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Team needs: Oakland Raiders

Reggie McKenzie, Mark Davis AP

Could the Oakland Raiders have more draft needs than any other club? Opinions will vary, but the Raiders have to be in the team picture. Even worse, the Raiders have just seven draft picks — four of which are in Round Six or later. Let’s take a closer look at all of the areas Oakland must address:

Defensive line: The Raiders need help throughout the line after the departures of tackles Desmond Bryant and Tommy Kelly as well as end Matt Shaughnessy. Also, end Richard Seymour remains unsigned. The Raiders’ best defensive lineman under contract, Lamarr Houston, can play outside and inside, but he can test free agency after the 2013 season. Adding pass rush help is a must; the Raiders recorded just 25 sacks a season ago, and all but 5.5 of those sacks were notched by players who are no longer on the roster.

Quarterback: Newly acquired Matt Flynn is signed for two more seasons and is garnering relatively little money for a starting quarterback. He has made two career regular-season starts — just one more than Terrelle Pryor, the only other passer currently on the roster. If the Raiders believe there is a franchise quarterback in this draft, there is no reason not to take him.

Offensive line: The Raiders have a couple solid younger players here in left tackle Jared Veldheer and center Stefen Wisniewski, but guard and right tackle are positions which could stand to be bolstered. Again, positional value comes into play here, as does the lack of prime draft picks for Oakland. That said, adding a lineman wouldn’t be unreasonable, especially with Veldheer’s contract up at the end of this season.

Cornerback: The Raiders bolstered this position by agreeing with Mike Jenkins on Monday. However, Jenkins fell out of favor in Dallas. Tracy Porter, who looks like the other starter, missed a good deal of the 2012 season because of a seizure, then a concussion. (For his part, Porter recently said he was “cleared of everything” regarding the seizure.) Even if Porter and Jenkins are in good form, the Raiders still need more help at this position. The same, frankly, can be said for safety, but positional value makes cornerback a more pressing concern.

Tight end / wide receiver: The Raiders would be wise to add to their options at these positions. With Brandon Myers departing for the Giants, the Raiders are left with Richard Gordon and David Ausberry (both late-round picks of Oakland in 2011) and Mickey Shuler (a 2010 seventh-rounder of Minnesota) at tight end. The trio has combined for 14 career regular-season catches. At wideout, the Raiders have several players who have flashed ability (Denarius Moore, Rod Streater, Jacoby Ford), but one more target would help.

The Raiders’ rebuilding process could be arduous. General manager Reggie McKenzie has torn up this roster, and several key players — including running back Darren McFadden — are in contract years. The Raiders desperately need to build a talented core they can count upon for years to come, and they must make the most of their fairly limited opportunities in this draft.

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39 Responses to “Team needs: Oakland Raiders”
  1. lostsok says: Apr 9, 2013 9:11 AM

    McKenzie and Allen jumped on a slow-moving train wreck. I hope the Raider fans understand that the wreck hasn’t even finished yet. Until the dead money comes off, this is a team with limited talent…and even more limited resources to rebuild.

    Personally, I don’t blame Al Davis for going all-in. After all he did for Pro Football, all he has meant to the game, he deserved the chance, even if it doomed the team to 2-3 years of chaos after he passed on. And let’s be honest: it was HIS team to take that chance with.

    I DO, with all respect, question the decisions he made in the process. He went all-in and drew deuces and sevens.

  2. bigbenownsthenfl says: Apr 9, 2013 9:12 AM

    This team is as big as a joke as the browns! Perennial losers!

  3. rdrs68 says: Apr 9, 2013 9:14 AM

    An expansion club would have an easier time building a team than the task facing Reggie and company. If he pulls it off in just a few years it will be a monumental feat.

  4. lovefootball4life says: Apr 9, 2013 9:15 AM

    It seems to me this covers about everything except for LB and Safety. Didn’t the Ravens take Huff so safety is a need area too?

  5. allidoiswin55 says: Apr 9, 2013 9:15 AM

    Raiders team needs are as following…

    Everything!

    All new top to bottom everything brand new. Lol

  6. jjb0811 says: Apr 9, 2013 9:19 AM

    They’ll trade back from #3. It won’t be as grand as the Rams/Skins deal a year ago, but it’ll net more picks which is what they need.

    Last year and this year is time to build the roster and look towards next year’s draft to find their QB.

  7. mtdwest816 says: Apr 9, 2013 9:21 AM

    1st round Milliner CB
    3rd round Brandon Williams NT
    4th round Cornelius Washington DE
    6th round Garrett Gilkey RT
    6th round David Bass DE
    6th round Anthony McCloud NT
    7th round Philip Lutzenkirchen TE

  8. threatlevelbob says: Apr 9, 2013 9:25 AM

    Team needs: Extremely patient and forgiving fans capable of enduring potentially the franchise’s worst season ever.

  9. csdaddy7777 says: Apr 9, 2013 9:42 AM

    U are never as close or as far away from contention as u think. In today’s NFL u must build through the draft. Yes Mckenzie has taken on almost certainly the single toughest rebuild in NFL history but he has made all the right moves in order to in fact rebuild. Clayton reported yesterday that they will have 70 million in cap space next yr. Now Reggie can get his players through the draft and sign the players who have showed talent on the field.

  10. rayguyreturns says: Apr 9, 2013 10:19 AM

    Look, if this team can go 4-12 this season WITHOUT all of the underachievers on the roster, then they are no worse than last year with all those bloated salaries. I suspect they will go 6-10 due to the fact the roster will be made up of actual football players who want to actually play the game.

  11. racerx1225 says: Apr 9, 2013 10:22 AM

    They are a FS away from having a good defensive unit. The LB’s will be better, they now have 4 starting caliber LB;s and all good ones, They signed Pat Sims and Vance Walker to replace invisible Seymour and Kelly and will draft a DT to replace Bryant. The CB’s are now better too. Jason Hunter replaces Shaugnessy at DE and Andre Carter is always there to be resigned any day now. The Oakland Raider defense is 1 piece, a FS away from being a really good unit.
    That said, the switch back to the Power Blocking scheme from the Zone Blocking Scheme is going to make the offense like it was 2 years ago when McFadden ran over the league, so dont be surprised if the Raiders field a very good and very competitive team this year.

  12. racerx1225 says: Apr 9, 2013 10:25 AM

    They take Star or Floyd in the draft and a good CB in the 3rd and teams will have a lot of trouble with the Raider defense this year.

    Reggie McKenzie is a genius so far this offseason.

    LB’s and CB’s are automatically better already and with Kellly and Seymour’s pathetic play last year, Sims and Walker probably are an upgrade over them too.

  13. dan1756 says: Apr 9, 2013 10:28 AM

    Reggie is doing the right stuff cause he’s building for the future. He’s planning on building through the draft, and if he’s smart, he’ll try and snag Johnny Football next year in the draft. That guy is a winner!! It won’t be long before the Raiders are back in business, but we’ll probably have a couple lackluster seasons first…

  14. r8rsfan says: Apr 9, 2013 10:43 AM

    In Reggie we trust. Using both blades on that axe.

  15. slickster35 says: Apr 9, 2013 11:18 AM

    lostsok says:
    Apr 9, 2013 9:11 AM
    McKenzie and Allen jumped on a slow-moving train wreck. I hope the Raider fans understand that the wreck hasn’t even finished yet. Until the dead money comes off, this is a team with limited talent…and even more limited resources to rebuild.

    Personally, I don’t blame Al Davis for going all-in. After all he did for Pro Football, all he has meant to the game, he deserved the chance, even if it doomed the team to 2-3 years of chaos after he passed on. And let’s be honest: it was HIS team to take that chance with.

    I DO, with all respect, question the decisions he made in the process. He went all-in and drew deuces and sevens.

    ——————-

    Dead Al was one of the worst things to ever happen to this league. (the current title belongs to Goodell)

    Al thought he was still commissioner, and could do whatever he wanted whether it was good for the league or not, which it wasn’t. The egotistical guy turned into the senial guy that he was at the time of his welcomed death.

    No one is bigger than the game, but dead Al thought he was above the game. And now the reins have been handed over to his inbred looking son, and the ugliest person on earth as GM.

    This punchline of a franchise is now the new Bengals of the league, and will remain there until further notice. Someone forgot to tell the fans though. They still think they’re SB contenders, LOL.

  16. SouthTexasRaider says: Apr 9, 2013 11:53 AM

    We all know that when your at the bottom the only way to go is up. Some haters say the dumbest things and the funniest part is they never state who they rep. most are fair weather fans or bandwagon jumpers that usually post refurbished comments. The resurrection of Da Raidahs has begun! 70 million in cap space with most of the picks next season….what will the haters say next. Great moves by Reg, Raiders will Rise! RAIDER FAHQIN NATION!

  17. thatstinks says: Apr 9, 2013 11:57 AM

    The thing that really gets me is the trade for Carson Palmer . The trade has cost a 1 & 2 rounder & almost 10 million in dead money . That trade was worse than anything Al did except maybe hiring Hue Jackson . How silly was it to go into the season with only Kyle Boller backing up Jason Campbell ? I hope the Raiders can trade down but I’m starting to think there won’t be demand for that pick like some are suggesting .

  18. radrntn says: Apr 9, 2013 12:14 PM

    ok , after signing Jenkins scratch DB from the top of the list, still need for sure in the following order a DT , DE, FS, OG that is vesrsitile enough to play at C also, and TE.

    Need depth on the whole team.

    Fact is there are going to be about 250 guys drafted, and another 100 or so undrafted guys that will sign and try to make roster. With that said every year some big names that have big $$ contracts will be waived later on this summer..

    Raiders know that and have plenty of time to complete the pieces between the draft, and UFA’s.

  19. majormeatcurtains says: Apr 9, 2013 12:15 PM

    Life long Bronco fan living near the Bay Area and living with the accompanying hassles. I preferred it when the Raiders had a chance. KC and SD too. Years past it was almost a given that within the division if Denver lost 3 games it would be Oak, SD, and KC. Make the right bets in a season with you division rivals at work and the chances were good that you wouldn’t be the one wearing a tutu on the steer corner handing out coffee to strangers. Maybe you did, maybe you didn’t. However, the last few years I can’t even GET a bet they all suck so bad. I think though that the Raider problems began to clear like a 18 yr olds acne when Al passed. Same thing when SD sent AJ and Norv packing. KC is hard to get a bead on because even in the WORST years, winning in Arrowhead was never a gimme. Here’s hoping they all start some kind of surge. I need the money.

  20. mizzousooner says: Apr 9, 2013 12:29 PM

    This team will continue to struggle for years to come. They are the poorest team in the league in every imaginable category and have the worst stadium situation in the league.

    Al’s goofy looking kid was grumbling last year about the team sucking, I can only imagine how that doofus will react to the train wreck season that’s coming. He’ll probably fire McKenzie after next year and it’ll be rinse, lather, repeat.

    The Raiders……………LOL!

  21. racerx1225 says: Apr 9, 2013 12:31 PM

    DE Andre Carter and CB Mike Jenkins signed today. Great moves by Reggie. He has done more to help this organization in a few months than the past 10 years did.

    We have $70m in cap space for next year now and and 2 high picks this year in the first 3 rounds.

    We’ve come a long way in 3 months.

  22. thestrategyexpert says: Apr 9, 2013 12:40 PM

    The Raiders are lost.

  23. sf546 says: Apr 9, 2013 12:50 PM

    The Raiders still have a year to go to get out of cap hell. They still have $45m in dead cap money owed to former players. It’s going to be another long year for the fans of the Silver and Black but as long as Mark Davis doesn’t become his dad and lets Reggie fix the problem, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

  24. swirv78 says: Apr 9, 2013 1:01 PM

    As a Steelers fan.. I’m impressed what Al Davis’s son has done.. Getting rid of a decade of first rounders that were overpaid and talentless … With there cap space coming up.. And future top 5 picks for the next couple years.. As long as they draft good? Show big free agents that the Raiders are truly ready to compete? Build within? This team has a bright future.. But it is a big if? But what Davis has done tearing down his fathers mess.. Is big for the franchise…

  25. raiderapologist says: Apr 9, 2013 1:01 PM

    slickster35 says: Apr 9, 2013 11:18 AM

    Dead Al was one of the worst things to ever happen to this league. (the current title belongs to Goodell)

    Al thought he was still commissioner, and could do whatever he wanted whether it was good for the league or not, which it wasn’t. The egotistical guy turned into the senial guy that he was at the time of his welcomed death.

    No one is bigger than the game, but dead Al thought he was above the game. And now the reins have been handed over to his inbred looking son, and the ugliest person on earth as GM.
    ——————-
    The Chiefs are such a miserable organization that players drive over to the facility just to shoot themselves.

  26. norcal031 says: Apr 9, 2013 1:14 PM

    Trade the pick this year and go 1-15 and trade the number one pick next year. 2 for 5!!!!

  27. swirv78 says: Apr 9, 2013 1:15 PM

    The Raiders should have a 3 year plan.. Cause, they are in the same boat as the Chargers in rebuilding.. The Chiefs are putting a team together..But, got to find out if the pieces fit? And the Broncos are in a win now situation for the next 2 years.. But they are going to be in a cap nightmare with a bunch of aging vets,and a bunch of young studs that are going to want the big money.. So, if they draft right, build within? And sign free agents worth the money? In three years the Raiders will be a strong team in the West…

  28. lunarpie says: Apr 9, 2013 1:31 PM

    Soon the AFC West will be a battle between Denver and Oakland.

    SD is rebuilding with an againg QB.

    Andy Reid’s stupidity will continue in KC and he will get fired after two or three seasons, like he should have in Philly.

  29. spinmovr says: Apr 9, 2013 2:21 PM

    All the attention Reggie McKenzie is getting is fascinating because this is the first time OAK has had an autonomous GM. Al Davis was literally signing his name to player checks; that was his money (as owner) that he was splashing around as GM.

    We, as fans, don’t know what it’s like to have a GM running the personnel department and who is beholden to a team owner. That’s brand new to us.

    The Al Davis approach of re-load and reach worked often enough (that early 00s team was vicious) that we didn’t know any other way.

    So the rest of you yip yaps will understand if we go overboard with our reactions (positive and negative) because signing solid players for cheap, building piece by piece and planning for the future are new to our vocabularies as Raider fans.

  30. racerx1225 says: Apr 9, 2013 3:16 PM

    Bad day to write this article. Absolutely no mention of the 4 additions to the Defensive line or the CB’s. Raiders are starting to look pretty darn good.

  31. racerx1225 says: Apr 9, 2013 3:16 PM

    Kolb was a 2nd rd pick and Flynn beat him out so that tells me something too.

  32. racerx1225 says: Apr 9, 2013 3:17 PM

    Raiders have now signed 5 Defensive lineman and 4 CB’s.

  33. sanityinsd says: Apr 9, 2013 3:44 PM

    And they let their best player – Shane Lechler – walk away to the Texans.

    Now who will handle their 90 punts this coming season?

  34. markmae122 says: Apr 9, 2013 9:48 PM

    Raiders could be a decent team next year. If they could pick up a guard, and a RT, maybe even a backup HB they could be dominant in the ground with Sparano and power blocking scheme. We have a young, smart, competent QB in Flynnie and a good mix of young WRs. On defense, we have signed a good group of veteran FAs and could be better than we were last year. It would be great if they could grab Dion Jordan in the draft to go along with all the solid vets on the roster. With an impact player like Jordan, we can switch to a 3-4 and have a lot more solid play from our LB position. Gaping holes for running backs are a thing of the past!

  35. willgrove80 says: Apr 9, 2013 10:22 PM

    raiders have their ship righted and a goal they’re headed towards. hate all you want. we know you’re all chiefs fans. and the chiefs haven’t won a playoff game since Joe Montana was your QB.

  36. willgrove80 says: Apr 9, 2013 10:32 PM

    in case you’re wondering that was 20 years ago and they beat the Houston OILERS; remember them?? anyone born after 1988 doesn’t remember the chiefs ever winning in the post season.

  37. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Apr 9, 2013 10:33 PM

    Some of the Raiders free agent signings strongly suggest complete desperation. This organization is a hot mess. Shame is the NFL is better when the Raiders are winners.

  38. iraider7 says: Apr 13, 2013 8:10 AM

    The biggest team needs aren’t on the field,
    #1- New gm now – get a gm that is actually capable of finishing a sentence , then the 2nd criteria is being able to make a trade with another team . that would help this team immensely
    #2 Head coach – Need a head coach that actually has 2+ yers exp putting together a game plan thru the course of 1 year , then actually seeing it to fruition for a season , successfully ! the present HC doesn’t have that now , or before he was hired, his prev team went from 24 th rnkd def with a #1 rnkd run game on off, to 1st rnkd defense after he left ! with same talent ! PERIOD
    #3 DEF CORD- Going to a disciplined tampa 2 or 2 deep is the rite answer, of course with newe gm and hc that would be academic that def cord gets canned and replcd with someone competent ! the problem here is tarver was hired cause he is not a competent or qualified def cord

  39. epee4fun says: Apr 24, 2013 12:51 PM

    McKenzie was left with a mess. How can you conclude that he must be fired with so little evidence of a bad job? Who else will take the job? From what little he has to work with what did you expect? The Raiders have to hit bottom before they can start working out of this mess. That means shedding dead weight, working through dead money, and making the most out of FA and the draft (with limited picks). As much as I want Floyd or Star, Mac will have to consider trading down. If he can trade down two or three spots one of them may still be available and he can pick up a high round selection or two. As others have stated, there are so many needs and precious few high round picks. Fans have to face facts, it’s going to be two more years until this team will even be respectable again – best case.

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