The NFL Draft pieces could not have fallen more perfectly into place for the Oakland Raiders. With Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariota and Dante Fowler Jr. going in the first three picks, the Raiders were given the chance to pick between their top two options in wide receiver Amari Cooper and defensive tackle Leonard Williams. While most assumed they would go defense with Williams, the Raiders surprised many by making Cooper the pick.
While many thought Williams was the better value at this point, it’s hard to be upset about Cooper, a guy who in my mind was heads and shoulders better than every other wide receiver in the draft. He will come in and on day one make a big impact for this team. Second-year quarterback Derek Carr was likely doing back flips when he heard the pick announced. After going through a year with terrible options at wide receiver, Carr will now have an absolute stud in Cooper.
After signing Dan Williams this offseason and drafting Justin Ellis last year, the Raiders did not have a huge need at defensive tackle, but many believed that Leonard Williams was the best player available and that made him very hard to pass up. However, the Raiders went with a combination of best player and need. If Williams was the best player available, Cooper was not far behind and clearly the team needs a wide reciever more than a defensive tackle.
The team still needs to address the defensive line and get someone who can help the team put pressure on the quarterback. Luckily for them, there will be plenty of options available for them in the second round. That is, of course, assuming they do not trade up and back into the second half of the first round.