GM Andrews/Associated Press
Derek Carr could be an Oakland Raider
If the Raiders do not trade out of the fifth pick, this is how I see the draft falling.
Round 1, Pick No. 5: WR Sammy Watkins
The Raiders can't afford to reach for a player in this draft. If they draft the BPA when they pick, odds are they will take Watkins with the fifth pick. Oakland has focused a lot on its offensive and defensive lines this offseason. Adding a weapon like Watkins would make life easier for Matt Schaub in 2014.
Round No. 2, Pick No. 35: QB Derek Carr
If the quarterbacks start falling like many are predicting, then Oakland can find its guy in the second round. Taking Carr in the second would be an ideal situation for the Raiders. I have a strong feeling that Carr is the Raiders' preferred quarterback in this draft and they would take him in the first round. However, I think it's very possible that Oakland waits to take him in the second or makes a move back into the first round to take Carr in the mid-20s.
Round No. 3, Pick No. 67: TE Troy Niklas
The Raiders offense needs to score points this year. Adding another offensive weapon in the third round is a good way to do it. Niklas fits exactly what the Raiders need. He is a solid blocker in the run and pass game and has the size and ability to be a threat on offense as a pass-catcher as well. He does need to improve on his route running and getting open, but there is no doubt he would come in and start as the tight end on day one. Pairing Niklas with Mychal Rivera at the tight end position would be great for the Raiders.
Round No. 4, Pick No. 107: CB Rashaad Reynolds
The Raiders take their first defender in the fourth round with Reynolds. Oakland's secondary struggled to tackle last year and Reynolds, while small, uses his frame well and is tough. He's not afraid to get his jersey dirty and can help in the run game as well. He would most likely find his playing time on special teams while he improves his coverage skills in 2014.
Round No. 7, Pick No. 219: S Lonnie Ballentine
Ballentine is a big safety who may be worth taking in the seventh round if he is still there. He is projected to go anywhere from the fifth round and on. The Raiders need to add some depth to their secondary, and adding a big-bodied safety in the seventh round would give the Raiders more competition in the secondary.
Round No. 7, Pick No. 235: DT Ryan Carrethers
Carrethers is 6'1" and weighs 337 pounds. Anytime you can pick up a guy with his size in the seventh round it's worth the pick. Giving him some time with the strength coaches and with the veterans the Raiders brought in could prove valuable for a player with the size needed to succeed. He needs to improve in various areas, but what seventh-rounder doesn't?
Round No. 7, Pick No. 247: Kevin Graf
Graf played for Southern California, so you know there was some ability there. He played offensive tackle and McKenzie likes drafting players who played offensive tackle in college because he can move them to guard if needed. Graf could be added to to fight for a spot on the offensive line and give Oakland more depth. The Raiders currently have 10 offensive linemen on the roster, so it would be tough for him to find a spot on the roster in 2014.