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Draft first take: Raiders

1/12/2011

This is the fourth in a series looking at the potential draft direction of the teams in the AFC West:

Drafting: 48

Needs: Offensive line, receiver, linebacker, safety, quarterback.

Possible second-round picks

Stefen Wisniewski, OL, Penn State: He is a versatile talent who can play both guard and center. That would be appealing to Oakland, which has needs at both spots. He is the nephew of former Raiders standout offensive lineman Steve Wisniewski. I could see a second-generation Wisniewski wearing the Silver and Black.

Christian Ponder, QB, Florida State: Oakland needs a young quarterback to groom. A player like Ponder could be worth the pick. Oakland has a lot of talent, and finding a young quarterback to develop may be worth taking at this pick.

Bruce Carter, LB, North Carolina: Oakland could use a linebacker, and Carter has the look of a player who can step in and help right away. He would, at least, provide good depth as a rookie.

Wild card: The Raiders don’t have their first-round pick (No. 17) because it was sent to New England in the Richard Seymour trade in September 2009. I could see the Raiders moving up into the first round. It’s just a feeling, but I wouldn’t be shocked if the Raiders made a run at a quarterback such as Arkansas’ Ryan Mallett or Auburn’s Cam Newton in an attempt to find their quarterback of the future. Both of those players, however, would very likely require a big move up. The Raiders have several prospective free agents on the roster, so their draft needs could change depending on what happens during free agency.