Originally published on Silver & Black Report on May 8, 2014
The much anticipated (especially with the extra two weeks of waiting this year) 2014 NFL Draft is finally upon us, starting at 8:00 p.m. EST tonight. By now we all know a lot (sometimes too much about the draft prospects), so I won’t bore you with that information again.
Thursday will be just round one of the draft, with each team being given 10 minutes to make their selection.
Little is known as to which direction anyone will go, but it does seem likely that defensive end Jadeveon Clowney will be the first overall selection, whether that’s by the Houston Texans or another team trading up.
The Raiders have stated many times this offseason that they want a “playmaker” and there’s no bigger ones on defense and offense than linebacker Khalil Mack and wide receiver Sammy Watkins, respectively.
Mack could be the pass rusher that the Raiders defense desperately needs, while Watkins could provide the Raiders with a number-one receiver that they have lacked since Randy Moss departed from the team in 2006. It would be hard for the Raiders to pass up on either of them if they’re still available when the Raiders draft at #5 overall.
The real question is what the Raiders will do if both Watkins and Mack are gone, which is certainly a possibility.
If they are both gone, then there will be one of the top-three tackles available at five. We just don’t know which ones will be gone. The Raiders have reportedly liked Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan over the rest of the tackles, and we’ll see if that’s truly the case if fellow tackles Greg Robinson and Jake Matthews are still available.
The Raiders could look at wide receiver Mike Evans as a possible number one wide receiver and could use the pick on him, as he likely won’t last past the top 10.
Another option is selecting Texas A&M quarterback Johnny “Football” Manziel or another one of the top quarterbacks, though it seems that despite needing a young quarterback, it looks like the Raiders aren’t interested in spending that early of a pick on a quarterback.
Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie stated in his pre-draft press conference that he has been fielding offers for the fifth-overall pick and don’t be surprised if they do trade down to accumulate more picks, should Mack and Watkins already be off the board.
The recent buzz has been that the Raiders want quarterback Derek Carr, so if they do trade back he may be a player to watch depending on what pick they trade for.
Carr seems unlikely to still be around until the Raiders make their selection on Friday, which means if they don’t trade down to take him, they’ll likely have to trade up to get back into the first round to select him as Mike Mayock mentioned Wednesday.
Problem is with Mayock’s prediction is that the Raiders don’t own a sixth-round pick and the Arizona Cardinals seem pretty interested in drafted Carr with the 20th pick of the draft.
There’s only one thing that’s for certain about tomorrow’s day one, and that’s that nobody truly knows what is going to happen. It looks like we’re gearing up for a wild first day, so strap yourselves down Raider Nation and stay tuned to Silver & Black Report for live coverage from Radio City Music Hall.