The Oakland Raiders can blame almost all of their 12 losses on the defensive front, as it was absolutely dreadful in 2012. Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly both were expected to be stoppers as starting defensive tackles but, they made little to no impact in the NFL this season–the two combined for just 4.5 sacks over 16 games.
With the third pick in this spring’s draft you can bet the team is looking at the defensive line and they will likely have the pick of the lot which would be very beneficial to general manager Reggie McKenzie. The former Green Bay Packers Director of Football Operations will be able to select a first-round pick for the first time since being hired in the Bay.
Who the Raiders will select is still up in the air, and knowing Oakland they might even wind up trading the pick before April–this is highly unlikely but, it’s still a possibility. My money is on Bjoern Werner, the defensive end out of Florida State University for the third overall pick. Here is a guy that was third in all of the nation with 13.5 sacks this fall and knows exactly how to get to the quarterback.
This will be crucial in a division with Peyton Manning who will be carving up the Raiders defense for years if something doesn’t change. Not to mention Werner would be the ideal pass rusher to the opposite side of the budding and highly explosive defensive end Lamarr Houston who is entering just his fourth season.
As long as the Raiders go with a respectable defensive linemen with their top pick, Oakland has to be happy as the road to an AFC West title lies in the trenches.