Oakland Raiders: Potential Upgrades At Every Position

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Dec 7, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders tight end Mychal Rivera (81) reacts after catching a pass for a first down against the San Francisco 49ers in the second quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Tight End: Current Starter – Mychal Rivera

This is a tough decision for me. On one hand, I see Rivera as a player who is constantly improving, he’s shown that he can be great, he just needs to become more consistent. Overall, he’s ranked almost last among tight ends by Pro Football Focus.  I think he deserves to be on the team, but I think the position needs an upgrade so he can develop more.

In my conversation with Derek Carr a few weeks back, I asked him what he thought about the possibility of Julius Thomas coming to the Raiders from Denver; the excitement in Derek’s voice when he started talking about how great it would be to have a player like Julious on the team is almost indescribable.

Thomas was born and raised a Raider fan, he knows coach Del Rio and respects him quite a bit, and he’s open to the idea of playing for the Raiders. On top of that, he’s the 13th overall ranked tight end in the NFL by PFF.  Not only do I think Thomas would be a great upgrade to the position, I also think he has a pretty high likelihood of actually wanting to play for the Raiders. Once Rivera can mature a little bit, him and Thomas could make for quite the dangerous combination in a two TE set.

If the Raiders choose to upgrade the tight end position in the draft, they could use their second round pick to grab Maxx Williams out of Minnisota. He’s big, strong, has great hands, and is comparable to Jason Witten in terms of his play.

I don’t necessarily see the Raiders using the 2nd round pick on a tight end though. But, you never know. The tight end position has been more and more valuable over the last few years. There are a few other tight ends in the draft, but I don’t think they’d be an upgrade when compared to Rivera.

Next: Offseason Upgrades: Offensive Line