Needs: WR, OL, DL, LB
The Raiders have been stuck in a rut the past couple seasons, drafting in the top ten in four out of the last five years. With the exception of getting rid of Al Davis, the Raiders need help on both lines and at receiver. Raider receivers have been limited by injury and quarterback play. The leading receiver was tight end Zach Miller with 778 measly yards. The lines for the Raiders are allowing too many sacks or not generating enough (the leading sacker on the team last year was Kalimba Edwards with 5.)
Choice #1: Jeremy Maclin, WR, Missouri
This sure handed receiver would give young QB JeMarcus Russell a guy to throw to and run after the catch. Maclin has homerun ability and is versatile enough to help on special teams as well. Think of him as Devin Hester, but a much better receiver. Maclin is electrifying, scoring 17 total tds in 2008 (13 receiving, 2 rushing, 2 returning.) As we all know, Al Davis loves speed and skill position players, so he will target Maclin.
Choice #2: Andre Smith, OL, Alabama
Maclin’s one flaw is that he has an injury history. If that were to scare the Raiders off (which it probably won’t), the Black Hole could look to improve their protection for JeMarcus Russell. Smith had an outstanding career at Alabama and is the perfect build for the NFL (6 foot 4, 330 pounds.) However, as of late, Smith has had some off the field issues. He missed the Crimson Tide’s bowl game while serving a suspension for signing with an agent. Following that mishap, Smith left the combine early after performing sub-par. The big boy has issues, but he has a lot of upside. If there is anything that I know about the Raiders, it’s that they don’t mind a little baggage. Smith won’t scare them.