The Oakland Raiders added a tone setter in the secondary by picking Karl Joseph in the first round. He's going to crack some unassuming ball carriers in the NFL. Ward is a player up front who can be used at end or tackle for Oakland. Shilique Calhoun can play the run and the pass. If he consistently plays hard, he'll earn a starting job. Connor Cook was an interesting choice at No. 100 overall. His value was really good in the fourth round. The Raiders could develop him and eventually trade him. But he's a backup player on a roster that only needs few holes filled to push for a playoff spot.
DeAndre Washington is a solid third-down type of back for the Raiders, but it was a surprise to see him picked before a few running backs in this class. Sixth-round pick Cory James is a speedy linebacker that will star on special teams in the NFL. Seventh-round pick Vadal Alexander is a big blocker who should make the roster.
— Dan Kadar, SB Nation
With Shaq Lawson and Myles Jack still on the board, the Raiders felt they had to jump on Joseph, who was a guy many teams were starting to like in the first round. He is known as a tough player and a very hard hitter who can be the leader and the heart and soul of a defense a la Brian Dawkins.
My initial thoughts are that this isn't a great selection here. [Jihad] Ward had just 4.5 career sacks and was just Honorable Mention BIG. He was projected as high as a late third round pick, with some projecting him in the final two rounds of the draft. The reports that he could need a knee surgery that would have him out the first six weeks of the season suggest that he certainly could have fallen into the third day at least. And yet with still a lot of proven defensive tackle and defensive end talent on the board like Jonathan Bullard and Andrew Billings and both Alabama defensive tackles as well as some great talent at other positions, they reach for Ward. The one saving grace is his great story of perseverance, which we know the Raiders value. In the long run, he could turn out to be a good pick, but picking him at 44 with concerns about needing surgery is tough.
At 6'4", 251 pounds, Calhoun was a two-time All-American on one of the nation's best defenses in the country. With 14.5 tackles for loss and 10.5 sacks, Calhoun helped lead the Spartans to the National Championship game last season.
Cook has good size for the NFL at 6'4" and 217 pounds with a good arm. He has struggled with his accuracy in the Big Ten, completing 56% of his passes in his senior year. Cook is a mature leader and was a four-year starter at Michigan State who led the Spartans to the College Football Playoff last season. He seems an ideal backup quarterback who was drafted much lower than he was expected to go.
DeAndre Washington is a 5'8, 204lb speedy back out of Texas Tech who ran a 4.46 40 yard dash at the combine. He isn't just speed though, he also put up a very impressive 24 bench presses at the combine which showed off his impressive strength. One of the things that was missing from the Raiders offense was a player of this type, one that could be extremely quick out of the backfield as a receiver and 3rd down back.
While James is relatively unknown having played in the Mountain West, he is adept at rushing the passer from the middle and the outside. He has good awareness in space and finds the ballcarrier in traffic. He is an above-average athlete with the skills needed to keep up with NFL backs and receivers. He seems like the type of player Ken Norton Jr. could mold into a great system linebacker.
At 6'5", 326 lbs, Alexander is a huge guard that also has experience playing offensive tackle. He earned First Team All-SEC Honors in 2015 and was projected a third round draft pick by NFL Network. Alexander fell in the draft after running the slowest 40-yard dash (5.62) of any offensive lineman at the NFL Combine. He was the top graded offensive lineman in pass rush drills at the Senior Bowl by Pro Football Focus.