Raiders May Have Star Receiver On Draft Wish List

Raider coach Tom Cable has done a pretty nice job keeping it hush-hush and concealing the team's NFL Draft intentions. 

All we know is what Cable said at last Tuesday's press conference, "We've got about three or four real needs that we need to address." Then he left Raider Nation guessing over what those three or four needs were.

But a consensus has been brewing -- among people who have absolutely no inside information, and are totally just speculating -- that the Raiders are identifying the wide receiver position as one of these needs.

The name that keeps popping up at the Raiders'  Number 7 slot on mock drafts is Missouri All-American receiver Jeremy Maclin.

And look -- now even Nnamdi Asomugha says the Raiders gotta draft a wide receiver!

It sure makes sense. Consider for a moment that if the season started tomorrow, the Raiders would be starting Javon Walker and Chaz Schillens as their top wide receivers. And hell, they'd probably have to talk at least one of the two out of retiring first. There is no way JaMarcus Russell enjoys any form of breakout season with those two as his primary targets.

Mel Kiper, Jr. -- the pompadoured prince of NFL Draft analysis -- has the Raiders taking Maclin at the Number 7 slot on his latest mock draft.  If that's not convincing enough for you, Tim Kawakami makes the same pick in his Mercury News blog mock draft.  And just like clockwork, Maclin today gets chronicled in the Chronicle's Silver & Black blog.

The emerging consensus is that Maclin can 4.4-second 40-yard dash, and usually that's all Al Davis needs to hear. But Maclin is also a ferocious down field blocker, and ran back five punts and kickoffs for touchdowns on special teams at Missouri. Receivers who run punts back for touchdowns are always fun!

Coach Cable might also decide to address one of the other "three or four real needs" when the Raiders pick Saturday. But with this kind of agreement emerging on Maclin, he's turning into a "safe pick" who is also a stereotypical speedy, flashy Al Davis variety of first round pick.

 Joe Kukura is a freelance writer who wishes he had only "three or four real needs." 

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