Receivers Amari Cooper and Kevin White, plus defensive lineman Leonard Williams, have been the prime names talked about for the Raiders’ fourth overall pick in the draft on April 30.
But lately, another player is being linked to Oakland with its top pick: Clemson defensive end Vic Beasley.
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network reported that the Raiders sent four staffers to South Carolina last Friday – including new defensive coordinator Ken Norton Jr. – to see Beasley work out in person.
If the Raiders decide to move down a few spots in the first round, Beasley could turn out to be their target.
Beasley is considered a top-10 pick, but not likely someone the Raiders would take at No. 4 overall, noted Bryan Fischer of NFL.com. Beasley – who performed very well at the NFL Combine and his pro day -- is ranked as the third-best edge pass rusher available in the draft by NFL analyst Mike Mayock.
At 6-foot-3 and 246 pounds, he’s considered a bit light for a defensive end, but has great speed and is explosive. His presence at defensive end in Oakland’s 4-3 defense – especially in front of outside linebacker Khalil Mack – could put tremendous pressure on opposing pass-blocking schemes. Some project him as an outside linebacker in a 3-4 scheme, however.
In four seasons at Clemson, Beasley had 33 sacks, a school record. Twice he was a first-team All-America pick.