The Oakland Raiders had another down year last season and with 2014 on the horizon, general manager Reggie McKenzie is looking for a franchise quarterback and while that may or may not be Johnny Manziel in the draft, a player like Michael Vick is an option for the short-term and Hakeem Nicks could be a target as a free agent as well.
According to ESPN.com, it is unlikely that the Raiders will sign Darren McFadden to a contract after he has been injured throughout his career and that means it's likely that Ben Tate or Maurice Jones-Drew or someone like Rashad Jennings, who was solid last season while filling in on the starting lineup. The team has gone 4-12 over the past two seasons and they are the team with some of the biggest cap space in the league, as McKenzie has $60 million to play with after breaking down the roster with their bad contracts over the past two seasons and now it's time to spend.
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The draft will be very important, while names like Greg Hardy, Justin Tuck, and Jared Allen as well as Josh Freeman, Golden Tate, Eric Decker and Alex Mack will be options in free agency as well. The team had Dennis Allen coming back and they also have a number of names to bring back, including Lamarr Houston, Charles Woodson and Jennings. The team comes in after ranking 25th in passing yards per game this year with Matt McGloin and Terrelle Pryor and now the team has some questions to figure out at the position.
The Raiders will also have the chance to look at some playmakers early on depending on what they do in the draft, as they could trade back for more picks or stay at the top and take someone like Sammy Watkins. The wide receiver position is deep this year and players like Jordan Matthews, Allen Robinson, Marqise Lee, Mike Evans and Odell Beckham could go over the first two rounds and on the first day.
This is one of the deeper classes of wide receivers over the past few years and names like Matthews and Robinson as well as Lee, Evans and Watkins could end up going in the first round and one of the late picks could make a big impact for offenses at the top of the draft. Last season the first round of the draft saw Tavon Austin, DeAndre Hopkins and Cordarrelle Patterson go in the first round and this year could see more receivers go in the top part of the draft than last year. Some other names that should get looks in the later rounds includes Mike Davis, Brandon Coleman, Brandon Cooks, Davante Adams as well as Jarvis Landry and Bruce Ellington is a sleeper name to look at out of South Carolina.