2014 draft picks: 1st round (5), 2(36), 3(67), 4(107), 7(219), 6(235)
It was a four win season for the Raiders in 2013. Their quarterbacks were Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin. Oakland will go in another direction this year after trading for Matt Schaub. He was always a very solid quarterback in Houston but he had a total meltown on the field for the Texans this past season. Is that a sign of things to come or will the real Schaub show up for the silver and black? If it's the latter, then the Raiders will be in much better shape in 2014.
In addition, Oakland signed an impressive list of veterans in free agency, hoping they can get some good things out of players like running back Maurice Jones-Drew, wide receiver James Jones, offensive tackle Donald Penn, defensive end Justin Tuck and outside linebacker Lamar Woodley. If this contingent can play well and stay healthy then the Raiders should be much improved this year.
The Raiders have 11 picks in this upcoming draft.
Maybe Schuab will be the answer… maybe he won't. I don't think Dennis Allen and Oakland can take that chance. They have to be looking to upgrade here and find their franchise guy. The question is at what point of the draft? They could have their pick of the position with their first selection. In doing so, they could pass on an impact guy like Sammy Watkins. There will certainly be some good signal callers in round two, depending on which guys like ultimately like and want to target.
2. Defensive Back
The Raiders need help at both cornerback and safety. Yeah they signed some veterans in the back end but they need some more talent in the secondary. They traded down in the first round to pick D.J. Hayden last season but he wasn't exactly the lockdown guy they thought in season one. Charles Woodson is coming back at safety but how much does he have left?
3. Defensive End
Again, like the corner position, Oakland is bringing in some older veterans here but could use another player or two at defensive end in this draft.
4. Running Back
The Raiders did re-sign Darren McFadden and landed Maurice Jones-Drew. But McFadden can never stay healthy and Jones-Drew is fading. This is a draft class with some very good running backs that you can land in rounds two and beyond.
5. Offensive Line
I have never been sold on Donald Penn. He struggled big time last season in Tampa. Oakland also needs help on the inside at offensive guard. I would expect the Raiders to address both of these positions.
Matt Schaub (QB)
Maurice Jones-Drew (RB)
James Jones (WR)
Donald Penn (OT)
Austin Howard (OT)
Kevin Boothe (OG)
Antonio Smith (DL)
C.J. Wilson (DL)
Justin Tuck (DE)
LaMarr Woodley (OLB)
Carlos Rogers (CB)
Tarell Brown (CB)