With NFL Free Agency in the books the Oakland Raiders were active reworking their roster to fit what new head coach John Gruden wants. Now with the 2018 NFL Draft just around the corner here is a look at the Oakland Raiders Team Needs heading into the NFL Draft.
Oakland Raiders Team Needs
Jack Del Rio ran a Seattle style Cover 3 defense that wanted big press corners but new defensive coordinator Paul Guenther wants more traditional cover corners. Losing TJ Carrie to the Browns hurts and forces the Raiders to target a cornerback early in the draft to go with Gareon Conley.
Having one of the elite pass rushers the Raiders have ignored defensive end and it’s shown finishing in the bottom ten in sacks the past two years. Adding another explosive edge rusher will hopefully take some of the attention away from Khalil Mack and allow Bruce Irvin to play off the ball.
If NaVorro Bowman resigns and stays healthy the Raiders have an elite level linebacker and leader on defense to go with free agent pick up Tahir Whitehead. If Oakland adds either Virginia Tech’s Tremaine Edmunds or Georgia’s Roquan Smith with the 10th pick a weakness could become a strength.
Right tackle has been the only weak spot on one of the best and highest paid offensive lines. After going with veterans Austin Howard and Marshall Newhouse the Raiders may want to target a tackle in the draft to compete and right tackle and eventually replace Donald Penn down the road.
Former head coach Jack Del Rio preferred bigger defensive tackles which lead to the signing of Justin Ellis and drafting Eddie Vanderdoes. Those big defensive tackles were great for the run game but really hamstrung the pass rush which has finished in the bottom ten the past two years and needs to be fixed.
Coming out of retirement Marshawn Lynch struggled averaging only 59.4 yards per game behind one of the top offensive lines. Oakland adds Doug Martin as a temporary fix but with a talent rich running back class the Raiders could look to add another back that could be next franchise back.
Much like the rest of the Raiders’ offense the duo of Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree struggled throughout 2017. Jordy Nelson’s unexpected released allowed the Raiders to get the downfield threat causing Crabtree’s release. With Nelson and Cooper Oakland could be looking to add a traditional big bodied possession receiver to complement their starters.