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Thursday, April 10, 2014
Analyzing McShay mock 4.0: Raiders

By Paul Gutierrez

Holding the No. 5 overall selection in the upcoming NFL draft could be seen as a both a blessing and a curse for the Oakland Raiders. After all, to get such a prime pick, the Raiders had to have a down season the year before ... and going 4-12 qualifies as such, meaning they have many needs. Even after signing 11 free agents from other teams, plus four of their own, and acquiring quarterback Matt Schaub in a trade since free agency opened March 11.

In his fourth mock draft , which is on ESPN Insider today, Todd McShay addresses a couple of needs for the Raiders, which should satisfy fans and Oakland's front office -- if it does indeed go this way.

McShay has the Raiders taking the playmaker they so desperately crave -- and need -- in Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins at No 5. A shocker? Perhaps, considering so many other mocks have Watkins climbing the board to the St. Louis Rams at No. 2.

But after picking South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney for the Houston Texans first overall, McShay has the Rams eschewing the wideout in favor of Auburn left tackle Greg Robinson. Then McShay sees the Jacksonville Jaguars going after Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack and the Cleveland Browns making Central Florida's Blake Bortles the first quarterback selected.

And while the Raiders might be tempted by the likes of QBs Johnny Manziel and Teddy Bridgewater or left tackle Jake Matthews, McShay is sticking with Watkins to the Raiders here, as he did in his mock draft 3.0. (McShay initially selected Bortles for Oakland in his first mock, back when the Raiders were in position to draft third overall, and then chose Manziel for the Raiders in his second mock.)

It makes sense, even if Watkins is seen as Denarius Moore 2.0.

And with his second-round pick, McShay addressed another Raiders need -- pass rush. That would be UCLA outside linebacker Anthony Barr, who led the nation with 13.5 sacks as a junior before adding 10 more sacks last season. Oh, and this was after the 6-foot-4, 248-pounder converted from running back.

If the Raiders were to get these two picks, as McShay projects, there would be very little, if any, grumbling.