Oakland Raiders' Biggest Needs in Free Agency and NFL Draft

Max Staley
Denver Broncos v Oakland Raiders
Denver Broncos v Oakland Raiders / Robert Reiners
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Cover Photo: Getty Images

The Oakland Raiders had one of the flashiest offseasons in the NFL after trading for former Pittsburgh Steeler Antonio Brown and signing former New England Patriot Trent Brown. While the team undeniably improved this offseason, the Raiders were working with a pretty bare cupboard prior to this spending spree, and there are still plenty of holes on their roster.

Thankfully, the Raiders have a ton of draft capital to work with, but their general manager, Mike Mayock, certainly has his work cut out for him. With that said, let's breakdown the Raiders' biggest remaining needs this offseason.

Right off the bat, this team needs a serious influx of talent on defense. The Raiders still haven't found a suitable replacement for Khalil Mack, so acquiring a pass rusher is one of their biggest needs.

Fortunately, this year's NFL Draft looks loaded with elite defensive lineman. The Raiders could address their pass rush with the No. 4 overall selection by selecting Alabama's Quinnen Williams or Kentucky's Josh Allen. Oakland could also address its pass rush by signing Ndamukong Suh or Ezekiel Ansash, who are both still on the market.

Even after signing LaMarcus Joyner to a 4-year, $46 million deal, Jon Gruden has watched enough tape to know Oakland still needs help in the secondary. Primarily, Oakland needs to find a reliable cornerback to play alongside Gareon Conley. The Raiders could take a flier on Morris Claiborne, who is a solid cornerback provided he can stay healthy.

Oakland could also address cornerback with one of its three first-round picks. The Raiders own the No. 24 and No. 27 selections, and they'd be a great landing spot for LSU's Greedy Williams or Georgia's DeAndre Baker.

As for their offense, the Raiders need to address tight end after Jared Cook signed with the New Orleans Saints. Acquiring a tight end is paramount, as Derek Carr needs a safety-blanket, and a reliable tight end could take attention away from Brown and Tyrell Williams.

Austin-Seferian Jenkins is arguably the best tight end who is still unsigned, but there are plenty of solid prospects in the draft as well. Iowa's Noah Fant would be an excellent fit for the Raiders at No. 24 or No. 27, but they could also target Alabama's Irv Smith Jr. at No. 35 if he falls out of the first round.

Finally, Oakland also needs to address the interior of its offensive line after trading former All-Pro guard Kelechi Osemele to the New York Jets. Oakland could give T.J. Lang a 1-year "prove-it" deal, or it could select someone like Boston College's Chris Lindstrom or Texas A&M's Erik McCoy.

Overall, Oakland clearly still has a quite a few holes to address this offseason. But with four picks in the first two rounds of the NFL Draft, the Raiders have the ammunition to potentially make huge strides too.


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Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

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