In studying the Raiders’ personnel entering the 2014 draft, something became quite clear: the club’s off-season additions have done well to bolster some areas of the roster.
On paper, the Raiders have a decent starting lineup, one that could very well allow Oakland to improve upon its 4-12 record from a season ago. After all, the Raiders did suffer three four-point losses in 2013; with a stronger roster, perhaps they close out a couple more games in 2014.
The performance of the Raiders’ veteran additions will likely define Oakland’s 2014 season. For instance, if quarterback Matt Schaub returns to top form, the club will be materially better than a season ago. Defensive ends Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley have each been standouts on their best; so has running back Maurice Jones-Drew. Wide receiver James Jones and left tackle Donald Penn have been good starters for other clubs. They can help Oakland.
Still, there’s no doubting the importance of the 2014 draft to the Raiders’ future. A strong class of rookies will help the Raiders skillfully retool their starting lineup on the fly — and those sort of changes will be coming soon. The Raiders’ free agent haul surely helps them in 2014, but which of the veterans will be left to contribute a few years down the road?
In short, the Raiders’ draft needs are a consideration of both their present and future roster, which explains why quarterback, even with Schaub likely to hold down the position for 2014, is atop the list.
Which brings us to the poll question: should the Raiders take a quarterback at No. 5? Cast your votes and share your comments below.