Ranking the Oakland Raiders’ Top 5 Needs in the 2014 NFL Draft
2014 NFL Draft Ranking the Oakland Raiders’ Top 5 Needs
The Oakland Raiders need a good draft this offseaon. A team that has been building for the future the last couple of years, they’re quietly getting closer to being a contender than most think. They have places on the field that they need to get better -- any team picking in the top-5 does -- but the pieces are there for them to start to win games.
Even more important than the players currently on the roster, they finally have their salary cap house in order. I remember a few years ago I wrote a piece comparing the Raiders to the show Hoarders, in that they needed to clean house and get rid of bad contracts before they could even think about building the solid foundation of a winning team.
Well, they’ve finally done just that. With only about $9 million in dead money and over $65 million in available cap space, they’re at the point where they can start making some real moves to build a winner.
And those moves start with the draft this year. They have the No. 5 overall pick, a spot where they will likely get the explosive offensive playmaker that they desperately need.
The defense, which finished 29th in the league last year with an atrocious 28.3 points per game against, also has plenty of needs to fill in the draft as well.
The Raiders are on their way to building a winner, and it all begins by addressing these five needs in the 2014 NFL Draft.
The Raiders' secondary left plenty to be desired last season. They finished an abysmal 28th in the league against the pass, just one year after they took D.J. Hayden in the draft to step in and upgrade the position. His rookie season was an up-and-down affair, but he still has the potential to be a good player. The Raiders need to grab at least one more corner to either pair with him or groom to be the top guy if Hayden can't.
4. Defensive Line
The Raiders struggled last year to get consistent pressure on the opposing quarterback, a major reason why they gave up so many points. They need upgrades all over the defensive line, both on the outside and up the middle. Defense begins at the line of scrimmage, and the Raiders need to solidify the line before any of their other moves will make much difference.
3. Offensive Line
Whoever took the snaps at quarterback for the Raiders struggled last year. Much of that was due to the fact that the offensive line failed to protect them and give them time to throw. Especially up the middle, the Raiders need to use some mid-round picks to get better on the offensive line.
I'm a bigger fan of Terrelle Pryor than most. I think he has a chance to be a good NFL quarterback, but only if the Raiders can put enough talent around him that they aren't asking him to carry the team. That won't happen soon, and likely the Raiders are ready to use an early-round pick on someone who can come in and compete for the starting job.
1. Wide Receiver
The biggest need for the Raiders is to find someone who can make plays at the wide receiver position. They will likely use the No. 5 overall pick on a wideout, giving them someone who should be able to step right in and be a No. 1 receiver.