The Oakland Raiders didn't create much controversy when they selected Khalil Mack with the fifth overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. It was just the second time in the last four years that the organization had a first-round selection.
There had been rumors that the team might take wide receivers Mike Evans or Sammy Watkins. The Buffalo Bills traded up to No.4 overall to select Watkins, and the Raiders decided to upgrade their defense.
Oakland hasn’t had much recent success in the draft, considering five of their last eight first-round picks are not currently on an NFL roster. However, Mack appeared to be the logical selection at No.5.
Behind top overall pick Jadeveon Clowney, Mack is widely considered to be the best pass rusher in the 2014 class. After a 4-12 season, the Raiders needed to get better at putting pressure on the quarterback. In 2013, they were tied for 18th in the league, totaling just 38 sacks. Their pass defense ranked 28th overall, allowing 256 yards through the air per game.
Mack was highly recruited coming out of high school, and played his college football at Buffalo. Even though he didn’t face much tough competition, the linebacker proved himself against quality opponents. In the 2013 opener against Ohio State, Mack registered 2.5 sacks and an interception.
On Day Two of the draft, Oakland has two more selections. They have the fourth pick (36th overall) in the second round and the third pick (67th overall) in the third round. Even after 32 players were picked on Day One, several potential difference makers remain on the board.
After addressing their need on defense, the Raiders could look to fix their offensive problems. The top three quarterbacks were all taken in the first round. Even with Blake Bortles, Johnny Maziel and Teddy Bridgewater are off the board, Oakland could still take a signal caller in the second round.
Derek Carr remains on the board, and there were rumors that he could’ve been a first-round pick. Oakland traded for Matt Schaub to be there quarterback for the 2014 season, but there’s no guarantee that he’ll be a success with the Raiders. Last season, he threw 10 touchdowns and 14 interceptions with the Houston Texans. Oakland could make Carr to be the backup, and possibly find their quarterback of the future.
If the Raiders decide to pass on Carr, they could select Zach Mettenberger. The LSU quarterback is likely to come off the board on the second day of the draft.
Assuming Oakland passes on a wide receiver in the second round, there’s a decent chance they’ll take one with the 67th pick. Schaub or a rookie quarterback that they draft will need someone to throw the ball to, and the current roster is lacking in weapons. LSU’s Jarvis Landry or Colorado’s Paul Richardson are possible options for the Raiders in the third round.