The Oakland Raiders hold the fifth overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft. They will be able to fix a few areas of need with their first two picks. There is a need for someone to come in and be the quarterback for this struggling offense. They tried to see what Terrelle Pryor and then they gave Matt McGloin a chance. Neither could take hold of the job.
The Raiders were ranked 23rd in the NFL in total yards per game with an average of 333.8 yards. Their offense gained a respectable 125 rushing yards per game which put them just outside the top ten rushing offenses. Their official ranking was 12th in the NFL. This leads us to the passing offense. Oakland was indeed a “No Fly Zone” but that was only for the home team. The Raiders only averaged 208.8 yards per game. How can they fix this issue?
For starters, the Raiders need to bring in a play maker at the receiver position. Denarius Moore put up average numbers (REC 46 YDS 695 AVG 15.1 TDS 5) and is decent in a supporting role. Rod Streater also produced results (REC 60 YDS 888 AVG 14.8 TDS 4) which don’t inject any fear into opposing defenses. This brings us to the player that the Raiders should select with their fifth overall pick. The Raiders should without a doubt select Sammy Watkins.
Sammy Watkins would add a legitimate number one receiver option for the Raiders. He dominated college football this year. Watkins is a threat to score on the deep ball, on a bubble screen and in the return game. He can catch a slant and take it the distance as well. He would instantly energize the offense.
The next thing the Raiders will need to do is add a quarterback. The guys that they have on the roster now will not be able to get the ball to their new play maker. Tajh Boyd will be there for the Raiders with their second round pick. This is were a bit of draft strategy can come into play.
The Raiders should field offers from teams that may be willing to trade up for a receiver or corner that fell out of the first round. The first five picks in the second round always have high value because general managers will have all night to think about any prospects that they had a first round grade on but are still available. The second round kicks off day two of the draft. There is always a lot of wheeling and dealing at the top half of the this round.
The Raiders can afford to trade down a bit in the second because after their pick, the Minnesota Vikings are the only team that would need a quarterback and they pick three slots behind them. Things can change if the Vikings select a quarterback in the first round however.
If things go right for the Raiders, they will get Watkins, Boyd and an additional pick via a trade down. Boyd obviously has a productive relationship with Watkins being as though they set the ACC on fire back at Clemson University.
Boyd is a very intelligent quarterback. Some say that is his best quality. He is not the biggest quarterback at 6’1″ 225 pounds but he makes up for that with his ability to find throwing lanes. Boyd also understands the importance of changing the angle of his arm on various throws. He is a very athletic quarterback which will help because of the shaky offensive line. Boyd mostly operated out of shotgun while in college so he will need to continue to transition to operating under center. He will need to get used to dropping back from under center and reading the defense while doing so instead of being able to sit back in shotgun. This is something that Boyd was able to make progress with at the Senior Bowl and will continue under the tutelage of Dennis Allen.
Bringing in the Clemson quarterback/receiver duo is a novelty idea but it is definitely one that the Raiders should consider. If they can trade down, they can use the extra pick to secure another tackle which is something that they will need because Tony Pashos is in his 11 year. The Raiders can put themselves in position to claw their way out of the cellar in the AFC West.