The Oakland Raiders had arguably the busiest offseason of any team. From the signings of multiple players including defensive ends Justin Tuck, Lamaar Woodley, and Antonio Smith, along with signing cornerbacks Carlos Rogers and Terrell Brown, both formerly of the San Francisco 49ers.
However, defense wasn't the only thing addressed after the signings of offensive tackle Donald Penn, wide receiver James Jones, halfback Maurice Jones Drew, and trading for quarterback Matt Schaub, along with many more.
While these seem like a lot of great moves, these moves would be great if this were 2008. The Raiders free agent signings averaged an age of 30 years old and while many of these players still have some left in the tank, the Oakland Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie is clearly trying to save his job by taking a top two salary cap before free agency, and using most of it.
After free agency, the Oakland Raiders could still address a lot in the NFL Draft because of needs they have for this year, along with needs that are going to be desperate needs in the future when many of these old signings drop off.
While the Oakland Raiders did go out and give the Houston Texans a 6th rounder for quarterback Matt Schaub and then smartly restructured his contract, Matt Schaub has played poorly the last year and a half so there's much doubt into whether he will ever play to his 2010 days ever again.
While this is many people's opinions, it is also seen in Matt Schaub's restructured contract, giving him no guaranteed money after this season so they could move on from Schaub free of charge after one year. If it wasn't clear that quarterback was a major issue before now, Matt Schaub's contract should tell you the team is clearly not sold on him for the future and is definitely in the hunt for a franchise quarterback at five.
While it's hard to predict who will be there due to many teams like the Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, and the Cleveland Browns ahead of the Oakland Raiders who need quarterbacks, it's not a definite that any of these teams will address that position.
However, I expect the Oakland Raiders to be in a position to choose between Johnny Manziel out of Texas A&M and Teddy Bridgewater out of Louisville because I fullly believe Blake Bortles will not make it past three overall to the Jacksonville Jaguars. They need a face to their franchise and Matt Schaub is not it.
2. Defensive End
Yes I know, the Raiders signed three defensive ends who are big names, along with two decent defensive tackles. How could the Oakland Raiders possibly need a defensive end still?
Where this is where the long term comes in as Lamaar Woodley and Justin Tuck are both in their 30's, with Antonio Smith very close. After losing defensive end Lamaar Houston, which was a huge loss, in free agency, the Oakland Raiders could use an impact pass rusher on defense for years to come. If Khalil Mack gets past the Jacksonville Jaguars at three, he could be the pick.
3. Wide Receiver
The Oakland Raiders did sign wide receiver James Jones this offseason to go with talented, yet unproven receivers in Rod Streater and Denarius Moore. However, with James Jones being a number one receiver, how in the world do you expect Matt Schaub or other rookie quarterback to succeed?
James Jones was okay in Green Bay, but how could you not be when Aaron Rodgers is throwing you the ball? And yet, James Jones has never had a 1,000 yard season despite Rodgers throwing him the ball. If Sammy Watkins is there, they should absolutely pull the trigger.
4. Offensive Tackle
After signing Donald Penn who was mediocre at best last year with the Buccaneers, the Oakland Raiders could still use an offensive tackle after losing Jared Veldheer, another disappointing loss. Also, it's clear they want one after the embarrassment that happened with Roger Saffold.
While I don't see Greg Robinson out of Auburn being available at five, you never know with a draft that is this top heavy. Anything can happen. However, even if Greg Robinson isn't there, offensive tackle Jake Matthews isn't far behind him in terms of talent and is actually more of a polished tackle than Robinson at this point, just with less upside. Jake Matthews out of Texas A&M could still be the pick.
What I Would Do
In my opinion, I think the Oakland Raiders should take the best player available. With trading for Matt Schaub I believe there planning on taking the best player on their board and taking a quarterback that they can work with for a year while Schaub is guaranteed to be there.
Whether it's defensive end Khalil Mack out of Buffalo, offensive tackle Greg Robinson out of Auburn, wide receiver Sammy Watkins out of Clemson, or if they just fall in love with a quarterback, take the top player. They have too many needs to get cute or overthink this pick.
However, if I was the Oakland Raiders and I could have my choice between all these guys mentioned that could be available, I'm taking Sammy Watkins. The Oakland Raiders need a playmaker on offense who could greatly help out whoever is starting. Also, I consider Sammy Watkins to be the best receiver prospect since A.J. Green came out from Georgia.
Yes, that means I consider him a better prospect than Julio Jones was. Sammy Watkins is a litter smaller than Julio Jones, but Sammy Watkins has the same big play ability as Jones to go with better hands and much better route running than Julio Jones had coming out of Alabama. If he's available, they should jump all over Sammy Watkins.