Raiders have plenty of options at receiver in Round 2

By Brad Wilbricht  |   Monday, March 23, 2009  |  Comments( 42 )

Oakland Raiders
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While many experts have pegged Texas Tech receiver Michael Crabtree as a logical selection for the Oakland Raiders at pick No. 7 in this year's draft, they may find better value in a wideout in Round 2. This year’s crop of receivers is extremely deep and loaded with talent; in fact, there are several other potential impact players available outside of the first round.

Yes, Oakland is in desperate need of playmakers on the perimeter, but having several options at the receiver position will enable the Raiders’ front office to use its first pick on the best player available. With help needed along the offensive line and on defense, Oakland can go in several different directions.

While Crabtree, Maclin and Florida’s Percy Harvin will almost certainly come off the board in Round 1, there is still great value to be had in the second round and beyond. Hakeem Nicks, Darrius Heyward-Bey and Kenny Britt could all be available when Oakland is on the clock with its second-round pick.

Nicks progressed during each season at North Carolina and capped off his career with a highly productive junior year. Nicks reeled in 68 passes for 1,222 yards and 12 scores in his final collegiate season. Before opting to skip his final year of eligibility, Nicks compiled nearly 3,000 yards and 21 scores during his three seasons in Chapel Hill.

Meanwhile, Heyward-Bey was somewhat unheralded heading into the draft season, but his stellar performance at the combine raised eyebrows. Heyward-Bey failed to surpass 800 receiving yards in a season at Maryland, but his 40-yard dash time of 4.30 was tops in Indianapolis. Furthermore, he excelled during field drills at his recent pro day.

Like Nicks, Britt had a tremendous college career and possesses superior size to any of the other top-tier prospects. Britt (6-foot-2, 218 pounds) racked up 149 catches for 2,603 yards and 15 touchdowns during his final two seasons at Rutgers. His ability to shield off defenders with his wide frame is a coveted asset at the professional level.

With the draft rapidly approaching, it’s beginning to look like the Raiders may be best suited passing on a receiver in Round 1. The move would allow Oakland to secure the top player on its draft board and maximize value in the second round.
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About Brad Wilbricht

Brad Wilbricht covers numerous sporting events including the NFL, NFL Draft and college football. His analysis is simulcast through several media outlets across the country. Additionally, Brad is a regular guest on a variety of talk radio shows and can be frequently heard on the airwaves. To...
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