The Oakland Raiders have the fifth pick overall in the 2014 draft in May and there are many avenues on where the team can go with their first pick. With the NFL draft less than two weeks away we definitely can start to project what moves the Raiders may make come draft day.
There are many mock drafts out there making an analysis on what the Raiders will do with their first pick of the 2014 NFL Draft. As fans all know general manager Reggie McKenzie and head coach Dennis Allen are on thin ice. Owner Marc Davis is ready to give them a fighting chance to prove their worth and value to bring back the Raiders to the commitment of excellence they once had in the league. Without the Silver and Black as villains, the NFL just has not felt the same. But let us not fall off the subject at hand.
Please focus on the attributes of truly making the team stronger and built with future of Oakland. The Oakland Raiders had all sorts of needs going into this off season but they did improve working through in Free Agency.
To start with the Raiders traded their 2014 sixth-rounder to the Texans to bring in Matt Schaub a veteran quarterback with playoff experience and a team leader a person who can give guidance to the younger receivers and quarterbacks on the team. But they did the pick back by trading away Terrelle Pryor earlier in month for a seventh rounder in this year’s draft class.
McKenzie also decided it’s time to strengthen the defense by adding solid veterans through free agency he signed two big name free agent veterans LaMarr Woodley, Antonio Richardson, Justin Tuck will all add leadership and a new dimension to the defense. Other signings on defense included two veteran corners from San Francisco Terrell Thomas and Carlos Rodgers. While at the same time the Raiders brought back some of their own veterans defensive tackle Pat Sims and safety Charles Woodson.
Let’s not forget the moves the Silver and Black made on the offensive side of the ball. Building up their offensive line was priority and they did that by signing veterans like offensive tackles Donald Penn and Austin Howard and guard Kevin Boothe along with the resigning of Kalif Barnes.
Mack would be exciting to watch in Silver and Black, he may not be the most pressing need but he is the top player available. Unless somehow wide receiver Sammy Watkins or defensive end Jadaveon Clowney slip Mack will be their pick.
If none of the above are available by the fifth pick the Raiders need to shift to plan “B” they may trade the pick. They can also go with a quarterback possible Blake Bortels or Johnny Manziel. However, the best plan “B” for the Raiders for this year’s draft is to go with defensive tackle Aaron Donald out of Pittsburgh. According CBS Sports he's leading the country in sacks (1.6 per game) and tackles for loss (2.4), Donald might just be the most under-appreciated NFL prospect in college football.
2nd Round-36th pick overall- Donte Moncrief, WR Ole Miss
Matt Schaub has many decent targets to throw the ball but no number one guy that he consistently go to. Moncrief is not Watkins nor Evans but he is a big strong receiver that can become the future number one target for the Raiders. He has a large frame and is fast enough to break away from corners. He will be asset for the Raiders and a steal in the second round.
Matt Schaub has a one-year deal with the team if he doesn’t prove himself and to the Raiders he cannot win. They need to find their quarterback of the future. Savage has the strength and leadership skills to become the future quarterback with the Raiders with the right guidance and coaching to get him there. Tom Savage may be a new name to NFL fans as this former Pitt quarterback has shot up draft boards in recent weeks and if the Raiders feel strong enough about him they can take him as early as the second round.
With the Raiders unable to resign Lamar Houston in free agency that opened up the door for youth on the defensive front. Quarles fits right in to the mix with Pat Sims and Stacy McGee. With Gamecocks last season Quarles racked up the regular season with a team-high in sacks (13.5) and sacks (9.5). As a teammate of Jadeveon Clowney he was given single coverage on the inside. Quarles is very quick and strong and will fit in the 4-3 defensive front of the Raiders.
7th Round 219th pick-Kevin Pamphile OT, Purdue
Many mock drafts have the Raiders snagging an offensive lineman within the first two rounds. But realistically folks the Raiders signed a total of four offensive lineman through free agency and resigned another. Not saying they will not get an offensive lineman in the draft but they just signed Donald Penn and Austin Howard at the tackle position. Penn signed a two year deal and Howard signed a five year deal. NFL draft analysis slow down. Pamphile was successful in Purdue and does have a bit of a learning curve but he has a lot of upside.
7th Round-235th pick (from Arizona)-Andre Hal CB Vanderbilt
By the time the Raiders get this pick most spectators of the draft are long gone this is Seattle Seahawks original pick in which the Raiders received for the trade with Pryor. There is many different directions the Raiders can go here but taking another piece to the aging secondary will not hurt them. Hal needs to build up his physical traits to be a consistent NFL starter, but his tough, confident approach to the game should keep him on the Raiders roster and allow him to help in dime situations. This past season at Vanderbilt Hal had 3 interceptions against SEC opponents and one interception in the Compass Bowl against Houston.
This the extra pick the Raiders received recently in the Pryor trade. Raiders did a lot this offseason to fix their empty secondary capturing veterans like Carlos Rodgers and Terrell Brown from the Niners to fill in the corner spots and re-signed Raiders Nation favorite Charles Woodson at safety but in October he will be 38 and he’s not getting any younger and the simple need youth at that position. DeRon Furr, is a hard-hitting safety that could become a diamond in the rough late round-UDFA prospect in the upcoming 2014 NFL Draft. Furr is the type of player the Raiders would love he is a tackling machine in fact in one game he had 17 tackles this past season.
One final note headed to the draft remember, what school head coach Dennis Allen went to. Yes, that’s right Texans A&M and three of the top 10 prospects are from Texans A&M including one of the top quarterbacks in this year’s NFL draft class, Johnny Manziel could the Raiders pull the trigger remains a mystery. But we need to keep our minds open to exciting trades that could transform the entire Raiders draft completely.
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