As we continue the Team Needs series for the 2013 NFL Draft, we proceed to the team with the third overall pick; the Oakland Raiders. With yet another miserable season in the books, there is plenty for the team to look for in the draft this year.
It’s hard to believe that it has been a decade since the Raiders were last in the NFL postseason. For most teams, they’ll find a way to sneak in off of sheer luck, but not for Oakland. Surprisingly, Dennis Allen will stick around for at least another season despite the assumption he was on the hot seat all season. So what should he be looking for come the Draft? Well, just about everything.
Ever since Nnamdi Asomugha bolted in free agency a couple of years ago, the Raiders secondary went from it’s only strength to maybe the biggest weakness. Moving Michael Huff over shouldn’t be an option and DeMarcus Milliner should be at the top of their draft board this April.
Draft Possibilities: DeMarcus Milliner, Desmond Trufant
Richard Seymour has been the one constant on this defense for a few years now, but with his chance to get out in free agency and the Raiders having no cap flexibility, he’s likely gone. Desmond Bryant is highly unlikely to be back either and Tommy Kelly just isn’t very good. Star Lotulelei is likely high on their list if they go that way in the first.
Draft Possibilities: Star Lotulelei, Kawaan Short
Just like I brought up with the Jaguars yesterday, the 2012 pass rush in Oakland was pretty non-existent. Lamaar Houston is still pretty good, but he needs help. A young pass rusher like Damontre Moore would be ideal at third overall.
Draft Possibilities: Damontre Moore, Sam Montgomery
The linebacker play in Oakland last year was sheer frustration to watch as no one aside from Philip Wheeler seemed to know how to wrap a guy when he attempted a tackle. If Rolando McClain put as much effort into tackling as he did updating his Facebook status, he might have a pulse. And, by the way, Wheeler is a free agent. Oakland could use multiple linebackers in this draft.
Draft Possibilities: Jarvis Jones, Bjoern Werner
For as poorly as Carson Palmer played last season, imagine where he would have been without Brandon Myers. Well, we might find out if he decides to take an offer elsewhere in free agency. There are a lot of good tight ends in this draft and Oakland might want to look into that after building their defense.
Draft Possibilities: Jordan Reed, Joseph Fauria
If Terrelle Pryor isn’t the quarterback of the future, which it is a safe bet that he is not, then Oakland might want to think about drafting that guy. Carson Palmer is a decent quarterback, but he’ll be 33 next season and by the time this team turns it around, he’ll likely be gone. Taking a chance on a guy like Landry Jones, who needs some time holding the clipboard, might be a risk the team takes.
The problem for Oakland is that there is no quick fix. There were so many bad contracts handed out to average players near the end of the Al Davis era that they’re going to be in cap hell for some time. There is a lot of dead money on the books right now and to think this team can turn it around with one offseason isn’t likely; not with all of the free agents they have headed into the break. They have to have a lights out draft to even be relevant in the West next year.
Tagged with: 2013 NFL Draft, AFC, AFC West, Al Davis, Bjoern Werner, Brandon Myers, Carson Palmer, Damontre Moore, DeMarcus Milliner, Dennis Allen, Desmond Bryant, Desmond Trufant, Jarvis Jones, Jordan Reed, Joseph Fauria, Kawaan Short, Lamaar Houston, Landry Jones, Michael Huff, NFL Draft, Nnamdi Asomugha, Oakland Raiders, Philip Wheeler, Richard Seymour, Rolando McClain, Sam Montgomery, Star Lotulelei, Terrelle Pryor, Tommy Kelly