Mulling over the positions that the Oakland Raiders are slotted to choose at, I have decided to speculate as to who they may or may not select in the draft. It’s not necessarily in my nature to actually do this, as I’d rather discuss the players currently on the roster, but the draft is on the horizon and it seems to be the only thing worth talking about.
I’m going to kick this off with the obvious choices within the 1st round. Then, I’ll dig a bit deeper to speculate as to who will be available in the later rounds. The Raiders needs are obvious; OL, DT, CB, DE, LB, S, WR, and QB.
The talent in the 1st round has the ability to become that cornerstone player the Raiders have needed for some time. It will be hard to pass on some of the bigger names, should they fall to pick #5. Although I truly believe that the Raiders are in a better position to trade down to pick #10 with the Detroit Lions, or pick #18 with the New York Jets, these are the players that the Raiders should choose at pick #5 (Or #8, #9, #10-#18 if a trade is made):
1. Khalil Mack, LB, 2. Mike Evans, WR, 3. Sammy Watkins, WR, 4. Jake Matthews, OT, 5. C.J. Mosley, ILB, 6. Aaron Donald, DT, 7. Zack Martin, OG, 8. Darqueze Dennard, CB, 9. Hasean Clinton-Dix, FS, or 10. Anthony Barr, LB.
Like I said, most of these choices are very obvious. As far as WR’s go, I like Mike Evans over Sammy Watkins. The reason, Evans is bigger at 6′ 5″ and 231 lbs. (Watkins is 6′ 1″ and 211), and I believe he will be more durable. Plus, he is the perfect match for QB Matt Schaub, as Schaub had Andre Johnson (6′ 3″ & 230 lbs) in Houston. Some analysts believe that Watkins is a bit more dynamic due to his Pro-Day, but part of the reason why Johnny Manziel was so good is due to the fact that Evans made spectacular catches.
Game speed is better than 40-yard dash times, and Evans has that game speed. Add him in with the current receivers on the roster (Rod Streater, James Jones, Andre Holmes, Brice Butler, Denarius Moore, and Juron Criner), and there will be matchup problems created for opposing teams in 2014. I won’t be unhappy with Watkins at #5, but I would rather see the Raiders choose Evans.