Surprise? NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport revealed the Raiders could shock everyone with a pick that may have flown under the radar:
Instead, the Silver and Black select arguably the best player available at No. 4, Quinnen Williams. Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller suggested the team had an interest in two particular prospects three weeks ago.
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"Just last week, a highly connected personnel executive hinted the Raiders could still select White at No. 4 overall, but that Williams was the more coveted of the two. That’s where the smart money is right now. So why are the Raiders working out quarterbacks? It’s obvious. They’re hoping someone trades up to No. 3 overall to select a quarterback, which will push Quinnen Williams to them."
Based on Miller’s sources, the workouts for Kyler Murray and Dwayne Haskins served as smokescreens to stimulate interest. The desired result is a club opting to trade in front of the Raiders, which allows a non-quarterback prospect to fall into the team’s lap at No. 4.
Oakland shouldn’t attempt mental gymnastics in this spot—take the best player available if Williams remains on the board at No. 4. He’s not an edge-rusher, but the Alabama product is the best penetrating interior lineman in this class.
While the fanbase has emphasized the need for a defensive end, it’s more important to focus on the pass rush, which may come from anywhere on the front line — not specifically the edge.
Williams doesn’t have to become Aaron Donald, but he’s shown the ability to put offensive linemen on their backs and take down the quarterback. The 21-year old had a standout redshirt sophomore year with eight sacks and displayed significant growth in his ability to attack the pocket through the 2018 term.