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Jack Del Rio: Need at WR made Amari Cooper "easy pick" for Raiders

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

At the fourth overall pick, the Raiders choice didn't appear to be a simple one. They had USC defensive lineman Leonard Williams on the board along with Alabama wide receiver Amari Cooper. But as Raiders head coach Jack Del Rio told SiriusXM NFL Blitz Wednesday, it wasn't as complicated as some people may have thought.

"You collect information on these picks and you set your board based on the information you have and everything is taken into account - the health of the players, how they're gonna perform when they get there, what their long term future is - all those things are considered," Del Rio said of his draft process. "This was an easy pick for us because it met a need and was a tremendous value. And when they go hand in hand that's an easy one to turn in."

Since Reggie McKenzie came on board, he has preached best player available. But we all know need comes into play as well when attempting to put together a winning team.

Leonard Williams may have been considered as the top overall prospect in the draft by many, but the Raiders signed Dan Williams in the offseason so defensive tackle was not among the team's major needs. Washington at 5th overall also didn't jump at the chance of getting Williams, opting to fill their need at offensive tackle with the selection of Iowa's Brandon Scherff.

As Del Rio points out, need also played a large role in the Raiders picking Cooper. The Raiders have not had a true number one receiver in a long while. They haven't had a 1000-yard receiver in a decade (Randy Moss).

Adding to the Raiders' need at receiver is the need to give second year quarterback Derek Carr some weapons in the passing game.

"Really excited about working with [Derek Carr] and surrounding him with some talent, have some guys he can throw to," said Del Rio. "I think he throws a great deep ball and we didn't throw that many here last year, we're gonna throw some this year, so he's gonna have to cover the field deep. . . we're excited about what we're putting together around him. We don't want him to have to just carry us, but he's a good young player and we're excited to work with him."

Del Rio had said back in March that he didn't want this Raiders offense to be "so much about Derek". It's always difficult to do that in football considering it is a quarterback driven league.

There are very few quarterbacks in the NFL who can take below average receivers and make them look great. Carr is not at that level (yet). There are others whose shortcomings are masked by great receivers. That's a good place to start. Making the selection of the best wide receiver in an overall strong class of receivers a slam dunk at fourth overall.