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Thursday, April 3, 2014
Analyzing Kiper Grade A draft: Raiders

By Paul Gutierrez

The Oakland Raiders hold the No. 5 overall pick in the draft after going 4-12 last season. And as Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie said, his team has needs -- with an "s" -- and he wants a playmaker.

In his latest Grade A mock draft, Mel Kiper put on his GM hat for us and went through the draft selecting players for every team as if he were the one making the picks, rather than predicting the selections. His choice for the Raiders will raise more than a few eyebrows.

Kiper has the Raiders selecting Auburn left tackle Greg Robinson in what many would see as the safe choice, especially since the bigger names -- defensive end Jadeveon Clowney, receiver Sammy Watkins, linebacker Khalil Mack and quarterback Johnny Manziel -- are already gone in Kiper’s draft.

With the Matt Schaub acquisition, the Raiders are set with a starting quarterback for at least the next two years, so it seems likely they would continue to build their offensive line to protect Schaub, and either Robinson or Texas A&M left tackle Jake Matthews would make sense in the first round.

It’s just that neither are what you’d deem a “playmaker,” though both could be difference-makers on the line. And the way Kiper sees it, Robinson would be an “upgrade” at left tackle over projected starter Donald Penn and/or Menelik Watson, who is slated to go at right tackle.

Kiper took his draft through the third round, selecting Vanderbilt receiver Jordan Matthews in the second round for Oakland and Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy in the third. Not exactly the sexiest of picks or, again, playmakers, but as Kiper sees it, Matthews adds depth to the receiving corps and Ealy could be used in a pass-rushing rotation.