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Matthews at #5


It seems like a foregone conclusion that Bridgewater and Clowney will be taken before the Raiders pick at #5. Those two have long been considered the "can't miss" impact players in this draft. If one of them falls, I'm sure the Raiders would be all over it but the odds of that happening are pretty slim. That leaves a group of players that are a step below for the Raiders to pick from. The reasons they are in the next tier vary from off the field (Manziel) to questions of position/effectiveness in the NFL (Barr) and all sorts of other reasons. Drafting a player with question marks isn't as risky as it was before with the new rookie wage scale but getting this pick wrong would undoubtedly set the Raiders back. The safe pick in this draft seems to be Jake Mathews and there is a good chance he'll be there when the Raiders pick. He's been the top rated tackle pretty much all year and would have been last year had he come out. If he's there at number 5 should he be the pick? I understand that the context of who's available and who's already been drafted will greatly impact the perception of the pick but I can't really think of any other prospect available who doesn't come with some serious question marks. Matthews biggest problem as I see it is that he doesn't play at a position of great need for the Raiders but he still unquestionably improves the o-line.

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