.5 sacks, and 10 forced fumbles in two years on the defensive side of the ball. He started his career as a running back. He has good size at 6'4", 245 pounds and a frame that can add the necessary strength to play at the next level.
It would seem hard to believe that Barr would drop in the Raiders lap at the 36th overall pick. Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie has a unique draft style as proven by going off the grid in the first round last year to grab cornerback DJ Hayden. Therefore, it would be difficult for McShay to predict his thought process. Players rise and fall in the draft every year and if that is the case with Barr, the Raiders could do far worse in the second round, especially if they can get Watkins in the first.
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