Jan 1, 2014; Glendale, AZ, USA; Central Florida Knights quarterback Blake Bortles (5) against the Baylor Bears during the Fiesta Bowl at University of Phoenix Stadium. Central Florida defeated Baylor 52-42. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Raiders #5 NFL Draft Pick: Who Would I Take?

My rundown through the entire first round of the NFL draft continues as I examine the Oakland Raiders who hold the #5 pick in the first round.

The Pick:  Blake Bortles – QB – UCF

Team owner Mark Davis said quite frankly that the team still lack an identity.  Indeed neither of their quarterbacks are particularly memorable largely because they have no consistency in terms of leading the team to success.  Drafting Blake Bortles would change that overnight.

Why:  He is the most talented quarterback in the 2014 class

At least one starting quarterback in the league sounded off on the 2014 quarterback class, saying frankly that if a team wanting to win in this league they take Bortles.  Why?  From a sheer physical standpoint it’s obvious.  The UCF standout has a big 6’5″ frame that can stand up to the caliber of hits he’ll be taking.  He’s more mobile than people realize with a good arm, accuracy and above all a cool head on his shoulders.  He looks like a starting quarterback and in 2013 he played like one leading the Knights to a Fiesta Bowl victory.

Argument:  Sammy Watkins and Jake Matthews offer better value

Several fans have said the quarterback issue can wait until later.  The Raiders should be about improving the overall roster.  Based on the big board they would likely pounce on Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins.  He is easily the most dynamic and polished option in the NFL draft with the explosiveness to go deep but the toughness to become that go-to guy over the middle as well.  Then there is Texas A&M tackle Jake Matthews.  A second-generation star, he is a proven pass blocker with loads of experience and physical skill.  Putting him across from Jared Veldheer is a hard thing to overlook.

Counter-argument:  Free agency should solve receiver and blocking issues

To those who will champion such a strategy I would have one simple answer for them:  $63 million.  That is how much salary cap space the Oakland Raiders could be taking into the 2014 free agency period.  It not only will allow them to retain their own players but should give the front office ample opportunity to land some quality outside options with wide receiver and offensive line being among them.  Both problems could be solved by that point, opening the door for them to bring it all together by putting a new face under center.  That in turn would then allow the use of the remaining draft picks to bolster the defense.

That is why I would take Blake Bortles if I were in charge.  What are your thoughts?

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Tags: Blake Bortles Jake Matthews NFL Draft Oakland Raiders Sammy Watkins

  • Angel

    Sounds good. But there is a mistake in the beginning. You said team owner “Mike Davis”… It’s Mark. I know you know that jus lettin ya know bro. Jus lettin you know..

    • Erik Lambert

      Appreciate it, Angel. Made the correction and will have to try to make sure I file that away for future articles.

  • DanfromVegas

    What free agent wide receivers are out there that can be a legit #1 receiver that can be acquired this offseason? I just don’t see them out there. I wouldn’t hate a Bortles pick, but I would consider it a setback if we don’t have a go to receiver.

    • Erik Lambert

      It’s not just free agency, Dan. This draft class has legit #1 receivers in the second and maybe even third round. They could use free agency to get the #2 guy and then pinpoint somebody in the 2nd or 3rd to round out the corps. Obviously that’s one idea but I’m sure there are others.

    • Frank

      As of right now, there are not any FA WRs that would be worth dumping big money on. A lot of people like Maclin, I have no idea why, but statistically Streater is just as good. I like what I saw from our WR last season, they showed a lot of potential, especially Holmes. They just need time to develop chemistry and we need to get some mauling guards so we can run the ball to take pressure off McGloin or Pryor and we need to establish the play-action a lot better.

  • Dennis Carroll

    Drafting a QB with the 5th overall Pick is stupid , This Coaching Staff is incapable of developing a Young QB. None of these QB’s in this draft are Day 1 starters imo, So I’d go either Watkins , Or Mack with the 5th ovr ,and Maybe take a QB in the Later rounds Aaron Murray would be a late round pick I’d gamble on

    • Erik Lambert

      You may have a point but don’t forget what Mark Davis said. He is expecting results THIS year. Dennis Allen and Reggie McKenzie can’t put their jobs in the hands of Matt McGloin or Terrelle Pryor. There might not be any Day One starters, but Bortles is as close as they’ll get.

    • Rees Britton

      This coaching staff is incapable of developing young QB’S??? Have we already forgotten the success that Pryor and McGloin had this year? McGloin wasn’t even drafted, so Id say that was developing a young QB. Or we could go with Josh Freeman’s best years were under Olson… but yes, they know nothing about developing Qb’s! You know so much, remind me again why they havent hired you and your obvious skill set of knowing more then any of the “professionals”

  • Glenn

    If Bortles is there of course you take him. Jacksonville will snap him up. I think the pick is Clowney if he falls to 5 and Watkins if he doesn’t.

    • Erik Lambert

      I’ll agree with you if Bortles isn’t there.

  • Kevin Lurker

    QB is the cornorstone. I see too many impact players in the 1st round to take him #5. I like Garapalo and thought he would last till #67. Now not so sure. #5 needs to produce day 1. F.A.’s will come here once we establish an identity.

    • Erik Lambert

      That’s the idea.

  • Joey Chic

    That’s all good but are we going to be able to stop anyone, EVER? Would be wonderful to watch the Raiders with 10 point cushion knowing that I won’t be a nervous wreck for the next 3 quarters. What happened when teams feared the silver n black?

    • Erik Lambert

      Free agency and a few middle to late round picks will take care of that defense.

      • Joey Chic

        I really hope so. Think we need a bit more but I’m staying positive. The lack of true DE are not helping the secondary I know. Hopefully we can plug those positions. Cool convo

        • Erik Lambert

          You certainly have the money to spend. Michael Johnson, Greg Hardy, Justin Tuck and Jared Allen are among several realistic options that can fill the void. Not sure this draft is the best time to get one unless Clowney falls to #5, which I don’t believe he will.

  • Frank

    We should stay away from all the QBs in round 1. None of these guys are that good, if they were there would be an unanimous pick at #1 like when Luck and Stafford were drafted. I know a lot of people want a QB, I personally dont, would rather see Pryor and McGloin battle it out in camp and draft a QB like McCarron or Mettenberger later if we cannot find a serviceable veteran in FA. You cannot just draft any QB or best available QB at #5 just because you need one. Reason being, if you are wrong it will set you back for years, remember “I dont say his name anymore”, he set us back 5+ years. Look how Jacksonville got screwed on Gabbert because they forced the QB pick, if they would have waited (they would have had to trade back in the first) they could have drafted Kaepernick or Dalton. When you draft a QB high in the first round you are saying that you are our future and you have to give the team over to him. This can only be done if you are very special like Luck or you have weapons in place. Houston can do that, Cleveland can do that, even Jacksonville is in a better place to do that than we are because all these teams have offensive weapons in place already, Jacksonville not so much but they do have MJD, Blackmon, Shorts, and Lewis and Houston and Cleveland have good Defenses.

    Ideally we need to trade back and get more picks but if we cant Im seeing us drafting Clowney, if he is there, or Mack.

  • Cedrik

    id rather see us sign mike vick than draft a qb that high. we need to sure up our lines to even compete. we need day 1 impact players. drafting a qb and throwing him into the lions den aint the answer. olines that are profficient at something are the key to getting over the hump as well as a stud dline. draft the best olineman or dlineman or trade down.

  • http://cover32.com/raiders/author/wspargo/ Walter Spargo

    Stay away from the 5th overall pick. Trade it down for more picks and get a jumpstart on this rebuild. Dennis Allen and Reggie McKenzie have both said that they want to build through the draft. You do that by getting as many picks as you can. Only this time, try to get more than one extra pick. In a draft this deep all around, it shouldn’t be a problem getting value in any trade they make.

    • Erik Lambert

      That’s assuming this isn’t a make-or-break season for McKenzie and Allen, Walter. Mark Davis sounded pretty serious when he expected results this year. I agree they need to improve the roster but they won’t find stability at quarterback with Vick and especially not with Freeman. Now if you said Josh McCown I might say yes since he proved last year he can handle the starting job but in my opinion they can vastly improve the roster with the salary cap and picks from the 2nd round down. A team needs to get good first before they can afford to start building through the draft.

  • Brian Quintana

    honestly we need a good solid player for defense dj will b good he is healthy n moore can b dangerous if we can get mack or houston can b move to DT if we can get clowney image that a defense like the past successful raiders team we need to built the D from the draft n in FA we can get our off.. but please no more stupid picks God we need this draft to b the foundation of our future…

  • Sterling Archer

    I honestly say try and trade back in the first round and try to get a second 2nd round pick and maybe a 3rd or 4th if you can squeeze it. The Raiders needs a ton of Position and the Draft is deep at positions of need. Honestly I don’t see any of the “top 3″ QB’s being top 5 picks (many would have been 2nd -3rd rounders’ in last years draft). Once you trade back start looking at the trenches. If you can manage to get 5-6 picks in the first 3 rounds (1,2,2,3,3) the raiders could build a formidable line on both sides and still manage to get a WR/QB in the 3rd. If The Could Trade Back lets say with the Jets, I would like to See assuming resign Veldheer and Houston

    1-OT Taylor- Lewan Michigan or Zach Martin- Notre Dame (whose ever available at 16)

    2-DT/DE Stephon Tuitt- Notre Dame (More Likely a DE in a 4-3 Scheme)

    2- OG Cyril Richardson- Baylor size able Guard who could provide a potent Run blocking Scheme)

    3- QB Zach Mettenberger – LSU ( Needs a little work but the big prototypical QB our Coaches like and have experience with

    3- CB-Jean-Baptiste- Nebraska all semi physical corner, doesn’t have the highest top speed but I could see him being able to make the transition to FS after a year under Woodson. he already posses good ball skills and his size allows him to become a good TE Cover guy but his strait line speed may keep him from being a CB.

  • Alan

    We need guys who are going to leaders….I feel two guys would solve that problem…Mack would be a great 1st round pick and then AJ in the second round …I think him will play with a chip on his shoulder…he is a winner , started a lot of games and won championships…..also like Alex Mack in FA move Wiz to guard….he is a California kid…GO RAIDERS