Though the Raiders are still giddy over picking outside linebacker Khalil Mack in Friday night’s first round of the NFL draft, they’ll need to go right back to work Friday night.
They’ll have the fourth pick in Friday night’s second round (36th overall) and the No. 3 pick in Round 3 (67th overall).
With those selections, Oakland can address two areas of need: wide receiver and quarterback depth. The question is, which way do the Raiders go first?
Though the Raiders traded for veteran quarterback Matt Schaub to be their starter in 2014, Oakland still would like to get a young quarterback who could be groomed for the future. For now, the Raiders have penciled in second-year pro Matt McGloin as Schaub’s backup. McGloin has some game experience from his rookie season, plus impressed the coaching staff with his presence, work ethic and accuracy. But McGloin isn’t seen as a long-term cornerstone of the franchise. A few quarterbacks still available could grow into that role, however.
Among those QBs still available are four players that NFL Network analyst and former Dallas Cowboys executive Gil Brandt has among his top 25 players still on the board: Fresno State’s Derek Carr (No. 4), Eastern Illinois’ Jimmy Garoppolo (No. 12), Pitt’s Tom Savage (No. 14) and Alabama’s A.J. McCarron (No. 25). If the Raiders want to go receiver first and grab a quarterback later, others that might be still around in the third round or later include SMU’s Garrett Gilbert, Georgia’s Aaron Murray and LSU’s Zach Mettenberger,
Vic Tafur of the San Francisco Chronicle noted that the Raiders “were big fans” of Carr’s pre-draft workout and interviews with them and consider him “a first-round-caliber” quarterback. If that’s the case, then Oakland has a good chance to nab him with the fourth pick of Friday afternoon’s selection process. Savage, too, has been a hot prospect in recent weeks, with NFL scouts raving about his strong arm and size. He's been compared to the Steelers' Ben Roethlisberger.
If the Raiders decide to go for a wide receiver with their top pick Friday night, the wideout class is deep and talented – even with the five already out of the mix that were taken in the first round (Sammy Watkins, Mike Evans, Odell Beckham, Kelvin Benjamin and Brandin Cooks).
According to Brandt’s rating, USC’s Marqise Lee is the No. 1 wideout still available. If the Raiders want an instant playmaker for Schaub and the offense, the 5-foot-11¾ Lee could be their man. In three seasons for the Trojans, Lee had 29 TD catches and 248 receptions. He showed good speed at the Combine (4.44 40-yard dash) and had a 38-inch vertical leap.
Others remaining rated highly by Brandt are: Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews (No. 15 prospect still available), Indiana’s Cody Latimer (No. 21), Penn State’s Allen Robinson (No. 22), Mississippi’s Donte Moncrief (No. 41) and Fresno State’s Davante Adams (No. 42).
Following Friday’s second and third rounds, the Raiders will have four picks remaining Saturday on the final day of the draft in rounds four through seven (one in the fourth, three in the seventh).