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  1. #1
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    Thompson: Raiders need Clemson reciever Sammy Watkins......Marcus Thompson III

    The Raiders simply cannot miss with their first-round draft pick. Better yet, not missing is insufficient. They've got to nail it with the No. 5 pick.

    They need a game-changer. A franchise-lifter. If the past couple of years were indeed the deconstruction of the franchise, as owner Mark Davis said, then reconstruction needs to begin with a cornerstone player. Which means they can't draft a quarterback.

    The answer is Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins.

    Jadeveon Clowney, the stud defensive end deemed a rare talent, may not be there when the Raiders select. But his lack of production this past season, whispers about effort, concerns over him being injury prone, should all be enough to scare away the Raiders.


    Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis left, and general manager Reggie McKenzie smile on the field before playing the Dallas Cowboys during their preseason game
    Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis left, and general manager Reggie McKenzie smile on the field before playing the Dallas Cowboys during their preseason game at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif. on Monday, Aug. 13, 2012. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Staff) ( JOSE CARLOS FAJARDO )

    Oakland's offensive line could use Texas A&M tackle Jake Matthews. He and a re-signed Jared Veldheer are a formidable foundation. But Matthews may not be there either, and the Raiders haven't selected an offensive tackle in the first round since Robert Gallery in 2004. And when you don't have a franchise quarterback to protect or featured back to feed faithfully, you're perhaps best going for a lineman later.

    But Watkins will be there, and he might be the closest thing to a can't-miss for the Raiders. He's 6-foot-1 but he's no one-trick pony.

    He's not just a speed guy who can stretch the field, though he can. He's not just a possession guy who can get open underneath, though he can. He's not just a guy you want to get the ball to in space and let him make a play, though he can.

    Watkins has his issues. His performance this year, capped with a stunning Orange Bowl, was a bit of a comeback. His two-game suspension for a drug arrest proved to be a fitting start to a mediocre 2012 season. Injuries caused him to miss games, and his production dropped when he did play.

    That's worthy of concern even though Watkins more than made up for it his junior season: 101 catches for 1,464 yards and 12 touchdowns. If he's not a No. 1 receiver, he'd be a stud at No. 2. He's Percy Harvin with no history of concussions.

    The Raiders desperately need an upgrade in talent, and few in the draft are more talented than Watkins. They need a playmaker who can make a difference as a rookie. They need a low-risk, high-reward option to stem the tide of unfruitful high draft picks.

    Even if you conclude it's too early to adequately judge cornerback D.J. Hayden a miss, the Raiders' previous six first-round draft picks paint an accurate picture of franchise's woes: Fabian Washington, Michael Huff, JaMarcus Russell, Darren McFadden, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Rolando McClain.

    The Raiders can't miss again. Just can't.

    Oakland does need a quarterback. But even if Louisville's Teddy Bridgewater falls to No. 5, can he step in right away to lead this team as Andrew Luck did for Indianapolis? Central Florida's Blake Bortles figures to need weapons to play up his many strengths.

    Texas A&M's Johnny Manziel could turn out to be good, and a draw. But he could also turn out not so good. His niche for scrambling and making magical throws could not work too well in the professional ranks.

    Plus, the last thing the Raiders need is their starting quarterback making headlines for partying with Drake. The risk is too high even for the potential reward Manziel could bring a team.

    The Raiders just need to transition from disappointing to competitive right now. They don't need to go fishing for their next Super Bowl-winning quarterback. This team has too many holes.

    For now, they can go with a gap-bridger. A veteran quarterback who has experience with winning and some youngish legs -- Josh McCown, Michael Vick, Mark Sanchez, Matt Schaub. Someone desperate enough to start that he would come to this tormented franchise, yet good enough to possibly make a push for eight or nine wins.

    Oakland can then draft a quarterback in the later rounds -- San Jose State's David Fales, Alabama's A.J. McCarron, Clemson's Tajh Boyd -- and let them compete for a backup job. Who knows, maybe one of them surprises you. Maybe you wait a couple years, develop the rest of the team, then go for the franchise guy.

    In either scenario, it would be a good thing if the Raiders had Watkins on the receiving end.

  2. #2
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    Thx for the article Max,

    Good read. Positives and negatives.

    Interested to see some opinions on him.

  3. #3
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    I would trade down before I used #5 on a marginal player like Watkins.
    STORK WAS RIGHT!
    Mcfadden is useless

  4. #4
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    That's my favorite player in the draft. I've been preaching the need for game changers playmakers for a while now. Like I've said 100 times, we need a guy who can score at any time. Right now we don't have one. We just have average or below average offensive skill players.
    Rod Streater- average but I think he will become a good player
    Denarius Moore- exceptional speed, but runs bad routes and has bad hands. Injury prone as well.
    Andre Holmes. Hasn't proved anything. Great size but that's about it.
    Brice Butler- hasn't done anything except drop passes.
    Jacoby Ford(hopefully not resigned)- this guys a joke.
    Juron Criner- who?
    Rashad Jennings(if resigned)- is a hard runner but he's not a game changer or a threat to break one at anytime.(even though he had one last year, I still don't know how that happened)
    Jeremy Stewart- below average.
    Latavius Murray- some of you guys are SO high on him even though he hasn't played one real NFL snap and he's a sixth round pick.

    I think we have a solid tight end in Rivera and Maybe Ausberry will still be around to back him up next year. How do we expect to win games when we keep settling for this kind of talent?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephkyle7 View Post
    I would trade down before I used #5 on a marginal player like Watkins.
    Should we reach for a quarterback or pray that the future bust, Clowney, is there at 5?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephkyle7 View Post
    I would trade down before I used #5 on a marginal player like Watkins.
    Marginal player...thats new

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by oak18 View Post
    That's my favorite player in the draft. I've been preaching the need for game changers playmakers for a while now. Like I've said 100 times, we need a guy who can score at any time. Right now we don't have one. We just have average or below average offensive skill players.
    Rod Streater- average but I think he will become a good player
    Denarius Moore- exceptional speed, but runs bad routes and has bad hands. Injury prone as well.
    Andre Holmes. Hasn't proved anything. Great size but that's about it.
    Brice Butler- hasn't done anything except drop passes.
    Jacoby Ford(hopefully not resigned)- this guys a joke.
    Juron Criner- who?
    Rashad Jennings(if resigned)- is a hard runner but he's not a game changer or a threat to break one at anytime.(even though he had one last year, I still don't know how that happened)
    Jeremy Stewart- below average.
    Latavius Murray- some of you guys are SO high on him even though he hasn't played one real NFL snap and he's a sixth round pick.

    I think we have a solid tight end in Rivera and Maybe Ausberry will still be around to back him up next year. How do we expect to win games when we keep settling for this kind of talent?
    Most people in here have been asking for a #1WR since Porter flamed out.But at this point and with the decision that have already been made...I wouldn't pin my hopes on Watkins to change anything.
    When you look at the history of the position, the fail rate,along with the impact of a WR on various teams with and without established QBs, I think its not the right choice.

    Watkins has been productive ,but he is only the #1 WR in this years draft, which is weak at that position.He isn't Megatron, or dude down in Dallas who is always messing up...a True number one isn't much a decider in getting over the top.
    You certainly need one,but without a resolution to who is going to QB this team, the O-line in disarray, and a defense that will be all new again...I think Id be trading down for more picks.

    As a matter of fact, there are only three guys I d consider @ 5.
    Mathews,Clowney,and Barr.
    STORK WAS RIGHT!
    Mcfadden is useless

  8. #8
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    ^ WR is probably the deepest position in this draft I don't see how it's weak.
    Durrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by stephkyle7 View Post
    Most people in here have been asking for a #1WR since Porter flamed out.But at this point and with the decision that have already been made...I wouldn't pin my hopes on Watkins to change anything.
    When you look at the history of the position, the fail rate,along with the impact of a WR on various teams with and without established QBs, I think its not the right choice.

    Watkins has been productive ,but he is only the #1 WR in this years draft, which is weak at that position.He isn't Megatron, or dude down in Dallas who is always messing up...a True number one isn't much a decider in getting over the top.
    You certainly need one,but without a resolution to who is going to QB this team, the O-line in disarray, and a defense that will be all new again...I think Id be trading down for more picks.

    As a matter of fact, there are only three guys I d consider @ 5.
    Mathews,Clowney,and Barr.
    That point can be made for any position except quarterback. The Vikings have one of the best RB's to ever Olay the game. Where are they? The bills have one of the best DE's in the last decade, where are they? The Browns have maybe the best OT in the league, where are they? You have to build a team and add many pieces.

  10. #10
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    Excellent article.

  11. #11
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    I'd like to have our vet QB before the draft and then trade down .....I want as many picks as possible!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by raiderposting View Post
    ^ WR is probably the deepest position in this draft I don't see how it's weak.
    Agree...this is a very good wr draft best of the last few years...you have 4 to 5 lock 1st rounders

  13. #13
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    In what regard?
    available talent or the quality Of?

    I haven't been impressed by either this year to be honest. With a greater emphasis on option offenses ,as well as a continued proliferation of spread type offenses in College in general,The true #1 WR is not as common as in past years.
    I don't copmpare players to their classmates, I compare them to previous top picks at the Position.If I had to make a top 50 WR in the last 10 years coming I don't think Watson would be in the top half,and this is strictly from their college careers.

    Mathews would.
    Clowney would.
    Barr is a homer pick, but dude is a beast...Ive seen every game hes played.

    Watson may wind up being very good, the draft is a crapshoot, but I don't like the odds.
    STORK WAS RIGHT!
    Mcfadden is useless

  14. #14
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    As long as we draft an elite level DE, OT, or QB with our first pick i'll be satisfied. Besides, it's gonna take us atleast another full crop of draft picks and some smart FA shoping to be considered as a true playoff caliber football team anyways. This season we might make some noise but i think we'll be lucky to win 8 or 9 games which might not be enough for a shot at a wild card spot. That's if RM drafts we'll enough & brings in a few high impact FA's this off season of course.
    "The Greatness Of The Raiders Lies In Their Future"-Al Davis

  15. #15
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    Yes on Watkins.

    My prefered list:
    1. Blake Bortles
    2. Teddy Bridgewater
    3. Jadaveon Clowney
    4. Sammy Watkins
    5. Jake Matthews/Greg Robinson

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