Raiders draft outlook: Wide receivers

Raiders draft outlook: Wide receivers
May 2, 2014, 11:45 am
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Clemson's Sammy Watkins is the No. 1-rated receiver in the 2014 draft. If he falls to fifth overall, will the Raiders pull the trigger? (USATSI)

James Jones joins the Raiders from the Packers. Who will be his partner in crime? (AP)

Editor’s note: Insider Scott Bair will have draft content every day leading up to the NFL Draft (May 8-10), including position breakdowns, retrospectives, mock drafts and more; bookmark our Road to the NFL Draft

The Raiders haven’t had a 1,000-yard receiver in eight seasons. Randy Moss was the last to cross the threshold in 2005. Since then, the team hasn’t had anyone produce like an elite receiver.

The Raiders could add one in this draft, possibly with the No. 5 overall pick.

A top-flight receiver could make an immediate impact and complete a passing attack that upgraded several parts. The Raiders traded for veteran quarterback Matt Schaub and bulked up along the offensive line.

They added veteran James Jones to compliment Rod Streater, Andre Holmes and Denarius Moore.

The Raiders could use one more piece. It could be Clemson’s Sammy Watkins or Texas A&M’s Mike Evans in the first round, or select one of several legitimate prospects later in a deep receiver draft class.

General manager Reggie McKenzie said Thursday that he would take “great” over “good” even in a deep class. That firmly puts Watkins on the table if he’s available at No. 5 overall.

No matter where it comes, it’s highly likely the Raiders select a receiver to fill their most glaring offensive need in 2014.

Who's here: James Jones, Denarius Moore, Rod Streater, Greg Jenkins, Andre Holmes, Juron Criner, Jared Green

Draft needs: The Raiders have several good receivers. They could be on the hunt for a great one early in this draft.

Good fits: The Raiders need a receiver who is a real deep threat and has consistent hands. That would play well with Jones in the possession receiver role, possibly in the slot. Watkins is an elite prospect with great acceleration, excellent hands and a knack for yards after the catch. Evans (6-foot-5, 225 pounds) is a hulk who can win balls in the air and make dramatic plays. There is good value outside the first round as well. Mississippi’s Donte Moncrief, Penn State’s Allen Robinson, Indiana’s Cody Latimer, Florida State’s Kelvin Benjamin and Fresno State’s Davante Adams could be available in the second round (some could slip to the third).