By Ryan Ratty @RyanRattyNFL on March 29, 2014
Although they spent a lot of money in free agency, there are still many ways the Oakland Raiders can upgrade their team. The draft is a great way to get younger, and the Raiders are drafting in the top five for another year. The Raiders are in the competitive AFC West, and it is crucial that they draft some quality players in May's draft.
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Many players have gone to Oakland and have seen their careers take a turn for the worse. While he is a talented football player, Colt Lyerla has had a few arrests in the past few years and he is an accident waiting to happen. He has a history of drug use, and going to Oakland would not be a good thing for Lyerla. The Raiders should stay clear of Lyerla.
After the Rodger Saffold fiasco, the Raiders are still in the market for an offensive tackle. Yes, they signed Donald Penn, but many don't see him as the long-term left tackle. Cyrus Kouandjio had a decent college career at Alabama, but it was reported at the end of the season that he had arthritis in his knees. He may be available in the second or third round, but the Raiders can't afford to draft him with his injury issues.
Trent Murphy was once seen as a first-round pick, but he was abysmal in the Senior Bowl. Because of that, Murphy has seen his draft stock plummet. Murphy is undersized and he doesn't have a natural position, but there is reason to believe that he could be an intriguing player in the 4-3. Murphy is a project player, and he isn't worth a second-round pick.
It doesn't happen often to see an outside linebacker go in the top 10, but that might happen this year with Anthony Barr. The UCLA product is a versatile player, but it is hard to project his game in the NFL. If the Raiders don't select a quarterback in round one, many believe they will draft a defensive player. Barr is best suited to play outside linebacker in the 3-4 defensive scheme, and the Raiders play in a 4-3 defensive alignment.
Johnny Manziel is one of the most hyped prospects in recent memory, but all of that hype is premature. So far in the pre-draft process, Manziel has said all of the right things and he has backed it up with his workouts. But it wasn't too long ago when Manziel was signing autographs and staying out late at nightclubs. Manziel has a ton of baggage, and the Raiders have made mistakes before in the draft by taking players with off-field concerns.
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