The Oakland Raiders could’ve snagged Sammy Watkins in 2014.
They could’ve grabbed a pass-rusher in USC’s Leonard Williams a year later.
But they’ll never know how both would’ve fared in Silver and Black. They shouldn’t want to, either; the mere additions of Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper erase any doubt from a decision-maker’s mind.
Article continues below ...
There’s a reason why Cooper is a favorite for Offensive Rookie of the Year. His 72-catch, 1,070-yard premiere outpaces most first-year receivers — even Watkins, who managed seven fewer catches and about 100 fewer yards in 2014.
Cooper-Watkins is a close call. There’s no debate when it comes to Mack-Williams, though; the Raiders made the right call snagging the Buffalo product first, then going receiver the following year.
Mack increased his sack total by 11 this season. It’ll be tougher for Williams to do the same from his position as a 3-4 end, and even then, he’s not nearly as fearsome a pass rusher as No. 52.
The addition of Mack settles the draft debate. He’s a two-time All-Pro in one season, a sack artist with the second-most QB takedowns in team history (15), and he’s only getting better.