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NFL Oakland Raiders

5 Things Oakland Raiders Must Accomplish During OTAs

5 Questions the Raiders Must Answer During OTAs

Darren McFadden
Getty Images

With OTAs now under way, the Oakland Raiders are hard at work finding solutions to the problems that plagued them throughout the 2014 campaign. While they certainly appear to be headed in the right direction, there’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding their offseason additions and whether or not they can actually compete this season.

With that in mind, here’s a look at five things the Raiders must accomplish during OTAs.

Determine who the No. 1 WR is

Rod Streater
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

Determine who the No. 1 WR is

Rod Streater
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

At this moment, the Raiders still don’t have a clear-cut No. 1 receiver on the roster. James Jones was a nice free agency addition, but is better served in a complimentary role. Denarius Moore is reportedly on the trading block, which means the Raiders could look towards Rod Streater to get the job done. If Streater can’t come through for Oakland, Juron Criner and Greg Little could also be options – albeit, questionable ones.

Put together a backup plan for Antonio Smith

Justin Ellis Raiders
Getty Images

Put together a backup plan for Antonio Smith

Justin Ellis Raiders
Getty Images

After suffering a weight-lifting accident, Smith is out indefinitely following surgery to fix his injuries. While it’s believed he’ll be back in time for training camp, the Raiders must have a backup plan in place if he can’t get going in time for the regular season. Their best bet would be to use a combination of Pat Sims, Stacy McGee and Justin Ellis to fill the two DT spots until the wily veteran is ready to return.

Figure out what they have in Carlos Fields Jr.

Carlos Fields Jr
Twitter

Figure out what they have in Carlos Fields Jr.

Carlos Fields Jr
Twitter

Not many people know about him, but Fields is arguably one of the most underrated rookies in the NFL. A tough, physical linebacker with the instincts and understanding to be a reliable weapon in Oakland, Fields went undrafted due to his lack of exposure and small-school standing. However, it won’t be long before he proves to the Raiders why he deserves a serious opportunity in the NFL.

Build chemistry along the offensive line

Raiders OL
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Build chemistry along the offensive line

Raiders OL
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

One of the Raiders’ biggest issues last season was their poor blocking. While they certainly made an effort to upgrade the front five this offseason, there’s still a matter of building chemistry and getting their starters working as a unit. The Raiders have the talent along the offensive line to protect the passer much better in 2014, and it all starts will learning him to work together during OTAs.

Keep Darren McFadden healthy

Darren McFadden
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Keep Darren McFadden healthy

Darren McFadden
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

When he’s healthy, McFadden is one of the best running backs in the NFL. Unfortunately, it’s not often that he’s at 100 percent. The Raiders re-signed him against better judgment, but know the potential he has if he can stay off the trainer’s table. In hopes of preserving him until it actually matters, the Raiders would be smart to give McFadden a light load during OTAs and let Maurice Jones-Drew and Latavius Murray take most of the reps.

Gil Alcaraz IV is the Director of Content for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GilAlcarazIV, like him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.