Oakland Raiders: First Round Possibilities
Oakland Raiders Draft Possibilities
With the NFL draft quickly approaching, the Oakland Raiders still have many needs that could use addressing.
So far in this off-seasons free agent period, notable signee's for the Raiders has been: linebackers Kevin Roach, Kevin Burnett and Kaluka Maiava, defensive tackle Vance Walker and cornerback Tracy Porter.
Other signatures include: defensive tackle Pat Sims, defensive end Jason Hunter and offensive tackle Alex Barron. Both Hunter and Barron haven't played since 2010 due to injury issues, but were effective when on the field. It is likely they could both earn lots of snaps, but as a situation players at best.
As of right now, even with the additions, the Raiders still need lots of help at many positions from the offensive line, defensive line, outside linebacker, cornerback, safety, wide receiver and back-up runningback.
With the vast amount of holes on the team, means there could be a vast amount of outcomes with the Raiders third pick. Here is how I see it.
Most Likely: Defensive Tackle — Sharrif Floyd, Florida
With Richard Seymour, Desmond Bryant and Tommy Kelly on the way out, the Raiders selecting Sharrif Floyd with the third overall pick seems like a no-brainer.
Currently, Vance Walker is slated to be the number one defensive tackle for Oakland. Walker played extremely well for Atlanta last year in a limited role. At 25-years-old, Walker could be set for a good year in 2013. But as for taking the majority of the workload with Pat Sims lining up next to him, it doesn't seem like a successful combination.
Signing Floyd means Oakland could raise an effective four-man front in a 4-3 defense. It would require effective play from Hunter or any drafted DE. It has also been rumored for the Raiders to switch to a 3-4 defense. If so, drafting Floyd is a given.
If He's Not There: Offensive Tackle — Eric Fisher, Central Michigan
If Sharrif Floyd just-so-happens to be swept up in the first two draft selections, it is a possibility the Raiders select OT Eric Fisher. A lot of people regard Fisher as the best lineman in this years draft.
Currrently, Oakland re-signed tackle Khalif Barnes to assume his 2012 role at right tackle. At 30, Barnes hasn't made much noise in his career and frankly did not play well last season. Playing in nine games, Barnes allowed 18 hurries and four sacks.
Fisher could instantly step into a starting role for the Raiders in 2013. Fisher will be the next Central Michigan offensive lineman since Joe Staley in 2007 to be draft in the first round.
If He's There: Defensive End — Dion Jordan, Oregon
A majority of mock drafts have Dion Jordan heading to Jacksonville with the second pick. If he slips past them, it is possible the Raiders use their third selection on him.
Jordan possesses the capability of playing both defensive end and outside linebacker, so the selection makes sense due to Oakland's need at both of his playing sets. In a 4-3 defense, he could be the starting DE once drafted. In a 3-4 defense, he could play his normal position at DE and a hybrid linebacker and start upon arrival.
If They Trade Down: Defensive End — Ziggy Ansah, Brigham Young University
It wouldn't be trading down by much, but it could be enough to gain more draft choices. The only possible suitors would be teams that are eager to nab the services of quarterback Geno Smith, if Jacksonville doesn't select him.
The best possible suitors for a trade would be Buffalo at number eight or the Jets at number nine. At five to six picks down, it risks missing out on Ansah, but with only one pick in the top 65 picks, trading down might be a good choice for a team with a multitude of needs.
Another Trade Down Possibility: Cornerback — Dee Milliner, Alabama
The Raiders went out and signed cornerback Tracy Porter last week, who will become the teams number one CB. Right now, Patrick Lee is written in as the teams number two CB. Appearing in just nine games, he allowed 65.6 percent and had only two pass defenses.
With the same trade suitors I mentioned, it reflects here as well. However, the Detroit Lions at five and Cleveland Browns at six are likely to take Milliner with their corner needs.
With their dearth of draft picks, going for value in trading down could be an outcome for the Raiders. However, when its all said and done, I think Floyd will be a Raider.