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Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Kiper mock 1.0 reaction: Raiders

By Paul Gutierrez

ALAMEDA, Calif. -– The Oakland Raiders have myriad needs as they enter Year 3 of the Reggie McKenzie-Dennis Allen regime, Year 1 of the franchise’s “reconstruction,” per owner Mark Davis.

The Raiders also have the No. 5 overall pick in May’s draft and, the way ESPN’s Mel Kiper sees it in his NFL mock draft 1.0 Insider, Oakland will go with Clemson playmaking receiver Sammy Watkins.

Sure, the Raiders have a couple of emerging pass-catching talents in the undrafted duo of Rod Streater and Andre Holmes and a pseudo-playmaker in Denarius Moore (when he doesn’t disappear). But Watkins seemingly has immediate star written all over him.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound junior is coming off setting an Orange Bowl record with 16 catches for 227 yards with two touchdowns in the Tigers’ 40-35 victory over Ohio State.

On the season, he caught 101 passes for 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns, with two of more than 90 yards, and in three years at Death Valley he had a combined 240 receptions for 3,391 yards and 27 TDs.

Watkins is not the largest of targets and has a 40-yard dash time of 4.47 seconds. He also reminds some of Percy Harvin.

Should the Raiders go the Watkins route, the question then is this: Who’s going to throw him the ball? I told you the Raiders have a lot of needs.

But Watkins would definitely fill one.