2013 NFL Draft: Five Options for Oakland Raiders at No. 3
Who will the Oakland Raiders draft at No. 3?
At this point, the Oakland Raiders have arguably one of the worst rosters in the NFL talent-wise. Apart from a few playmakers here and there, the silver and black are simply devoid of starting-caliber talent no matter the position.
That is why hitting a homerun with their first-round pick is so crucial for the Raiders.
When April’s 2013 NFL Draft finally rolls around, the Raiders will have the No. 3 overall pick to work with. Luckily for GM Reggie McKenzie, that means that he’ll have his pick of all but two players in the 2013 draft class. Can he make it count, though?
That early in the draft, there’s plenty of talent to choose from. From college superstars to potential-laden late-bloomers, the possibilities really are endless. The same, however, can be said for the eventual outcome of whoever the Raiders decide to draft. With so many holes to fill, it seems like Oakland would be best off to just go for the best player available. Then again, you can never count the Raiders out when it comes to making a mess of a great opportunity.
With great power comes great responsibility. The Raiders have a perfect opportunity to add a key piece to the puzzle with the No. 3 pick. Whether or not they make the right call, though, can be the difference between one step closer to being contenders and owning the No. 1 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. We’ll see soon enough if McKenzie has the guts to make the right call.
For now, though, we’ll speculate on the options available and what they have to offer the Raiders.
Dee Milliner, Cornerback, Alabama
Even with the recent addition of Tracy Porter, the Raiders still need a lot of help at the cornerback spot. While Porter will take over one starting spot, Phillip Adams is penciled in at the other, which if far from reassuring. Especially in this pass-happy NFL of today, having two starting-caliber cornerbacks is more important than ever. While No. 3 might be a stretch for Milliner, there’s no doubt that he could make an impact for the Oakland secondary from Day 1.
Star Lotulelei, Defensive Tackle, Utah
What defense doesn’t need a dominant presence in the middle like Lotulelei can provide? With a mammoth frame and plenty of strength to go with it, the defensive anchor from Utah has plenty to provide an NFL team hungry for help along the line. With the recent findings regarding his heart and it’s health, Lotulelei should start to see his name creep back towards the Top 10 picks in the draft. If the Raiders feel that a monster in the middle is the answer for their defense, drafting a guy like Lotulelei could soon pay Haloti Ngata-sized dividends.
Eric Fisher, Offensive Tackle, Central Michigan
There’s no denying that the Raiders need help along the offensive line. There are three elite talents in this year’s class, but Luke Joeckel will likely be off the board and Chance Warmack is a bit of a reach at No. 3. That leaves Fisher for Oakland to consider. Considered by many to be just as good – if not better – than Joeckel, Fisher has all of the physical tools to take over on the blindside from the get-go. He’s a huge, dominant presence along the offensive line who has the athleticism you simply can’t find in someone his size. If the Raiders really are set on upgrading their blocking to keep recently-acquired quarterback Matt Flynn upright, Fisher is their man.
Geno Smith, Quarterback, West Virginia
Arguably the best quarterback in the 2013 draft class, Smith has the potential to turn into a quality starter at the next level. With terrific arm strength and plenty of athleticism to make things happen outside of the pocket, Smith is the type of quarterback that teams are starting to look for as the game of football evolves. While he still has some flaws and is nothing close to the sure things that Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III were last season, Smith can be the difference maker the Raiders need under center. If they were really considering starting Terrelle Pryor, I don’t think they’d have a problem with giving Smith a shot.
Ezekiel Ansah, Defensive End, BYU
Ansah just seems like a Raiders kind of player. With freakish athleticism and more rawness than a rare steak, the BYU product still has a lot of learning to do before he becomes a polished NFL talent. Still, the upside in Ansah is ridiculous. Considering his size, speed, athleticism and motor, Ansah has the potential to develop into a Jason Pierre-Paul type of raw talent turned superstar. The Raiders have so many holes to fill that they might as well draft the player with the highest ceiling.
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