Friday, April 29, 2016

Draft Day 2 Rumors and Tidbits

Thanks to -- a lot of consolidated rumors can be found there as well: LINK

Friday - DRAFT DAY 2:
4/29/16 - The #Cowboys are attempting to trade up with the #Browns at No. 32, source said. The likely target is a pass-rusher.  >>> Correa, Spence...
4/29/16 - Auburn OT Shon Coleman could be in for a slide -- LINK
4/29/16 - Cardinals: Cody Whitehair, Nick Martin, Evan Boehm, Graham Glasgow, Max Tuerk are offensive linemen the Cardinals will consider. - Mike Jurecki, FOX Sports
4/29/16 - Sounds like the Chiefs might have been trying to move up for Laquon Treadwell yesterday.
4/29/16 - Hue Jackson loves him some Coleman...must love that haul that DePodesta put together as well.
4/29/16 - @JoeBanner13 -- They turned the 2nd pick in the draft ~ into three 1's, two 2's and three 3's. Massively more than anyone else got out of the first round.  #BROWNS
4/29/16 - Ravens called JAX early last night because they wanted Jalen Ramsey.  No bite.
4/29/16 - Panthers received 6 potential trade calls for their pick on Thursday night.  Instead they selected the rising DT Vernon Butler...after just exercising Star Lotulelei's 5th year option...this should secure Carolina's defensive interior for a few more years.
4/29/16 - ESPN's Ed Were reports from one medical source in the NFL who said UCLA LB Myles Jack's knee is "more troubling in some ways" than Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith's.
4/29/16 - Draft insider Tony Pauline passes along word that Wisconsin QB Joel Stave could be a third round pick.
4/29/16 - Per the 49ers - The Broncos have announced that they are no longer pursuing a trade for Colin Kaepernick
4/29/16 - The Cowboys attempted to trade into the first round to select Paxton Lynch. - Ian Rapoport, NFL Network

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Draft Week Buzz

Thanks to -- a lot of consolidated rumors can be found there as well: LINK

Friday - DRAFT DAY 2:
4/29/16 - Per the 49ers - The Broncos have announced that they are no longer pursuing a trade for Colin Kaepernick
4/29/16 - The Cowboys attempted to trade into the first round to select Paxton Lynch. - Ian Rapoport, NFL Network

Thursday - DRAFT DAY 1:
4/28/16 - Per Schefter, Philadelphia has emerged as leading candidate to host 2017 NFL Draft, per sources. NFL considering Philly, LA - neither has a 1 next year.
4/28/16 - Expecting at least 3 more trades in the 1st round tonite. - Jason La Canfora

4/27/16 - Player who is rising & appears headed inside the top 10: #UGA LB Leonard Floyd. Teams caught a small glimpse of his skill set in college - Ian Rapoport
4/27/16 - A fourth-round pick plus a player could be dealt for Sam Bradford. - Adam Schefter, ESPN
4/27/16 - Don't know the facts but Tunsil's stepfather just levied a civil suit against him, given the timing, sounds like complete bullshit.  #WhereTheGoldAt
4/27/16 - Per Jerry McD...Raiders, historically, not expected to draft a RB in 1st Round...given Elliott's stature in the Top 10, seems twice as likely.
4/27/16 - Dolphins missing 'a lot' of their defense at voluntary mini-camp. #AllBoutMe
4/27/16 - Adam Caplan; Former #NFL WR Marcus Robinson's nephew, WR Demarcus Robinson (Florida), had pre-draft visits with #Eagles, #Raiders, #Jets, #Chiefs.
4/27/16 - Adam Gase impressed with Dolphin RB Jay Ajayi.
4/27/16 - Bears WR Alshon Jeffery is not at workouts currently, still talking contract.
4/27/16 - "The recurring comment (on the Seahawks pick) is 'Ifedi is a Seattle Seahawks type of lineman.'" - Tony Pauline
4/27/16 - Eli Apple is Pittsburgh's primary target. - Gerry Dulac, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
4/27/16 - The Bengals have given high grades to Michael Thomas. - Tony Pauline,
4/27/16 - "I'm told the Washington Redskins would like to trade down then select Karl Joseph of West Virginia." - Tony Pauline,
4/27/16 - "The consensus has the Atlanta Falcons selecting linebacker Darron Lee with the 17th pick of Round 1, but I'm hearing both Clemson linemen, Kevin Dodd and Shaq Lawson, are in play for the team." - Tony Pauline,
4/27/16 - 49ers "desperately" covet DL Buckner.
4/27/16 - Chargers have been talking to WR Michael Thomas out of Ohio State.
4/27/16 - Wilkerson likely not to be moved from Jets...Jets are fine with keeping him.
4/27/16 - Browns in trade talks should Elliott fall to No. 8.
4/27/16 - Braxton linked to Tennessee in Rd. 2.
4/27/16 - Nkemdiche not expected to fall out of 1st of Vikings taking him.
4/27/16 - Jack to 49ers at #7 gaining steam.
4/27/16 - Per La Canfora. "Sheldon Rankins is going to end up going in the top 10. Maybe even as high as 4th overall to Dallas"
4/27/16 - Per Schefter, "Even with the catastrophic knee injury, Notre Dame LB Jaylon Smith is expected to gone by end of round 3, maybe earlier, per league sources."
4/27/16 - Per Peter King, Illinois DL Jihad Ward a 'dark horse' at No. 29 Overall.
4/27/16 - Titans WR Justin Hunter is apparently available via trade...former Vol #Reggie.
4/27/16 - Telesco: SD 'locked into' a selection at No.3 -- Buckner?  Tunsil?  Ramsey?
4/27/16 - Per Mike Garafolo "NYG/Floyd I believe to be real. Potential curveball: Rankins to Tampa at 9. Gonna depend how some things fall."
4/27/16 - Wild Rumor: If Bradford isn't traded by the end of the Draft, he will retire.
4/27/16 - 49ers seriously looking to move down from the #7 spot.
4/27/16 - Eagles linked to former Notre Dame S Elijah Shumate on Day 3 of draft.
4/27/16 - Cowboys said to be targeting RB Ezekiel Elliott at #4.
4/27/16 - Saints now heavily linked to QB Paxton Lynch.  If the Jets want him, they may have to trade above the #12 slot to get him.
4/27/16 - Jarran Reed's visit to the Bills went "beyond measures I can't explain." - Tyler Dunne, Buffalo News
4/27/16 - E. Kentucky DE Noah Spence has sent out numerous clean drug tests to NFL teams throughout 2016 in attempt to prove the drug issues are behind him.
4/27/16 - Colts GM Ryan Grigson & coach Chuck Pagano had dinner with Illinois DL Jihad Ward last night, source said. - Ian Rapoport

4/26/16 - Vikings GM Rick Spielman indicated that they're not necessarily locked in on a WR on Thursday.
4/26/16 - There's a rumor that Arizona is willing to swap 1st Round picks and WR Michael Floyd to move up in the draft...presumably for a QB named Paxton Lynch.
4/26/16 - "Alabama center Ryan Kelly could end up going in the top 20. Teams love him. Doubt he slips past Washington at 21." - Peter Schrager, FOX Sports
4/26/16 - Colts GM Ryan Grigson said that he won't be drafting players with character issues.
4/26/16 - The Dolphins will consider trading up for Myles Jack or Ezekiel Elliott. - Armando Salguero, Miami Herald
4/26/16 - The Saints talked about trading up to No. 1 for a quarterback before the other deals. - Ian Rapoport, NFL Network
4/26/16 - "Thought around the league is that the Giants seem to like two guys a whole lot at 10. Leonard Floyd and Jack Conklin." - Peter Schrager, FOX Sports
4/26/16 - "The Ravens are focused on Joey Bosa and other pass-rushers at No. 6." - Jamison Hensley, ESPN
4/26/16 - "I believe the Cowboys will select Jalen Ramsey over Joey Bosa." - David Moore, Dallas Morning News
4/26/16 - Former Titans DT Mike Martin is signing with the Eagles.
4/26/16 - Panthers have exercised Star Lotulelei's 5th year option.
4/26/16 - Benglas release LB A.J. Hawk, create $1.4M in cap space.
4/26/16 - According to Peter King, former Baylor WR Corey Coleman may need some 'management' off the field.  Apparenlty the kid is a big character.
4/26/16 - There's a lot of buzz that Hue Jackson is advocating for Paxton Lynch. - Peter King, Sports Illustrated
4/26/16 - The Broncos have inquired about Sam Bradford.  Mike Klis, 9 News Denver.

4/25/16 - S Karl Joseph expected to be a Day 1 pick according to Mike Florio.
4/25/16 - Per previous reports, Patriots expected to take a RB in this draft.
4/25/16 - Mayock's Top 100: LINK
4/25/16 - FINAL Big Board released by DraftTek: LINK
4/25/16 - Raiders ST Coach Seely works out former FSU PK Roberto Aguayo.
4/25/16 - RotoWorld's All-Underrated Team: LINK
4/25/16 - Former Oregon/EWU QB Vernon Adams Jr. is exceptionally high on himself, says he's better than Goff...however, not better than Wentz, calls Wentz "legit".
4/25/16 - "Lots of rumblings about the Bolts taking Buckner over Jalen Ramsey and Laremy Tunsil." - Daniel Jeremiah, NFL Network
4/25/16 - The Bengals are eyeing Corey Coleman. - Peter King, Sports Illustrated
4/25/16 - Some NFL people are convinced the Bills will consider Christian Hackenberg at No. 19. - Peter King, Sports Illustrated
4/25/16 - "Keep hearing the Bears will go defense [at No.11]." - Peter King, Sports Illustrated
4/25/16 - The Giants are conflicted on Leonard Floyd, and he's not expected to be the pick. - Mike Mayock, NFL Network
4/25/16 - Jerry Jones: "The Cowboys will stay at 4."
4/25/16 - Word is NY Giants ok'd Myles Jack's knee.
4/25/16 - Bradford unhappy with Eagles jump to #2 Overall, has requested a trade and will no longer show up at offseason workouts.
4/25/16 - Brady suspension reinstated by US Appeals Court

4/24/16 - Sam Bradford doesn't seem like an option for the Jets. - Rich Cimini, ESPN
4//24/16 - "Raiders displaying serious interest in Utah center-guard Siaosi Aiono." - Aaron Wilson, Houston Chronicle
4/24/16 - The Browns are expected to target Derrick Henry at No. 32. - Steve Doerschuk, Canton Repository
4/24/16 - Ronnie Stanley could be the target at No. 7. - Matt Maiocco, CSN Bay Area
4/24/16 - Wild Rumor: Jets & Bears looking to swap QBs and 1st Rd. Picks, Jets would kick in future Day 1 / Day 2 pick...and Geno Smith...Cutler would be a Jet.
4/24/16 - Chargers weighing options, working to trade No. 3 Overall
4/24/16 - Ogbah stock dropping like a rock...may slide to 3rd Round.
4/24/16 - Broncos have interest in trading up from #31...Browns from #32...(QB)
4/24/16 - The Oakland Raiders have sold out their season tickets, first time ever apparently.
4/24/16 -'s live mock draft, Raider Pick here:  LINK
4/24/16 - Yours Truly will be at Linguini's in Alameda by 4:30 pm on Thursday...buzzed
4/24/16 - Mark Davis aggressively trying to get Las Vegas framework in place...$$$
4/24/16 - Late buzz for UGA EDGE Leonard Floyd, Top 10 type buzz...
4/24/16 - Raiders apparently have open window to Los Angeles, the votes are in...
4/24/16 - Myles Jack has 'chondral defect' in knee.  (who knows, look it up)

4/23/16 - "I have been informed the Panthers like Southeastern Louisiana cornerback Harlan Miller and will consider him as the third round closes out." - Tony Pauline,
4/23/16 - "The Bucs like Florida safety Keanu Neal more than Ohio State safety Vonn Bell." - Charlie Campbell
4/23/16 - "If Leonard Floyd is unavailable, and they feel Noah Spence is to much of a risk, I'm hearing the Indianapolis Colts are considering Kamalei Correa in Round 1." - Tony Pauline,
4/23/16 - "The Steelers have strong interest in Florida safety Keanu Neal. He is said to be what Mike Tomlin loves in a safety. Neal won't make it to Pittsburgh's second-round pick, so if they want Neal, they'll have to take him in the first round." - Charlie Campbell,

Hot Week

It's that time of year again...where everything is a lie or misinformation.

Completely unknowable is where Oakland will go with the 14th pick on Thursday night, and that's just because of the nature of the slot.

Two monstrous trades have already come about in the past 10 days, and thankfully Oakland isn't a part of either them.  It's time like these that hitting on Derek Carr will pay off for Reggie and his draft staff.  Throw in bonus hits like Mack and Cooper and you've got a nice brew effect that leaves the BPA strategy intact.

Names that have flown around are purely speculation at this point...but they include the following prognosticated pick divisions:

Division I - Hope they fall to No. 14
1. RB Ezekiel Elliott - Ohio State
2. CB Vernon Hargreaves III - Florida
3. DE Shaq Lawson - Clemson
4. OT Ronnie Stanley - Notre Dame
5. OLB Myles Jack - UCLA

Division II - Likely to be there at No. 14
1. CB William Jackson III - Houston
2. CB Eli Apple - Ohio State
3. DT Sheldon Rankins - Louisville
4. ILB Reggie Ragland - Alabama
5. OLB Darron Lee - Ohio State
6. OLB/EDGE Leonard Floyd - Georgia
7. OT Jack Conklin - Michigan State
8. OT Taylor Decker - Ohio State

Division III - Dropped off since March
1. CB Mackenzie Alexander - Clemson
2. EDGE Noah Spence - Eastern Kentucky
3. DT Robert Nkemdiche - Ole Miss

Division IV - Wild Cards
1. WR Corey Coleman - Baylor
2. WR Laquon Treadwell - Ole Miss
3. S Keanu Neal - Florida
4. DT Vernon Butler - Louisiana Tech
5. S Vonn Bell - Ohio State


Division 1 Commentary:
Basically, Division I is loaded with players who have Top 10 level talent, but may fall for whatever reason.  Elliott is the consensus top rusher in this draft, but rumblings of a party habit may sour him out of the Top 10.  If he makes it to No. 14, it'll be interesting if the Raiders want to take him outright, or, more likely in my opinion, engineer a trade down.  Hargreaves seems to be a player that a lot of analysts think will fall to 14, but with the production throughout 36 straight starts at Florida, it's clear the guy can play at a high level -- however, this author remembers his positively horrid performance vs. Michigan in his final Bowl game as a Gator...Harbaugh's disciple ate him alive, did VH3 just cash it in?

Rounding out Division I are two defensive monsters in Shaq Lawson and Myles Jack.  In recent news, Jack's medical rechecks leave mixed reviews.  It only takes one team in the Top 13 to put aside those concerns for a clear cut athletic talent like Jack.  Strong enough to play either OLB spot, but fast as a SS/FS, his versatility and intelligence will be monumental to any NFL club that adds his services, assuming his knee remains in tact for the next half decade.  As for Shaq, his medicals came back positive for most teams, nobody questions his motor or competitiveness and the production was consistently high.  I imagine he's atop Reggie's board should he drop to No. 14, but honestly, don't think he'll make it that far....still, said the same thing about Mack.

Last but not least is the highly talented OT Ronnie Stanley.  Does he have talent?  Yes.  Does he have experience?  Yes.  Are there some questions about his heart and motor?  Yes.  While Tunsil is the clearcut monster OT of this class that should go in the Top 5, the reviews on Stanley are mixed.  His tape flashes the traits of a top blind side protector, but his attitude and willingness to scrap it up are still in question.  Scouting circles are split on his projection into the pros, and some don't like Roc Nation altogether, Stanley's representation.  Regardless, at No. 14, and with Penn back for a few years, a kid like Stanley would be invaluable insurance for the coming years in front of Derek Carr.  Also, Stanley's from Las Vegas...a possible destination for the Silver and Black.

Division II Commentary:
In Division II lies the conundrum that McKenzie eluded to in his draft PC a couple of days ago...picking at No. 14 is lot different than picking in the top 5.  The War Game scenario gets more complex the further you go down the board.  Hopefully, Oakland plays it like the Panthers did a few years back and just gets the best damn guy on their board.  All the typical names are here, Apple, Jax III, Lee, Floyd, Ragland, Rankins.  Any one of them would be a solid addition, but how much risk are the Raiders willing to take on?

The two tackles, Conklin and Decker....most lean toward Conklin in the Oakland community, bigger, self made, tested better athletically etc. etc.  However, Cleveland is eluding to Conklin at No. maybe Stanley is expected to be taken no later than No. 6 by Baltimore.

Reggie and Co. may go outside the box on this pick if a topper doesn't fall to No. 14.  A trade down would be likely, but have a feeling the market at No. 14 will only develop on Thursday night depending on how the Top 13 pick it.  The interest at the moment has to be relatively low...and no doubt that has Reggie grumbling a little bit.  The value of this draft lies in the 25-60 range.  The Titans have it stacked in line with the depth of this draft, Reggie would love to do the same.

If you put a gun to my head on the Div. II names, I'd say Reggie is leaning cornerback, the popular pick lately has been William Jackson III.  A contentious choice considering Oakland's history with Houston defensive backs.  The Apple has soured a bit since Feb/March, I always am wary of college teams so loaded on one side of the ball that there's talk the starting 11 will all go in the top 150...clearly, as a unit, they're stellar, but picking somebody out of that group to shine in the pros is the difficult part.  Was Apple really that dominant?...or just a byproduct of Urban Meyer's loaded defense...a defense that didn't win the National Championship last season.

Floyd, Ragland and Lee are all interesting prospects.  Ragland draws comparison to Rolando McClain, a former Raider draft bust...the guy is large, smart but he doesn't chew up the ground in pass coverage like Ben Heeney or even Malcolm Smith...Lee does however, the guy can flat out fly, but he's incredibly young and needs more time to mature as a football player, but ability-wise, at LB he may be right up there with Jack, and he's 100% healthy.  When you talk Floyd among Raider Nation, you get differing views, is he big and talented?  Yes.  BUT, where the hell are you going to play him?  OLB, DE, ILB -- the guy lacks the production you want to see out of a Top 20 pass rusher, but physically, he's impressive -- could be pure silver, or could be another Vernon Gholston, buyer beware.  FWIW, Reggie's group brought Leonard Floyd in for a private visit to Oakland a while back.

Division III Commentary:
The Big 3 who have the talent but are slipping due to off-the-field issues or having a rocky draft season.  Most notably in the draft community, Alexander is starting to slide as scouts are not buying his overconfident act.  Young and talented, but you wonder about ability to make big plays and create turnovers.  Spence was a former Ohio State blue chip recruit, who let drugs buy him a ticket to Richmond, KY.  He's an elite pass rushing prospect with need to develop against the run...his off-the-field stuff will remain a blemish, the interview performances he laid down will also be a determining factor in how much teams will trust him as a pro.  Oakland certainly has a locker room community to keep Spence in line.  Spence also had a stellar Senior Bowl week.

Nkemdiche should be the consensus top DT in this class, but his tape is so woefully inconsistent I can't imagine any team dropping a Top 15 pick on him.  The Raiders need an inside pass rush talent, however, as Mario Edwards Jr.'s future seems to be up in the air.

Division IV Commentary:
Adding Reggie Nelson is a huge safety blanket for the draft squad in Oakland...however, that doesn't change the fact that Oakland needs an infusion of young talent at the safety positions.  Neal has been the sexy pick in the Top 30 of late, though his coverage skills are inconsistent, his ability to affect the game through his tenacity and toughness (he can hit) give him an edge.  He's not afraid to enforce against the run, but he's still young, and needs to develop against the pass.  Likely he'll start at SS in the pros.  Vonn Bell is a ballhawk type with a strong ability to get turnovers.  He had a huge 2014 season with 6 INTs, but he lacks the pure physicality to truly affect the game in a much more physical NFL.  Likely a Day 2 guy, but his knack to create plays will be big for him if he goes in the 1st.

BPA in scout circles could also lead to WR at No. 14.  While it isn't a direct position of need, Treadwell or Coleman are tremendous talents.  It's a passing League...and with Denver being so talented in coverage, more weapons for Oakland is only going to make them more potent...and for all their accolades in 2015, the Raiders were 16th Overall in Passing Offense and 14th in 3rd Down efficiency, having strong able receivers is a must in the NFL.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Raider 1st Round: 2016

The Raiders will pick 14th Overall in the 2016 NFL Draft.

Finally, an upward trend.  Significant steps this season offensively, but can Musgrave and Carr get it together and push it to 10 wins?  We'll see.

Teams who picked 14th Overall in the past 10 drafts:

2015 - Miami Dolphins
2014 - Chicago Bears
2013 - Carolina Panthers
2012 - St. Louis Rams
2011 - St. Louis Rams
2010 - Seattle Seahawks
2009 - New Orleans Saints
2008 - Chicago Bears
2007 - New York Jets
2006 - Philadelphia Eagles

Saturday, January 2, 2016

2016 Raider Draft Commentary

Well, it's that time of year again.  The Raider season is wrapping up with a game in Kansas City, one last sendoff for #24...a true Raider and a great man on and off the field.  The optimism is at a recent high with the Raiders snatching 7 victories thus far...including a handful of games they should've won.  Granted, the experience and the gel isn't quite there yet, but barring some off-season lax, the Raiders looked poised to seriously challenge for the 2016-2017 NFL Playoffs.  The wild card may be more difficult to secure than overtaking Denver or KC next season...we'll have to see how the offseasons go for all AFC West teams.

Rankings don't necessarily tell the whole story but let's look at some key stats that paint a picture of the Raider personnel as is:

Total Yards per Game - 342.1  (22nd Overall)
Points per Game - 22.8 (16th Overall - tied with Philadelphia)

What's a good trend is that Carr and Musgrave are getting the ball into the end zone at a better clip than their yardage rates.  Red zone offense, in this author's opinion, can't be understated.  The NFL is all about opportunity and cashing in on that opportunity.

Rushing Yards per Game - 93.9 (25th Overall - almost ALL Latavius Murray)
Passing Yards per Game - 248.1 (15th Overall)
Sacks Allowed - 27 (8th Overall)

Arizona, Seattle and the NY Jets are showing the most balance in the Top third of overall yards/game offense.  Proof that running the ball well still holds a strong meaning for a top offense.  All three of these teams are either playoff bound, or on the cusp of it.  New England, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and San Diego are examples of top passing attacks in the League...depending on the breakdowns, you can obviously get mixed results.

So where does this leave Oakland offensively come the 2016 NFL Draft?  It seems obvious, some help is needed in the run game to supplement a growing proficiency with Derek Carr.  Most notably the right side of the Raiders' Offensive Line could stand to use some upgrades.  Austin Howard going out the past couple of weeks has put a strain on the pass protection game...that and Carr's difficulty with throwing it away in some instances.  The right side of the offensive line should be bolstered in free agency or in the draft.  A counterpart to Gabe Jackson is desperately needed on the right side of Hudson, and a top LT work in at RT, get the sea legs...may be a Reggie-type move.  With top talents like Ole Miss' Tunsil and Notre Dame's Stanley -- expect the Raiders to be in the mix for mid-1st Round talents like Ohio State's Taylor Decker.  Tackle prospects like Conklin and Ifedi project better to the right side in my opinion, but the kid out of Indiana, Spriggs, could up his stake to Top 15 status with a strong Draft offseason.

Finding a true RG is tricky at times.  Switching from LG to RG is always difficult...let alone from Tackle to OG.  One guy that could fit the mold of a Day 2 RG prospect is Arkansas OG Sebastian Tretola.  He has that Raider build, is known for his power run blocking game...but also hasn't allowed a sack all year.  Should be mentioned that Tretola is also from San Bernardino, CA -- if the Raiders move to LA, should be a more seamless cultural fit off the bat.  Other southern strongholds at OG include Vadal Alexander from LSU and Landon Turner from North Carolina, both would be awesome in the 2nd Round.  Tretola would be a 3rd Round, possibly a fringe 4th Round talent....depending on his athleticism showings at the Combine and Pro Day.

Beyond the OL, you look at RB for the Raiders.  While Murray has certainly been consistent, and is one of the top rushers in the AFC...he's doing it because Oakland has literally had almost nobody else to hand the ball off to with any confidence.  Taiwan Jones?  Give me a break, for every highlight, you hold your breath hoping he doesn't fumble or start running backwards.  Roy Helu Jr. has been injured most of the season...leaving guys like Olawale to fill the gap...and fill it he did, earning a solid contract for the next 3 years.  The Raiders must supplement Murray's production with fresh legs from the draft or finding a solid FA who can work as a change of pace back in Musgrave's system.  I can't see Reggie taking the likes of say, Ezekiel Elliott, in the 1st Round...but who knows...Reggie watched Adrian Peterson run all over Green Bay during his time with the Packers...a legit RB talent can elevate an offense, and the Raiders certainly need more explosive plays in the run game.  Guy to think about in the mid-rounds at RB is Louisiana Tech's Kenneth Dixon.

WR-wise, Carr could use more speed and shiftiness in the corps.  Cooper, Crabtree, long body Holmes, Walford, Rivera and the emerging Seth Roberts have provided for a very good season.  There's talk that Holmes may leave in free agency, in search of a bigger role in another offense.  This could lead Oakland to draft a replacement receiver with size if Holmes bolts.  For speed I like Pharoh Cooper and Sterling Shepard, but they're second round talents at this point...and with Coop and Crab as targets already, WR is much lower priority offensively.   Oregon's Bralon Addison could be an intriguing Day 3 selection should he declare.  Big body WRs like De'Runnya Wilson and now Cayleb Jones out of Arizona, could be solid players to develop.  What will the Raiders do with Streater?

Total Yards Given Up per Game - 365.3  (22nd Overall)
Rushing Yards Given Up per Game - 99.3 (9th Overall)
Passing Yards Given Up per Game - 266.0 (27th Overall)
Points Allowed per Game - 25.1 (21st Overall)
Sacks - 37 (tied for 12th Overall)
QB Hurries - 119 (2nd Overall)
Forced Fumbles - 14 -- 11 recovered (13th Overall)
INTs - 12 (tied for 15th Overall)

Norton Jr. and Del Rio have done a pretty good job at getting the Raiders after the QB.  Even with these numbers in sacks and hurries, the Raiders are giving up huge chunks in passing yardage.  So, either they're getting burned on the blitz...OR...the Raiders lack coverage.  With the downward trends of D.J. Hayden, Neiko Thorpe and Keith McGill it would behoove the Raiders to go after some secondary talent as early as possible.  Woodson is also retiring, leaving a big gap in the starting safety slots.  Nate Allen must return healthy, otherwise the Raiders should supplement Asante, Mays and McDonald.  Yup, without Allen/Woodson, that's who's back there...scary, isn't it.

Boise's Darian Thompson and LSU's Jalen Mills are early round free safety targets, while the physical Jayron Kearse, Vonn Bell and Jeremy Cash could all be early contributors at strong safety.  Given the Raiders stopping the run so well, they should focus on the back end in my opinion.

At CB the big names in the middle of the 1st round include Hargreaves III (had a bad game vs. Michigan in the Bowl Game), Mackensie Alexander and Tre'Davious White.  By Day 2, names like Iowa's Desmond King, the injured-but-talented Kendall Fuller and Miami's Artie Burns could be picks.  Day 3 holds some unique talent, some with return skills.  Names include Georgia Tech's D.J. White, Minnesota's Eric Murray and 'Bama CB/KR/PR Cyrus Jones would add a dynamic to Oakland they currently lack.  Another Houston CB (Hayden-free hopefully), William Jackson III, a member of the 'JackBoyz' -- could be an option as well.  Houston recently spanked Florida State in the Peach Bowl -- picked off FSU QB Sean Maguire four times.

Getting past the secondary you look at the LB corps.  While Curtis Lofton is the established veteran, MLBs who can't cover don't belong in the League anymore.  Ben Heeney has shown solid skills as did Neiron Ball before being lost due to injury.  Malcolm Smith has been consistent and has shown a knack for the turnover.  Toomer and Lotulelei look like special teamers only...the Raiders need more depth at LB in my opinion, especially with Ball's injury history.

The Raiders could also look to upgrade their depth along the defensive line.  Dan Williams is a stud in the middle...coupled with Jelly Ellis, who has been in and out of the lineup, it looks set at nose guard, or the run stuffing, blocker eating DT position.  On passing downs, Mario Edwards Jr. was ripping it up inside.  Denico Autry came on strong at the end of the year as well.  That leaves guys like Shelby Harris and Benson Mayowa.  There is some room for an upgrade here.  Can't count on Tuck's presence on the field, who will be going on 33 next fall, but his leadership is obviously very valuable.  Names like Bullard, Jonathan Allen, the two Lawsons, Ogbah, Nassib and Calhoun all come to mind.

To sum up, position-wise, the Raiders will be looking CB/FS early -- they need a new franchise player in the secondary, one to build around.  While Carrie and Amerson have been great this season, you need more talent back there.  After that, it feels like a couple spots on the Offensive Line will need to upgraded, particularly on the right side...possibly a LT prospect for the post-Penn era.  OLB/ILB also need depth...and mix in a little SS while you're at it.   BPA could fall in line for a WR somewhere after the 2nd Round.  Also expect the Raiders to draft a RB -- gut tells me Reggie will look for the best talent in the 4th Round or later.  Should a top 3 RB fall in the 2nd Rd...he might, just might, pull the trigger there.

Beat the Chiefs.