After adding an offensive playmaker on the outside with their first round pick in Amari Cooper, the Oakland Raiders went defensive in round two.
With the 35th overall pick, the Raiders selected defensive end Mario Edwards Jr. out of Florida State. The pick raised some eyebrows as many had Oakland targeting a pass rusher with this pick, and Edwards projects as a better inside prospect.
Edwards, who some recruiting services ranked as the number one overall prospect back in 2012, had an up-and-down career with the Seminoles. He registered 44 tackles, with 11 tackles-for-loss (TFL), three sacks and two fumble recoveries a season ago. For his career, Edwards tallied 89 tackles, 23 TFL, but only eight sacks.
In some ways, Edwards looks like a less explosive version of Leonard Williams. While the Raiders may have reached for Edwards, he’s stout against the run and can slide in next to Khalil Mack to bulk up the Raiders defensive front.
In the third round, Oakland added to their tight end depth by selecting Clive Walford out of Miami with the 68th overall selection.
Walford will come in and compete with incumbent Mychal Rivera. Walford was a reliable blocker while at Miami and improved his reception total each year with the Hurricanes. Walford tallied 121 receptions for 1,853 yards and 14 touchdowns. The 121 catches are a Miami record by a tight end.
The NFL Draft concludes today with rounds four through seven. The Raiders have four selections remaining, with one coming in each round (picks 102, 140, 179 and 221).