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On the Clock: Oakland Raiders

4/10/2009

Posted by ESPN.com's Bill Williamson

Team needs: Offensive tackle, wide receiver, defensive tackle.

Dream scenario: The Raiders are going to be in good shape if they stay at No. 7. They will get a player who will likely help them right away. The Raiders are fortunate because the draft is top heavy with left tackles and wide receivers. Those are Oakland's two greatest needs. There are five players -- tackles Jason Smith, Andre Smith and Eugene Monroe and receivers Michael Crabtree and Jeremy Maclin -- who could help Oakland immediately. Because the six teams picking ahead of Oakland have varying needs, the Raiders are virtually certain that one of those aforementioned five players will be on the board at No. 7. Oakland coach Tom Cable said last month that tackle is the team's greatest need. Still, Cable said the tackle pool is very deep this season and starting-quality players can be had in the third round. That's why I think receiver is where Oakland is going to go. I believe the pick will be Crabtree because of his superior overall skill set compared to Maclin's. Adding Crabtree to an offense that includes 2007 and 2008 top picks JaMarcus Russell and Darren McFadden would be a dream scenario for Oakland.

Plan B: If Oakland gets impatient or if it decides quantity over quality is the route it wants to go, it could trade down in the first round. One possible trade partner could be Philadelphia, which has the No. 21 and No. 28 picks. The Raiders could possibly get a receiver such as Percy Harvin or Darrius Heyward-Bey with the No. 21 pick. Oakland could then snag an offensive tackle, such as Arizona's Eben Britton, or a defensive tackle at No. 28.

Scouts Inc. take: "Oakland is in need of help in a lot of areas. The Raiders can draft at receiver, offensive line or on the defensive line. I think the guy they should take is Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji. He'd be perfect there. But if they don't go with Raji, I really like Michael Crabtree if he is there. I think he'd be a better pick for Oakland than Jeremy Maclin. Then, there's a bunch of offensive tackles and Oakland will need to take one in the early rounds. But it starts with Raji or Crabtree." -- Matt Williamson, Scouts Inc.

Who has final say: Owner Al Davis makes the final call in everything in Oakland. Davis, 79, still studies plenty of film as the draft approaches.

Now On the Clock: Cincinnati Bengals, April 12.

Previous On the Clock: Jacksonville Jaguars. The team-by-team series.