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5 Perfect 2016 NFL Draft Fits for the Oakland Raiders

Vernon Hargreaves III

Vernon Hargreaves III

It isn't often that an NFL team that finishes 7-9 and doesn't make the playoffs is the talk of the offseason, but the Oakland Raiders have been in the news a lot lately. Oakland has been one of the most active teams in free agency, having already signed linebacker Bruce Irvin, guard Kelechi Osemele, safety Reggie Nelson and cornerback Sean Smith, just to name a few.

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While the Raiders have done a lot to address the needs of their team, there are still positions that the team will look to upgrade during the 2016 NFL Draft. Oakland will select No. 14 overall in this year's draft and here are five potential players that would fit perfectly for their team.

1. Vernon Hargreaves III, cornerback, Florida

Yes, the Raiders signed Smith line up on the opposite side of David Amerson, but the team could use another corner to man the slot. Hargreaves would be an excellent fit for the Raiders if he happens to slide to No. 14, especially since former first-round pick D.J. Hayden is entering the final year of his rookie deal.

What Hargreaves lacks in size (5-10, 204) he makes up for with quickness and route recognition. He is also great in man-to-man coverage, as Hargreaves knows how to jam a receiver and change his route at the line of scrimmage.

If Hargreaves is there when the Raiders make their pick in the first round, the team has to jump at the opportunity to add this intriguing talent to their roster.

2. Mackensie Alexander, cornerback, Clemson

There's a good chance Hargreaves won't be there when the Raiders pick, so the team may have to go in a different direction at corner. While many experts have Oakland selecting Eli Apple from Ohio State, Alexander from Clemson would be a better pick.

Like Hargreaves, Alexander isn't tall (5-10), but possesses the quickness and technique required to become a great cornerback. Alexander also is great at anticipating opposing routes. Playing in the slot for Oakland would give him the opportunity to learn how to play in more zone coverages, something he didn't do a lot of at Clemson.

3. Kentrell Brothers, inside linebacker, Missouri

After seeing Curtis Lofton struggle at the inside linebacker position, the Raiders definitely could use an upgrade. While Reggie Ragland will likely be available at No.14, the Raiders could wait until the second round to select a linebacker. If they do wait until the second day of the draft, Kentrell Brothers from Missouri could be a possible target.

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Brothers has good size and he is an excellent tackler in the open field. Last season for the Tigers, Brothers recorded 152 tackles, which led the nation. He also averaged 12.7 tackles per game, which also was No. 1 in the country.

While Brothers doesn't have great speed, his tackling ability would fit in well in the Raiders’ defensive scheme.

4. Alex Collins, running back, Arkansas

While Latavius Murray rushed for 1,066 yards and six touchdowns in 2015, the Raiders still finished 28th in the league in rushing (91.1 ypg) and 24th in rushing touchdowns (7).

There are some quality running backs in this year's draft, which include Collins. In 2015, Collins rushed for 1,577 yards and 20 touchdowns as a junior for the Razorbacks.

Collins is a strong, north-south runner that won't avoid contact with defenders. He also has the patience to wait for a hole and then explode through it.

Collins appears to be a solid pass-catcher out of the backfield and a decent pass blocker as well. He does need to work on his ball security, as he had 16 career fumbles at Arkansas. Collins would be a great option for the Silver and Black in the third round.

5. Chris Jones, defensive tackle, Mississippi State

Oakland ranked 13th against the run last season, While that's not terrible, it could improve. Jones is a guy that would fit in well with the Raiders’ 3-4 scheme.

In 13 games for the Bulldogs in 2015, Jones recorded 44 tackles, 7.5 tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks. Because of the season he had, Jones was named a second-team All-American by Pro Football Focus.

Jones has a big (6-6. 310) body and a quick initial first step. He uses his active hands to attack offensive lineman to get through the line.

Jones is still raw in a number of areas, but he can give the Raiders solid snaps in run-stopping situations immediately. He would be a quality pick in the third round for Oakland. 

— Written by Antwan Staley, who is part of the Athlon Contributor Network and has extensive experience covering Florida sports teams. Staley has written for Bleacher Report, Pro Player Insiders and is a reporter for Sports Talk Florida. Follow him on Twitter @antwanstaley.