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Sunday, December 29, 2013
Raiders hold the No. 5 overall draft pick

By Paul Gutierrez

OAKLAND -- With their season-ending 34-14 loss to the Denver Broncos on Sunday, the Raiders finished 4-12 for the second consecutive season.

A year ago, Dennis Allen's staff coached a side at the Senior Bowl and held the No. 3 overall pick, which they used to trade back to No. 12 and select Houston cornerback D.J. Hayden, who suffered a near-fatal heart injury in practice the previous November.

So enamored was Oakland of Hayden that general manager Reggie McKenzie said he would have taken the him third had he not been able to find a trade partner.

Now, with the season done, the Raiders hold the No. 5 overall pick for the 2014 draft.

The Houston Texans (2-14), St. Louis Rams (who hold 3-13 Washington's pick), Jacksonville Jaguars (4-12) and Cleveland Browns (4-12) hold selections ahead of the Raiders due to respective strengths of schedule, with the Atlanta Falcons (4-12) and Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-12) going after the Raiders.

Following is the respective strength of schedule for the five teams that went 4-12, hence the draft order: Jaguars (.504), Browns (.516), Raiders (.523), Falcons (.553) and Buccaneers (.574).

So, with the No. 5 overall pick, should the Raiders look for a franchise quarterback, or look for other skill position players to build the foundation?