The Raiders bid farewell to the state of California last season with a 7-9 finish, good for ninth in the AFC. While it marked the third straight year in which the team finished with a sub-.500 record, the team showed signs of life, as they continue a massive rebuilding project. The project is certainly ongoing, with a number of needs for the Raiders in the NFL Draft.
Sin City is the new home for the Silver and Black, and the excitement and anticipation of the team’s beginning play in Las Vegas bring expectations that winning football will soon follow. With the hopes of bringing playoff football to Las Vegas this season, here are some of the Raiders biggest draft needs they must address.
Raiders Draft Picks
- Round 1, Pick 12
- Round 1, Pick 19 (from CHI)
- Round 3, Pick 80
- Round 3, Pick 81 (from CHI)
- Round 3, Pick 91 (from SEA/HOU)
- Round 4, Pick 121
- Round 5, Pick 159
Raiders Biggest Draft Needs
Tyrell Williams and Hunter Renfrow performed well last season, but for the Raiders offense to truly gel, the team needs to give quarterback Derek Carr a bonafide number one option. The Antonio Brown experiment failed miserably, and tight end Darren Waller wound up being the most productive receiver on the team. The team did add Nelson Agholor in free agency, but this is more of a depth move than a fix-all. Two first round picks and a deep receiver class ensure that the Raiders will be able to address this gaping hole in a big way.
Dream Pick: Jerry Jeudy, Alabama (12th overall)
Behind Trayvon Mullen who impressed as a rookie last season, the Raiders are in need of help in the secondary. Free agency attempts to sign both Byron Jones and Chris Harris fell flat, leaving them with Eli Apple as a consolation prize. While this addition helps, Apple is not an every down number two corner. The process of improving a passing defense that ranked 30th in adjusted efficiency last season according to Football Outsiders must include landing a lockdown corner in the draft. Add in a successful return of safety Johnathan Abram from injury and brighter days are ahead.
Dream Pick: C.J. Henderson, Florida (19th overall)
Aside from poor coverage, the Raiders pass defense also suffered last year due to the lack of a pass rush. 32 total sacks ranked them 24th in the NFL as a team in the category. The Raiders began to address their needs along the defensive front in free agency by signing tackle Maliek Collins and end Carl Nassib. They must continue this pursuit with their wealth of third round picks in the draft. If last year’s fourth rounder Maxx Crosby proves anything, it is that Mayock and Gruden have an eye for mid-round defensive talent.
Dream Pick: Marlon Davidson, Auburn (80th overall)
Secondary Team Needs: