With all the depth and talent at the skill positions, expect to hear the names of several quarterbacks, wide receivers and edge rushers when the event takes April 23-25 at various sites around the city.
The Raiders will celebrate their move to town with two first-round selections. Here’s an early look at the best available prospects, a list that will look dramatically different by next month, much less when April finally rolls around:
1. Chase Young, Edge Rusher, Ohio State: He has powerful hands that helps him separate from offensive linemen and the kind of explosion teams covet on the edge.
2. Jerry Jeudy, WR, Alabama: His speed and cutting ability allow him to get open consistently and make him even more dangerous with the ball in his hands.
3. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama: He doesn’t have the arm strength generally seen in a quarterback with this lofty of a draft ranking. But he more than makes up for it with his decision-making and ability to move around in the pocket to create throwing lanes.
4. Andrew Thomas, OT, Georgia: He’s pretty clearly the best prospect at a coveted position. His size and agility ensure he will be a high pick on draft day.
5. Grant Delpit, Safety, LSU: A big-time hitter who some defensive coordinator will fall in love with despite some questions about his coverage ability.
6. A.J. Epenesa, Edge Rusher, Iowa: He’s very long for the position, though it doesn’t stop him from winning leverage battles on the outside.
7. Justin Herbert, QB, Oregon: He manages to be both steady and spectacular as he continues his development and may be the most ready to start a game in Week 1 of his rookie year. It wouldn’t be shocking if he goes before Tagovailoa.
8. Jeff Okudah, CB, Ohio State: A steady performer with very good size and ball skills on the outside without a discernible weakness.
9. Isaiah Simmons, LB/S, Clemson: He’s a safety in a linebacker’s body and has the versatility to play almost anywhere on the field.
10. Laviska Shenault, WR, Colorado: Injury concerns may be the only real question about him. He’s a dynamic playmaker when he’s on the field.
11. Derrick Brown, DT, Auburn: A massive presence on the line of scrimmage who returned to school to further refine his technique. He may also benefit from a shallower pool of interior talent on defense.
12. Jake Fromm, QB, Georgia: Scouts like his composure in the pocket and textbook throwing motion. His true height may be a topic at the combine and there are some concerns about his deep ball, though he is particularly adept at back-shoulder throws that have become such a staple of NFL offenses.
13. CeeDee Lamb, WR, Oklahoma: His production has been outstanding. But the true excitement about his future shows up on film where he has proven his ability to make contested catches throughout his career.
14. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin: Running backs continue to be devalued in the NFL, but there is still an exception for rare talents. Taylor may fit that bill with his speed, vision and the power. Defenders continue to be pummeled by his use of the stiff-arm.
15. Henry Ruggs III, WR, Alabama: He has world-class speed and the ability to score every time he gets his hands on the ball.
16. Bryce Hall, CB, Virginia: Sidelined for the season with an ankle injury, Hall came to college as a receiver, and that still shows up in his ball skills. He led the nation in passes defensed last season.
17. Tyler Biadasz, C, Wisconsin: The best interior offensive line prospect and the leader of one of the best fronts in the nation.
18. Yetur Gross-Matos, Edge Rusher, Penn State: He can get to the quarterback but is also better against the run than some of the other pass rushers in the draft. He’s probably best suited as a base end in a 4-3 defense.
19. Alaric Jackson, OT, Iowa: He makes up for any questions about his agility with perhaps the strongest hands of any tackle prospect in the draft.
20. D’Andre Swift, RB, Georgia: Could there be multiple running backs in the first round? It’s possible with elite talents like Taylor and Swift, along with Clemson’s Travis Etienne.
21. Trey Adams, OT, Washington: He has prototypical size and may be the most well-rounded of the tackle prospects, though there are durability concerns.
22. Tristan Wirfs, OT, Iowa: It’s possible both Iowa tackles could be selected in the first round. Wirfs’ value may be impacted because he has played on the right side, but he’s a phenomenal talent with agility that belies his size.
23. C.J. Henderson, CB, Florida: He has used his blazing speed to turn two of his six career interceptions into touchdowns. Henderson hasn’t impacted the stat sheet much this year, but much of that has to do with opponents choosing to throw away from him. Last season, he allowed just a 43 percent completion rate and didn’t allow a touchdown while averaging 19.1 snaps per reception against.
24. Kristian Fulton, CB, LSU: He allowed just six combined first downs and touchdowns in coverage in all of 2018. Six.
25. Joe Burrow, QB, LSU: The Ohio State transfer has come from nowhere to emerge as a draft prospect. He’s not a great athlete and doesn’t jump out on paper, but he is surging up the boards due to his productivity. There’s certainly a chance he’s not a first-rounder by the end of the season. or more importantly for his future, after the combine.