Oakland Raiders Must Find Offensive Playmaker with No. 4 Pick in NFL Draft

The Oakland Raiders have many needs, but none is more glaring than their need for an offensive playmaker. Helping quarterback Derek Carr is the most important thing on general manager Reggie McKenzie’s list this offseason.

Save a dream scenario playing out in free agency, there’s simply no way that an offensive playmaker won’t be high atop the Raiders’ draft board come April 30 in Chicago. Given their struggles attracting top free agents, the draft is probably going to be the Raiders’ best bet to find the playmaker they so desperately need.  

At No. 4 overall, the Raiders could also be in perfect position. The top two or three defenders will be off the board, but at least one of the top quarterbacks should be available as well as all the top receivers assuming there isn’t a catastrophic shift between now and the draft.

A half a dozen teams drafting behind the Raiders could be in the market for a quarterback, so the Raiders may be in prime position to move down and still get their playmaker. Moving down is preferable because this year’s class is not on the same level as last year’s.


Why a Playmaker?

The Raiders have so many needs that it’s worth wondering why they should hone in on an offensive playmaker as opposed to just drafting the absolute best player they can regardless of position. The simple answer is that very little may separate players after the first couple are off the board, so the need for big plays trumps any minuscule difference between players.

Over the last three years, the Raiders finished 30th, 22nd and 32nd in big-play percentage. Big plays are defined as runs for 10 yards and passes over 25 yards.

Last year, they had a league-low 51 big plays, and a league-worst 5.13 percent of their offensive plays were big plays. That’s horrendous.

One of the reasons Hue...

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