New Raiders general manager Mike Mayock said it best: “When you’re looking at a team that’s 4-12, there are a lot of holes.”
It’s not just edge rushers the Raiders lack after finishing with the fewest sacks (13) of any team in a single season since 2008. There are gaping holes on both sides of the ball that need to be filled in free agency and the draft if the Raiders want to even sniff the playoff hunt before moving to Vegas.
Let’s have a look at the Raiders’ five biggest needs entering this offseason.
What they had: Tahir Whitehead, Marquel Lee, Nicholas Morrow, Jason Cabinda, Kyle Wilber
Impending UFAs: None
Why it’s a need: Whitehead was shaky against the pass, even if Mayock loves him. Lee, Morrow and Cabinda flashed, but not enough. The Raiders need someone in the middle who opponents are scared of, something the Raiders haven’t had in a long, long time.
What’s next: LSU linebacker Devin White is an option at No. 4, but the Raiders probably won’t go for a linebacker that high. If they trade back with a quarterback-needy team, White becomes more reasonable. He can be that guy the Raiders have missed for so many years. If the Raiders want to spend big at linebacker in free agency, which I doubt they do, Baltimore’s C.J. Mosley, Minnesota’s Anthony Barr, Washington’s Preston Smith and Seattle’s K.J. Wright are among the top options set to become unrestricted free agents in March.
4. Running back
What they had: Marshawn Lynch, Doug Martin, Jalen Richard, DeAndre Washington
Impending UFAs: Lynch, Martin
Why it’s a need: The Raiders finished 25th in the league with 101.8 rushing yards per game and tied for first in the league with six rushing fumbles lost. Lynch will be 33. Martin will be 30, and lost more fumbles (three) than 22 …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Sports