2014 NFL Draft: Three Players the Oakland Raiders Should Consider in the First Round

Yahoo Contributor Network

COMMENTARY | I know it's only Week 8 of the NFL season, but it's always fun getting to see which players would look good in the NFL.

The Oakland Raiders have surprised many this season, particularly because of the emergence of Terrelle Pryor and the solid play of a new-look defense filled with one-year contracts.

The Raiders have talent, but several injuries have made it difficult to get everyone playing at the same time. And with a favorable schedule the rest of the way, a 7-9 record is a very good possibility for a team that most experts picked to finish near the bottom of the NFL.

Posting a record near the .500 mark means an early-middle round selection. With that being said, the Raiders could pick anywhere between 12-16.

Although several things will change between now and the draft, let's take a look at some of the moves the Oakland Raiders could make once they're on the clock.

Sammy Watkins, WR, Clemson

Denarius Moore is finally making strides as Oakland's No. 1 wide receiver this year, and Terrelle Pryor seems to trust him more than anyone else.

Rod Streater and Jacoby Ford have been nice complements to Oakland's passing game, but the team is still without a home-run threat.

Sammy Watkins has been a stud for the Clemson Tigers, and his experience playing with a mobile quarterback in Tajh Boyd makes this pick more enticing.

Even if Moore emerges as the true No. 1, the Raiders still need help at the wide receiver position. The 2014 free agent class of wide receivers is pretty thin, so it wouldn't hurt to draft a gifted receiver who has big-game experience.

Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan

Taylor Lewan is one of the best offensive linemen in college football, and the Raiders need major help on the offensive line.

It's still uncertain if general manager Reggie McKenzie is going to re-sign Jared Veldheer at left tackle, and 2013 second-round pick Menelik Watson, who was drafted to play right tackle, hasn't played all year.

Oakland's offensive line woes have almost been too difficult to overcome, even with the mobile Pryor under center. At 6-foot-8 and 302 pounds, Lewan would provide a huge upgrade to an offensive line that can't block anybody.

The only problem is that Lewan will catch the eye of every other team that needs to fix its offensive line. With an early-to-mid round pick, the Raiders may not be able to snag him.

Jake Matthews, OT, Texas A&M

It can't be emphasized how much help the Raiders need on the offensive line.

Pryor has shown he can make plays with both his arms and his legs, but even he needs some time to make a decision before opposing defenses throw him to the ground.

Jake Matthews has had a solid career at Texas A&M. He played well against Cleveland's first-round pick this year, Barkevious Mingo when they went toe-to-toe last season.

In a division loaded with quick defensive ends who come off the line of scrimmage in a heartbeat, the Raiders need to bolster up their offensive line so their weapons can finally make something happen.

But just like Lewan, Matthews is a hot commodity and may not be available when the Raiders are on the board.

Steven Slivka covers the Oakland Raiders for the Yahoo! Contributor Network. Follow him on Twitter @StevenSlivka

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