By Daniel Schmelzer @D_Schmelzer on March 16, 2014
The Oakland Raiders have position needs all over the field. There are very few positions that the Raiders are actually deep and talented. Because of this, landing impact talent in the 2014 NFL Draft will obviously be key. Most importantly, they must select a player they can build the franchise around with the No. 5 overall pick. A Jamarcus Russell-like bust is simply not an option. Here are five first-round scenarios for the Black and Silver.
The Houston Texans must decide whether they are going to take a QB or DE Jadeveon Clowney with the No. 1 overall pick. If they draft a QB, the St. Louis Rams hold the second pick and are making it known that they are ready to trade. With so many position needs, I doubt that the Raiders give up a huge package to trade up and get Clowney, but he is an incredibly talented player with once-in-a-generation type upside; I would not rule it out either.
Wide receiver is one of many positions that the Raiders need to fill in this draft. Sammy Watkins is a dynamic player with huge upside. I do not think that Watkins will be the Raiders' first option with the fifth pick, but he would be a nice consolation prize. The WR position is deep in this class, and while Watkins is clearly the top guy, the Raiders would probably be better off waiting until later in the draft.
With Jared Veldheer moving on in free agency and the Raiders losing out of Rodger Saffold after he failed a physical, Oakland is severely lacking at the offensive tackle position. Greg Robinson and Jake Matthews are the two best tackles in this class, and both could be in play with the fifth pick. Matthews is the far more polished prospect, but Robinson represents much more upside. Adding a tackle would be a smart move with the fifth pick.
Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin are simply not the answer at the QB position in Oakland. The Raiders must find a QB in this draft, and the easiest way to do that is by taking one of the top three guys. Blake Bortles, Teddy Bridgewater and Johnny Manziel all have their flaws, but each have the upside to become great NFL starting quarterbacks. Assuming one is available, nobody would blame Oakland for taking one of these three.
If Oakland does not like the players available at the fifth pick, I think they will look to trade down and target Derek Carr as their franchise QB. There have been plenty of whispers that the Raiders love Carr and want to put themselves in a position to select him. Trading down would allow Oakland to get more picks to fill holes on their roster, but it is risky. If the Raiders trade down too far and miss Carr, they are stuck without a QB.
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