By Kevin Saito @Kevin_Saito on March 23, 2014
Having significantly upgraded the roster on both sides of the ball, the Oakland Raiders still need an explosive offensive weapon. The addition of James Jones will bolster a young receiving corps, but the team still needs a No. 1 receiver to complement him and give new QB Matt Schaub yet another reliable target. With a number of good options that figure to be on the board at five, here are a few players the Raiders should look at selecting.
A powerful and physical running back, Hyde was the workhorse for Ohio State. His legs don't stop moving and he has an impressive ability to absorb hits while not slowing down. For a back of his size, he can be nimble and make some defenders miss, and has an extra gear that allows him to get to the edge and turn the corner. He can muscle out the short yards, and turn on the jets to break a long one as well.
With Darren McFadden back in the fold -- and who knows how long he'll stay healthy -- the Raiders will likely be looking to a running back by committee approach with Marcel Reese, Kory Sheets and Latavius Murray handling the ball. With good field vision and a powerful lower body that doesn't stop churning, Mason is reminiscent of Ray Rice. And he's more durable than McFadden.
While he doesn't have a lot of size -- he's 6-foot -- he has speed to burn and the ability to get behind defenders quickly. Lee is excellent when it comes to changing directions, and runs his routes well. He has terrific field vision, excellent hands, makes defenders miss and has the speed to accelerate away from the defense. He's also a very physical downfield blocker and can spring his teammates for big gains.
At 6-foot-5, Evans is a tough receiver who can use his size to bully opposing DB's. He has terrific body control and possesses excellent hands which allow him to make the difficult catches. He's got excellent body control, adjusts well to the ball, and is deadly down in the red zone -- an area the Raiders struggled in last season. He would be a terrific target for Schaub.
While not ideally sized -- he's 6-foot-1 -- Watkins has what it takes to be a No. 1 receiver in the NFL. He runs crisp routes, accelerates well and is dangerous in open space. He adjusts to the ball well, and has an ability to snag even poorly-thrown balls. He would be a fantastic, and lethal complementary piece to the Raiders' receiving corps.
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