The 2016 NFL Draft is still over two months away, but that's not stopping ESPN's Mel Kiper, Jr. from already releasing his second mock draft of the season.
The esteemed ESPN analyst has the Raiders selecting cornerback Eli Apple with their first-round pick (14th overall), stating the following about the selection.
Cornerback is a major need for the Raiders, which should be addressed in free agency and the draft. Apple is going to deal with some growing pains because he needs to be better from a technical standpoint and not so reliant on his physical ability, but he has coveted above-average size and tremendous potential.
The Raiders certainly need corner help, despite the improved play from the position after signing David Amerson midway through the season.
The first thing of note about Apple is his size - standing at 6-foot-1, he possesses the solid height that Raiders defensive coordinator Ken Norton, Jr. likes in his cornerbacks. His height and length combination will allow him to play against some of the more physical cornerbacks in the NFL. Apple has also demonstrated the ability to get up and attack the ball in the air.
The underclassman finished with 22 passes defensed over the last two years, and according to NFL.com "scouts praise him for work ethic and technical improvement over last two years."