Through one month of free agency, few teams have been as busy as the Oakland Raiders. With a lot of money to spend under the salary cap, the organization has signed free agents who play on both sides of the ball.
Despite all their moves, the Raiders are not done shaking up their roster this offseason. After another poor season, Oakland has the No.5 pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. It’s Oakland’s highest selection since 2008, when they took Darren McFadden fourth overall.
A year ago, the Raiders took cornerback D.J. Hayden with the 12th pick in the first round. This year, the team can go in a few different directions on draft day.
Blake Bortles: Most NFL draft experts have ranked the UCF quarterback as the top signal caller on the board. Even after trading for Matt Schaub, the Raiders might be in the market for a young quarterback. In 2013, Schaub was one of the worst starters in the league. If a potential quarterback of the future is available, Oakland will seriously consider taking him with their first pick.
Johnny Manziel: Following his second year of college football, there have been several questions surrounding the quarterback’s pro potential. Despite the concerns about him off the field, the Heisman Trophy winner has impressed scouts, both at the Scouting Combine and his pro day. Manziel has a lot of potential, but may need time before he can be a solid NFL starter. The acquisition of Schaub would allow Oakland to sit the Texas A&M quarterback for a year or two.
Greg Robinson: Quarterback is the most important position on the field, but the Raiders might not feel any in the draft are worthy of the No.5 pick. According to Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle, the Raiders have not been enamored with the quarterbacks in the 2014 class. Oakland might decide to select someone who can protect the quarterbacks on their roster. Robinson is the best offensive lineman in the draft, and following a disappointing year, Schaub will need all the protection he can get.
Sammy Watkins: Other than Jadeveon Clowney, the wide receiver might be the most talented player in the draft. If Watkins is available at No.5, it won’t be easy for the Raiders to pass him up. In 2013, Oakland had one of the weakest receiving corps in all of football, with no one on the roster recording 900 receiving yards. After catching 101 passes in his final season, Watkins could join the newly signed James Jones to give the team two formidable threats.
Kalil Mack: If the Raiders disregard specific team needs, Mack might be their best bet in the first round. With Clowney likely off the board at No.5, Mack will be the most talented defensive player available. At Buffalo, the linebacker recorded 10.5 sacks and three interceptions in 2013. Joining the likes of Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley, Mack could help the Raiders put a lot of pressure on opposing quarterbacks.