The Oakland Raiders will be entering the 2019 NFL Draft on Thursday with three first-round picks, including the No. 4 overall selection. However, the team’s plans ahead of the draft have deliberately remained a mystery, and if a new rumor turns out to be accurate, the Raiders might use that No. 4 pick on someone draft experts aren’t expecting them to take.
As cited by CBS Sports, Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported on Monday that the Raiders are planning to select “some sort of surprise pick” at the fourth overall spot, a draft pick whose selection would “necessitate absolute secrecy.” Given the Raiders’ attempts to keep their draft plans as quiet as possible, which reportedly required them to send all their scouts home last week, CBS Sports noted that Oakland could “go in a number of different directions” with all their first-round picks. Rapoport, however, speculated on a few unexpected fourth overall picks that the team could go with on Thursday.
Aside from possibly selecting LSU linebacker Devin White with the pick in question, Rapoport hinted that the Raiders could surprise pundits by choosing a quarterback like Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray or Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins. Separately, NBC Sports Bay Area mentioned another quarterback — Missouri’s Drew Lock — as someone who could end up as an unlikely No. 4 overall choice. Haskins’ name was also brought up by the outlet, which noted that the Raiders have been “super impressed” with the former Buckeyes signal-caller.
The possibility of the Oakland Raiders drafting Murray was likewise hinted at last week when Bleacher Report‘s Mike Freeman wrote that few NFL observers would be “surprised” if the team trades up for Murray or for Ohio State defensive end Nick Bosa. While it has been widely rumored that the Arizona Cardinals are planning to use their first overall pick on Murray, as reported previously by The Inquisitr, recent rumors have teased that the Cardinals’ interest in the 2018 Heisman Trophy winner might have been a “smokescreen” all along.
— Raiders on NBCS (@NBCSRaiders) April 22, 2019
Furthermore, NBC Bay Area recently quoted ESPN’s Todd McShay as saying that Raiders head coach Jon Gruden “loves” Murray and “does not necessarily love” erstwhile starting quarterback Derek Carr. This, the outlet wrote, could point to Oakland possibly taking the Oklahoma quarterback at No. 4 if the Cardinals end up passing on him.
Aside from possibly finding a new quarterback to replace Carr, the Raiders have other needs that could be addressed in the first round of the 2019 NFL Draft, per CBS Sports. The outlet wrote that the team has an “immediate” need at tight end, following Jared Cook’s departure via free agency, and could also beef up their offensive line or improve their defense. Furthermore, the Raiders could also be in need of a new running back to replace Marshawn Lynch, who, as ESPN’s Adam Schefter noted on Twitter, is reportedly “not planning to play football again.”