Now that the dust has settled over the ESPN NFL Nation mock draft and, playing the part of Oakland Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie, I was able to select Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins at No. 5 overall, let’s take a look at other possibilities.
I have suggested that if both Watkins and Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack are gone by the Raiders’ turn, as well as consensus No. 1 selection Jadeveon Clowney, the Raiders look at trading back and targeting the likes of Pittsburgh defensive tackle Aaron Donald or Texas A&M receiver Mike Evans.
But what if there are no takers in such a trade scenario?
There should still be value in one of the top three offensive tackles, and if the Raiders had re-signed Jared Veldheer, there would most likely be no need for this discussion. But I digress.
Auburn’s Greg Robinson is considered the top tackle prospect in the draft and is followed closely by Texas A&M’s Jake Matthews, while Michigan’s Taylor Lewan may have more upside than either of them, provided he clears up any legal issues.
Lewan allowed two sacks and 10 pressures on 371 pass plays for the Wolverines last season.
Robinson, meanwhile, surrendered four sacks and eight pressures on 273 Tigers passes.
And Matthews, with his strong NFL lineage, gave up six sacks and 21 pressures for the pass-happy Aggies, who threw the ball 473 times, or 52.7 percent of their time with Johnny Manziel at quarterback. Matthews’ father, Bruce, is a Hall of Fame guard, his uncle, Clay, a four-time Pro Bowl linebacker and his cousin, Clay, a standout linebacker with the Green Bay Packers
Heading into the draft, the Raiders’ starting offensive line looks like this: LT Donald Penn, LG Kevin Boothe, C Stefen Wisniewski, RG Austin Howard, RT Menelik Watson, with reserves Khalif Barnes, Tony Bergstrom, Matt McCants and Lamar Mady.
Should the Raiders sit tight and take a tackle at No. 5, especially if Clowney, Mack and Watkins are all gone?