Raiders Draft Rumors: Will Oakland Draft A Receiver? Analytics Say They Should

The Oakland Raiders are projected to take Alabama wideout Amari Cooper or West Virginia wideout Kevin White with the No. 4 overall pick in the NFL Draft, but there has been talk that the Raiders may take a pass rusher instead.

However, numberFire makes the case that receiver is a much bigger need for Oakland, using analytics:

They finished as the 30th-ranked offense in the NFL, according to our Adjusted Net Expected Points (NEP) per play metric. NEP works to quantify how well a team or player is performing above or below average and accounts for on-field variables such as down-and-distance and field position to identify how a given play impacts a team's scoring chances.

They [Raiders] secured an schedule-adjusted NEP per play of -0.07, meaning that every snap the offense took wound up losing them 0.07 points from the scoreboard that an otherwise average team would have earned.

The team's Adjusted Passing NEP per play of -0.05 ranked 29th in the league. Rookie quarterback Derek Carr struggled as he finished with the second worst Passing NEP (-40.94) score in the NFL, better only than Jacksonville’s Blake Bortles (-97.97).

A large part of that, though, could be due to who he’s throwing the ball to. Out of all Oakland receivers, the one with the highest Reception NEP was Andre Holmes (58.30), but Holmes ranked just 49th among all receivers in the league last year.

Even with the recent Michael Crabtree signing, bringing in a star receiver with their first pick is likely the best option because Crabtree posted a Reception NEP of just 62.53 this year, 45th among all wide receivers.

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