Whether he’s at the grocery store, the shopping mall or a restaurant, Raiders quarterback Derek Carr now gets one question more than any other:
Cooper or White?
The debate over whether Alabama’s Amari Cooper or West Virginia’s Kevin White is the NFL Draft’s best receiver rages daily throughout Raider Nation, well outside of Carr’s sightline.
Asking Carr is a valid question, considering he has to throw to a player the wideout-needy Raiders could select at No. 4 overall in the upcoming draft. Try as you might, you won’t get a straight answer. You will get an honest response, one that doesn’t play armchair GM.
“People have asked me: Cooper or White? My answer is, the best player available,” Carr said on Monday. “I don’t mind who it is. Again, I want whomever we pick to come in here and help us win Super Bowls. If we take a receiver, great. He’s going to know my expectations. If we don’t’ take a receiver, that guy is going to know my expectations.
“I don’t care who it is. I’ll be thankful for anybody that we get, but I’m not sitting there pounding the table, ‘We need a receiver!’, because I love the guys that we have.”
The Raiders haven’t yet added to a group that includes James Jones, Rod Streater and Andre Holmes, but they will. That could happen soon, considering veteran Michael Crabtree was in Alameda on Monday meeting with Raiders brass.
Receivers should come in the draft, whether it’s Cooper or White at No. 4 or talent from later rounds.
“I know the business of it,” Carr said. “They’re probably going to add a couple, that’s just how it goes. But at the same time, the guys I played with compete really hard, so it’s going to be hard for those guys to make the team. I’ll be fired up to see whoever we get. I’m going to be paying close attention to picks one through seven, and I’m going to welcome all of those guys to our team as soon as they get picked.”
Head coach Jack Del Rio said he hopes to pair an edge rusher with strongside linebacker Khalil Mack. That need could trump receiver at No. 4, depending on who’s available.
“GM Reggie McKenzie isn’t telling too many people what he wants to do, even though I may try to talk him into (an edge rusher),” Mack told CSN Bay Area in jest. “Derek may mention he wants a wide receiver. You never know what’ll happen.”