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Thursday, May 8, 2014
A Raiders backup plan at No. 5?

By Paul Gutierrez

Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie wants to draft for the future, but he also needs an impact player with that first pick at No. 5 overall tonight who can step in and contribute immediately.

Basically, the opposite of McKenzie's first two drafts. In 2012 he did not have a pick until the final selection of the third round, which he used to draft Tony Bergstrom and his nine career games. In 2013, when McKenzie traded back from No. 3 to No. 12, he took the injured D.J. Hayden, who would appear in just eight games.

The advice from this corner? With a seeming wish list topped by purported consensus No. 1 pick Jadeveon Clowney, the South Carolina defensive end, Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack and Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins, the Raiders should simply pick whichever one is still on the board when it is their turn.

Hey, it happened in our ESPN NFL Nation mock draft, Watkins fell into Oakland's lap.

But what if the three playmakers are gone in the first four selections?

The feeling here is the Raiders should try to trade back a few spots to acquire draft picks -- Oakland is without selections in the fifth and sixth rounds and have three picks in the seventh round -- and target someone like Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald or Texas A&M receiver Mike Evans.

Still, there's no guarantee a trade partner could be found. And if not, what then?

It's been apparent for weeks the Raiders are not much interested in using the No. 5 pick on a quarterback. Still. you have to wonder if McKenzie has something up his sleeve.

Vote for what you think the Raiders should do at No. 5 if Clowney, Mack and Watkins are all gone.