2014 NFL Draft: 5 Late-Round Sleepers Oakland Raiders Should Target
5 Late-Round Sleepers the Oakland Raiders Should Target in the 2014 Draft
Over the past few years, the Oakland Raiders have been in a less-than-enviable position to put it lightly. Stuck with no cash, no draft picks, and no talent, general manager Reggie McKenzie inherited an absolute mess in the Raiders. With that said, things are starting to look up slightly in Oakland. While still talent deprived, there are a few players on the roster with loads of potential, and the Raiders finally have picks in the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft, and this is the year McKenzie really needs to prove his worth.
To be honest, the first few McKenzie-led drafts have been somewhat disappointing. With that said however, we have to give the man a chance to prove himself with some actual draft picks, not the scraps the team has been living off.
A lot of times, when a team is rebuilding like Oakland, it’s important to nail every single selection in the draft. When a team is in the middle of a long rebuilding effort, they simply can’t afford to only hit on players in the first few rounds. McKenzie understands that, and knows that if Oakland wants to return to their former glory, he must start hitting the jackpot on late-round picks.
Yes, the Oakland Raiders are in the middle of what seems like a never-ending rebuild. But Oakland-faithful have reason to be optimistic for the team’s future. There is still a while to go, but Oakland is getting there talent-wise. It’s a rebuilding effort, but it’s one that will go smoothly as long as McKenzie and co. can hit on their late round picks.
With that said, ladies and gentlemen, five late-round sleepers the Oakland Raiders should target.
5. Isaiah Crowell, RB, Alabama State
Darren McFadden is on the way out, and that opens a big hole in Oakland’s backfield. Isaiah Crowell struggled with maturity issues early on in his career, but he managed to straighten himself out, and the player you see on tape is well worth a late-round flier. An explosive athlete that runs with a surprising amount of power, Crowell could thrive if given the chance in Oakland.
4. Matt Feiler, OG, Bloomsburg
An offensive tackle out of Bloomsburg University, Matt Feiler has impressive strength and size. While he may be asked to make the transition to guard at the next level due to his short arms, there is no doubt Feiler possess enough talent to at the very least provide quality depth for a team. There are worse options out there than Feiler.
3. Lavelle Westbrooks, CB/Safety, Georgia Southern
Lavelle Westbrook out of Georgia Southern University has both experience playing both corner and safety, and with Charles Woodson another year older, Westbrooks could eventually step in and fill that role. A jack-of-all-trades type, Westbrooks isn't elite at any one thing, but if Oakland were to take him with a late-rounder, he wouldn't disappoint.
2. Jeff Janis, WR, Saginaw Valley State
Jeff Janis, a receiver out of tiny Saginaw Valley State University, has phenomenal speed. However, what his 4.42 time in the 40 yard dash didn't show was the fact that Janis is actually a pretty good receiver overall. Standing at 6'3", he has good size, and with his aforementioned speed, it's hard to stop Janis once he gets going. With Oakland's receivers struggling recently, Janis would be a good late-round move.
1. Dri Archer, RB, Kent State
Speaking of players with phenomenal speed, Dri Archer out of Kent State might just be the fastest player in the whole draft. Running a 4.26 in the 40 yard dash is extremely impressive, and when you throw in the fact Oakland is going to need a new tailback, Archer could help the Raiders out in a variety of different ways.