It can be useful to take a look around the sports world now and then and see what everyone else thinks the Raiders will do with the fourth overall pick this year. So, that's what we did. Here are the results of that search:
What should the Raiders do if Williams and all of the wide receivers are still available? They could flip a coin, picking between Williams and someone like Amari Cooper and be fine either way. If the Raiders want to be aggressive, they could even look around for a trade. Oakland’s top needs fit nicely with the strengths of the draft this year, if they’re smart enough to take advantage of it.
The Raiders failed to land a marquee free agent and it looks more and more likely that this pick will be a pass-catcher to help second-year starting quarterback Derek Carr. Bigger question might be, which receiver does Reggie McKenzie like the most?
(TRADE with NYJ who take Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon) Pick 6: Kevin White, WR, West Virginia
Finding difficulty not projecting White as a money fit for the Raiders. Derek Carr needs weapons and White has the talent, size and speed to be a guy who can impact at the next level right away.
Derek Carr showed flashes as a rookie of being the young signal-caller capable of turning this franchise around. Adding another weapon for him would seem like a logical choice. Talent evaluators are split on Cooper and West Virginia's Kevin White as the top receiver in the 2015 draft. Cooper (6-1, 211 pounds) is smaller than White (6-3, 215), but is more polished.
In a wide receiver class loaded with talent, White just may be the best. At 6-3, 215, he has excellent size, but also is blessed with incredible speed. He blew the doors off at the combine with a 4.35 40. He had issues with drops early in his career, but caught 109 passes last year for 1,447 yards and 10 touchdowns.
Derek Carr proved he is worthy of building around, and now he gets a deep threat the Raiders so sorely lacked a year ago.
GM Reggie McKenzie waits for the phone to ring. He’ll trade during his pick, especially with Williams on the board. Interesting trade-up candidate: Cleveland, with the 12th, 19th and 43rd picks, and with a big need for a dominating three-technique pile-mover.
The gap between White and Amari Cooper is closer than ever after White's impressive 4.35 40-yard dash and strong performance in the positional workouts at the combine. Kiper still has Cooper slightly ahead of him on his big board as the more complete receiver, but believes that the Raiders will take White with the fourth pick because of his potential as a star wideout and big-play threat.
McShay calls wide receiver the biggest need for the Raiders, but with three offensive players off the board with the first three picks, the Raiders are better positioned to address the team's second-biggest need: Defensive end. McShay calls Williams the "best all-around defensive player in the draft" and he can instantly upgrade the Raiders' defensive line and play multiple positions for the team.
The visit of Michael Crabtree will provide chatter and could yield a proven target for Derek Carr, but it does nothing to alter the team's need for a true #1 playmaker. Kevin White certainly fits the bill as a big field-stretcher capable of big production right away and stretching Carr's league-last 5.46 yards per attempt. Though the selection of White makes too much sense and has the possibility of joining Mack as the only RD1 selection since 1998 to play like one, there are three scenarios where Reggie McKenzie deviates from this pick: 1) If Leonard Williams falls to #4, he'll be the pick, 2) an opportunity to acquire picks that could result in a trade-down, and 3) the team COULD fall in love with the more-polished Cooper and opt for him. Still, at this point, the Mountaineer looks extremely likely at the #4 spot.
There isn't much argument that Oakland will select a wide receiver at the top; the debate is just which one? Although Kevin White has made it clear who he believes is the best receiver in the draft, and there are many on his side, we still like Cooper by a hair. Cooper and White are neck and neck, very comparable prospects, the only difference in favor of Cooper for me is the level of competition he produced against in college. Believe it or not the Oakland Raiders have more than a couple pieces in place and could potentially be trending upward for the first time in a while. Giving Derek Carr a running mate and a proven game-changer in Amari Cooper would give add a dangerous feel to this offense.
The 4.35 40 was a surprise at the Combine. Had an NFC scout tell me he looked like a slightly smaller Julio Jones. "Freak" is being tossed around.
Leonard Williams, DT, USC
Last season the Raiders did well in the draft, especially with their top selection in linebacker Khalil Mack. While so many have Oakland pegged to land a wide receiver like Amari Cooper or Kevin White, I simply don’t see Reggie McKenzie or Jack Del Rio passing on Leonard Williams from USC if he’s still on the board. Williams is from California and dreamed of playing for the silver and black. Plus, he may be the top overall prospect in this draft and would bring a huge presence to their defensive front. The Raiders could also trade out of the spot and move back in hopes of obtaining more picks and drafting a wide receiver. I just see much more value of taking Williams here and getting wide receiver help later on in the draft.
The Raiders definitely wouldn't mind landing Leonard Williams. He would fill a huge need, and as Charlie Campbell reported a couple of months ago, Williams told Oakland that he would love to play for them. I didn't think there was a chance Williams would fall to No. 4, but as I mentioned in the Jaguars' write-up, teams aren't as high on Williams as the media is. This is not a rare phenomenon, as we saw this last year with Teddy Bridgewater. Many believe that Bridgewater's stock dropped because of a poor Pro Day, but in reality - and we reported this ahead of time - teams never liked him to begin with. Perhaps some will be surprised if Williams falls to No. 4, but the Raiders will happily take him.
Kevin White -- 6
Leonard Williams -- 5
Amari Cooper -- 3