2015 NFL Draft Key Phase of Oakland Raiders’ Rebuilding Project

The Oakland Raiders appear to be on the right track despite winning just 11 games over the last three seasons. Raiders general manager Reggie McKenzie finally had a full allotment of draft picks in 2014 and ended up drafting five starters—including quarterback Derek Carr and edge player Khalil Mack.

The rebuilding process hasn’t always gone well for the Raiders, but they are finally ready for the key third and final phase—a second consecutive successful draft. If the Raiders don’t do well in the 2015 NFL draft, they risk stalling the rebuild entirely.

The Raiders are like a classic muscle car that’s been sitting in a garage for over a decade. McKenzie is the mechanic, and he got it started in 2014, but if he doesn’t give it some gas in 2015, the owner will probably seek a second opinion.

So much hinges on this draft for the Raiders that it’s hard to overstate the importance of it. McKenzie’s job depends on the record turning around in 2015, so he’ll need instant contributions from the No. 4 overall pick and the rest of the draft class.

It’s also an important draft for Carr, who needs all the help he can get to solidify himself as the franchise quarterback. If Carr fails to build upon his rookie season in a significant way, the Raiders may have to go back to the drawing board at the league’s most important position.

That’s something the Raiders must try to avoid at all costs, so it’s imperative that the Raiders give Carr all the help he requires. Everyone knows the Raiders have a glaring need for a No. 1 wide receiver, but the needs on offense go beyond that.

The team doesn’t appear to trust running back Latavius Murray, veteran Khalif Barnes is the current starter at right guard and left tackle Donald Penn isn’t getting any younger. Tight end is also a position where the Raiders can use an upgr...

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