As the Raiders begin to build the foundation for their team, the next step has to be to acquire a playmaker on offense. We are seeing more and more teams search for athletic tight ends to cause matchup problems against safeties and linebackers. Guys like Jason Witten, Tony Gonzalez, Rob Gronkowski, and Jimmy Graham are gamebreakers for their teams.
The best bet in this year’s draft is Washington’s Austin Seferian-Jenkins, a 6’6, 266 pound walking matchup problem. Seferian-Jenkins has excellent speed with an ability to stretch the middle of the field which would help the outside receivers like Denarius Moore and Rod Streater. Seferian-Jenkins also doesn’t sacrifice anything in the blocking category making him an ideal target for a Raiders team in dire need of some explosiveness on offense.
Hosting second-ranked Oregon this weekend will offer Seferian-Jenkins a huge platform to show what he can do against a top notch defense. This is the Huskies second straight game against a top-5 team so if Seferian-Jenkins wants to make a statement, this is the best time to do it.
Anthony Johnson, DT, LSU (vs. Florida)
The best defenses in the league usually excel up the middle and that starts at the defensive tackle position. Someone like LSU’s Anthony Johnson would be a great fit in the Raiders defense as Pat Sims and Vance Walker are nothing more than stopgaps.
As the Kansas City Chiefs have proven with rookie Dontari Poe, a great tackle in the middle of your defense can take it from good to great. Johnson has impressive speed for someone his size and has shown all of the skills you look for in a 4-3 defensive tackle. Having him in the middle with Lamarr Houston on the outside will dramatically improve the Raiders line.
A struggling Florida offensive line gives Johnson a great opportunity to catapult himself even higher up the draft board.
Tahj Boyd, QB, Clemson (vs. Boston College)
While everyone focuses on the underclassmen quarterbacks like Teddy Bridgewater, Brett Hundley, and Johnny Manziel (and rightfully so), Tahj Boyd has been flying under the radar as one of the more impressive quarterback prospects in this year’s draft.
As a senior, Boyd is experienced in seeing everything a defense can throw at him and for the most part has succeeded in the face of adversity. Boyd is a little undersized, but that hasn’t stopped the lieks of Drew Brees and Russell Wilson from succeeding. Boyd has the arm strength and leadership abilities you look for at the position. If he falls to the Raiders in the second or third round he could be a steal.
This week he leads his Tigers against the Boston College defense who has seen some top flight offenses already this year. An impressive showing against the Eagles could put Boyd in a higher class amongst his quarterback peers.