Why does it feel like Reggie McKenzie is about to do something either dramatic or wacky or both on Thursday?

Maybe I'm wrong, but the Raiders and their general manager seem to be at the fulcrum of a lot of antsy things in this draft.

Which often can lead to nuttiness and with the Raiders almost always does.

It could be good drama (trade back cannily into the 20s to land the second-tier quarterback or receiver they like and pick up an extra pick or two).

It could be middling drama (take a mini-reach with their first-round pick, someone such as Texas A&M receiver Mike Evans, LSU receiver Odell Beckham Jr. or UCLA pass rusher Anthony Barr).

Reggie McKenzie, the new general manager of the Oakland Raiders, answers questions from the media at an introductory press conference at team headquarters,
Reggie McKenzie, the new general manager of the Oakland Raiders, answers questions from the media at an introductory press conference at team headquarters, Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2012 in Alameda, Calif. McKenzie had earlier fired Raiders head coach Hue Jackson. (D. Ross Cameron/Staff) ( D. ROSS CAMERON )

It could be volcanic drama (take Texas A&M QB Johnny Manziel and watch the Internet blow up).

Or it could be wackiness pure and simple (do anything like last year when McKenzie traded back from No. 3 and took two injured players who didn't produce much or anything last year -- DJ Hayden and Menelik Watson).

What I don't see McKenzie doing: Staying at No. 5 and picking an offensive tackle.

Even if that might be the best thing for this franchise, long-term.

Even if it's somebody as ready-made to play left tackle as Texas A&M's Jake Matthews or as impressive as Auburn's Greg Robinson.

Even after losing young left tackle Jared Veldheer in free agency a few months ago.

I'll go ahead and say it: I'm predicting that the Raiders will select Evans, in a bit of a surprise, because Evans is generally pegged to go anywhere from seventh to 15th.

This is all presuming that Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins, the most explosive offensive player in this draft and a perfect fit for the Raiders, is gone before the Raiders' turn.

I'm also guessing that the two best overall talents -- South Carolina defensive end Jadeveon Clowney and Buffalo linebacker Khalil Mack -- will also be selected in the first four slots.

If any of those three drop to the fifth slot, they'd be terrific Raiders selections, and McKenzie will be a very lucky man. But it's not likely.

I'm penciling Manziel in that first four, too. I'm not guessing the order, but I'll say the group selected ahead of the Raiders' pick will be Clowney, Manziel, Mack and Watkins.

By the way, I don't think the Raiders would take Manziel if he's there. Some consideration? Yes. Take him? Probably not.

But it would save some massive front office agita if the Raiders don't have to make that call and if Mark Davis doesn't have to be tempted by that possibility.

So ... the Raiders' decision theoretically would be whether to take one of the tackles, move down for QBs Derek Carr or Teddy Bridgewater, or take their favorite remaining receiver.

If it breaks like that, I think McKenzie will go for Evans and immediately talk about Evans' abilities to make plays down field.

McKenzie is under too much immediate stress to pass up a potential Pro Bowl receiver -- a big, leaping touchdown-maker like Evans -- to pair with veteran QB Matt Schaub.

That's my guess, and it's based on all the elements that are currently pulling at McKenzie and coach Dennis Allen.

There's the general opinion that the Raiders have the fifth pick in a draft with three or four prime players, so they're on the hump of the first round, anyway.

There's the Raiders' passive-aggressive chase for a long-term quarterback -- they're somewhat committed to Schaub for now, but they've got to keep looking.

The problem is that the fifth slot probably isn't where a team as talent-light as the Raiders should be taking a QB. Especially after they signed Schaub.

Beyond all that, there's the memory of the last two 4-12 seasons and all the games when the Raiders just weren't talented enough to compete.

Oh, and the last two drafts that haven't produced much help.

I think McKenzie and Allen will be motivated to do something a little extra with this pick. If they don't get lucky with Watkins, Mack or Clowney, I don't think the Raiders will select a tackle.

I think it'll be Evans, a big-time playmaker and a little bit of a reach for a team that needs everything and for a G.M. who really needs to create a little excitement.

Read Tim Kawakami's Talking Points blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami. Contact him at tkawakami@mercurynews.com.

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    PAGE 6