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ALAMEDA -- The Raiders’ 2014 draft couldn’t have started better. They got the player they wanted in Buffalo outside linebacker Khalil Mack, who surprisingly fell to No. 5.
That was Thursday night. The Raiders have two days and six picks (as of Friday morning) left to go. General manager Reggie McKenzie needs to mine more gold from this draft, starting with two important picks on Friday.
The Raiders hold the No. 36 and No. 67 overall selections, with plenty of opportunity to improve this roster in the present and future.
The Raiders still have several pressing needs. They need another top receiver. They need impact depth along the offensive line, both at end and tackle. They need a cornerback at some point. Maybe a safety and a linebacker, too.
They only have two Friday selections (as of Friday morning) and must find the best available player at key positions of need. Trading down is always a possibility -- McKenzie would still like to acquire more picks -- especially if a coveted player remains on the board.
Let’s assume for now that the Raiders stay put at No. 36. Plenty of first-round talent remains at that pick. Here are a few possibilities at that spot:
Receiver: A total of five wideouts were taken in the first round, but there’s plenty of talent remaining from a deep class. USC’s Marqise Lee surprisingly dropped into the second round. He could be in play here, though he’s not a favorite of mine. I prefer Vanderbilt’s Jordan Matthews, Indiana’s Cody Latimer or Mississippi’s Donte Moncrief. Also, keep an eye out for Clemson’s Martavius Bryant as a strong third-round possibility.
Defensive tackle: Florida State’s Timmy Jernigan is a run stuffer and could be a strong second-round pick.
Defensive end: Boise State’s DeMarcus Lawrence or Missouri’s Kony Ealy was could provide pass-rushing depth and continue to strengthen a formidable defensive front. North Carolina’s Kareem Martin could be a quality option in the third round.
Cornerback: The Raiders might look toward the future and go with a cornerback. After five of them went in the first round, the Raiders might look to Nebraska’s Stanley Jean-Baptiste, Clemson’s Bashaud Breeland or Oregon State’s Rashaad Reynolds during the second day.