Oakland Raiders: NFL Combine Provides New Targets For NFL Draft

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Oakland Raiders: NFL Combine Provides New Targets For NFL Draft

Oakland Raiders 2014 NFL Draft
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The Oakland Raiders are looking to make waves in the draft this year. They have one of the top picks in the first round, but they also want to use their other picks to find prospects who can contribute right away. Now that the combine is over, they have their sights set on several players who can step right in and make them a better team.

The most glaring need in this draft for the Raiders is to get better at wide receiver. A team that was once build on the vertical passing game, they haven’t had a game-changing receiver in a while. Most likely, they will use their No. 5 overall pick to take the receiver, but they could also be looking for a steal or two in the middle rounds. This is one of the deepest receiver classes we’ve ever seen, so they have a good chance at getting someone who can climb the depth chart in the later rounds.

The other big need for them is at quarterback. They have a couple of young passers on the roster that have a chance to grab the job and not let go, but chances are the Raiders will use one of their early-round picks to bring in some competition.

The NFL combine is the best place for teams to get a real look at the crop of prospects coming out of college. This year they had some of the best talent ever to look over, and these are five players who the Raiders will be targeting after the combine.

Ben Sullivan is an NFL writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @bensullivan52, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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5. Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, Northern Illinois

Jimmy Garoppolo Oakland Raiders
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The Raiders aren't likely to use their first-round pick on a quarterback, so if they want to bring someone in with a real chance to win the starting job they need to find a sleeper in the second or third rounds. Jimmy Garoppolo was extremely productive in college, but teams are weary of his outlandish stats because they came against weaker competition. With a little work on his technique and accuracy, he could be the next Colin Kaepernick or Russell Wilson.

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4. Martavis Bryant, WR, Clemson

Martavis Bryant Oakland Raiders
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Martavis Bryant is a potential big-play receiver who should be available in the middle rounds. He ran well at the combine (4.42 second 40) and looked good in his on-field drills. If the Raiders do end up taking Sammy Watkins in the first round, they could reunite the two in the NFL.

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3. Gabe Jackson, G, Mississippi State

Gabe Jackson Oakland Raiders
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A big, strong and athletic interior lineman, Gabe Jackson is one of my favorite second round picks this year. He can step right in and compete for playing time on the Oakland line.

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2. Brandin Cooks, WR, Oregon State

Brandin Cooks Oakland Raiders
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We all know the Raiders love themselves some speed, and Brandin Cooks was impressive at the combine. He ran 4.33 second 40 and would be an immediate deep threat in Oakland.

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1. Mike Evans, WR, Texas A&M

Mike Evans Oakland Raiders
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Most mocks drafts slot Sammy Watkins in for the Raiders in the first round, but after an impressive combine they have to be looking at Mike Evans as the No. 1 wideout as well. He may not have the top-end speed that Watkins does, but he has the size to be an elite red-zone target.


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  • netraider

    The most glaring need of the Raiders is the Defensive line. If they cannot put pressure on Manning, Rivers and Smith nothing else will matter. The Offense can score but the Defense gives up 30+ ppg. Upgrading the Offense from 20 to 25 ppg won’t do a thing. A good Defense is required to be competitive. You cannot win without being able to make fourth quarter stops.