It's an odd year to be at number eight in the first round.
There is a clear cut top six players, but after that things are far more difficult to predict and the who thing gets quite clouded. You could pick a player at eight who could still be there at twenty, or even twenty eight.
Fans will be hopeful, having heard Tom Cable speak yesterday about "line of scrimmage issues" on both sides of the ball, and about the offensive line especially, that the Raiders will go in that direction.
But if so, when? It might not be in the first round at all.
Al Davis and the Raiders also love to put out misinformation, so the whole thing could just be a smokescreen for something, or somebody else.
I really don't remember a year when there were just so many possibilities for a team at number eight, in that you could name ten players who all have a fair chance of being drafted at that spot.
Usually it's three or four.
I have tried to take into account not just the players that I think are likely prospects, but those being projected on mock draft boards too.
So here we go with the top ten.
Jason Pierre-Paul is clearly the type of player that the Raiders have historically drafted, freakishly athletic with enormous upside, and a number of Mock drafts have them taking him at number eight.
I can see why many would think that he is a fit for the Raiders, but I think that Tom Cable's influence will lead the Raiders in another direction.
In his press conference, Cable talked about experience, and being able to start right away, and clearly Jason Pierre-Paul doesn't fit that mold, and would be a developmental pass rusher.
Having only played in a handful of college games, Pierre-Paul would be a major reach even for the Raiders.
Again, whilst I'm not convinced that the Raiders will go this way, you have to give Mays consideration when you look at a Raiders mock draft.
Al Davis likes players from USC, and also players with huge measureables. Mays is a physical freak with his combination of size and speed, which very much puts him on Al's radar.
It is possible that Mays would translate better to linebacker in the NFL, and with the Raiders trading for Kamerion Wimbley who will man the strong side, it makes a move for Mays less likely.
But as stated, Mays is a Raiders type guy, and a number of mock drafts had him going to the Raiders since this time last year. He would be my nightmare scenario, the wrong player at the wrong position.
Now we get into the realms of slightly more likely scenarios, with Derrick Morgan from Georgia Tech.
If the Raiders felt that Richard Seymour was a better fit inside, then they could look at Morgan as right defensive end. My guess is not, and they like Seymour where he is, although they could clearly use more depth and talent at defensive tackle.
Tom Cable also talked up Matt Shaugnessy, and whilst Morgan is a good, high character player, I believe there are far more likely options with the number eight pick.
Morgan is also one of those players who could still be available if the Raiders traded down half a dozen spots.
By cutting last year's starter Gerard Warren, the Raiders left a clear hole at defensive tackle that has yet to be filled.
Tom Cable can talk up Desmond Bryant all he wants, but he isn't going to put a staring spot in the hands of a 290 lb second year undrafted free agent with little depth behind him.
The Raiders have a clear need here, and Dan Williams had a stellar senior season at Tennessee. He would fit well into a 4-3 scheme, and whilst he wouldn't offer much in the way of pass rush, he would help, protect the linebackers in the run game, and give Oakland what it has lacked for many years, a quality interior lineman on defense.
Al Davis has only chosen linebacker in the first round twice, and they were Napoleon Harris in 2002, and Rob Frederickson in 1994. Neither really worked out that well.
So why McClain?
He was a team captain, and the emotional and physical leader of national championship defense. He also has the kind of size and physicality that the Raiders have not had at this position since Matt Millen left.
With a high football IQ and great production, McClain would instantly upgrade the Raiders leaky run defense which has been the cause of so much trouble to them.
Why not McClain? Will he really perform so well without a quality defensive line? And do you want to sped a top ten pick on a player who may well be a two down player?
Personally, I would have no problem seeing McClain in silver and black.
When the draft frenzy first started to gather pace at the end of the NFL season, Anthony Davis was my pick to go to Oakland in the first round, but we have seen a steady if not fast slide down draft boards for hm since then.
There have been questions in regard to his attitude and maturity, and he didn't perform as well at the combine as some of the other players at his position. But Davis still has a lot of upside and he is at very much a need position.
This pick would,'t surprise me at all, but I would like to see the Raiders take a player with more commitment and love for the game.
Bruce Campbell is the most popular choice for the Raiders first round pick on most mock draft boards, and it is easy to see why.
Offensive tackle is a huge need for the Raiders, and Bruce Campbell is very much a Raiders type player. He looks great getting off the bus, and has measureables that are off the scale.
What makes me think that the Raiders are leaning away from Campbell a little is that he has only started 17 games in college, and Tom Cable was very specific when he talked the other day about experience being important, and having guys who could come in and start straight away.
It may be just a smokescreen, but I agree. The last thing that the Raiders need is another project player, huge potential or not. What they need is some offensive line help now.
They won't get that from Campbell, but he still remains alikely choice in many people's eyes
Mike Iupati is the best guard available in this years draft, and he is from Idaho, where Tom Cable used to coach, and Cable is an outspoken fan of Iupati.
The Raiders need offensive line help, and in Cable's words, he doesn't think that it matters whether it is interior line help or not. Many of the signs are saying Mike Iupati is being looked at very closely by the Raiders with that no. 8 pick.
It may be high up to take a guard, but if Iupati is as good as advertised, then at least you have a productive, quality player at a position of need. That is something Oakland hasn't had from a first round pick since Nnamdi Asomugha.
Joe Haden is clearly the top cornerback in this year's draft, and whilst Tom Cable might make a great case for a guard, we all know how Al loves his defensive backs. Between 2001-2007, Davis picked a defensive back in the first round every year but one.
Chris Johnson was victimized regularly by opposing quarterbacks who didn't want to throw Nnamdi Asomugha's way, and Haden would be the ideal compliment to the Raiders best player.
Whilst I think it would be the wrong way to go for Oakland, the issues being at the line of scrimmage and not in the defensive backfield, Haden is a quality player from a first class program.
If he is available at number eight, this is a highly likely pick.
I have put these two players together as there is little or no likelihood of them both being available when the Raiders pick.
Two quality players at a desperate postion of need. Bulaga and Williams, together with Russell Okung, have clearly separated themselves from the pack, and any one of them has the athleticism and talent to be a day one starter for the Raiders.
That is exactly what Oakland needs, some quality new blood to come in on the offensive line and make a difference. Williams or Bulaga, I don't think it matters.
Bulaga may have more experience in the zone blocking system, and Williams might be a little more athletic, but both will make good pro's and are a huge upgrade over what we have at present.
If either of these guys lands in Oakland next Thursday, I think the Raider Nation will rejoice.