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Draft Analysis

NFL Draft Needs: Raiders

by Evan Silva
Updated On: April 19, 2019, 10:10 am ET

Evan Silva (@EvanSilva) is Rotoworld's Senior NFL Editor, and Josh Norris (@JoshNorris) is Rotoworld's lead Draft Analyst. Together, they're breaking down every team's biggest needs and offering potential solutions in April’s draft.

For a breakdown on every team, check out the team-by-team draft preview schedule.

Notable Pre-Draft Additions: WR Antonio Brown, LT Trent Brown, WR Tyrell Williams, FS Lamarcus Joyner, CB Nevin Lawson, LB Brandon Marshall, LB Vontaze Burfict, RB Isaiah Crowell, WR J.J. Nelson, S Curtis Riley, G/T Jordan Devey, QBs Mike Glennon and Landry Jones.

Starting Offense

QB: Derek Carr
RB: Isaiah Crowell
FB: Keith Smith
WR1: Antonio Brown
WR2: Tyrell Williams
SLWR: Ryan Grant
TE: Lee Smith
LT: Trent Brown
LG: Jordan Devey
C: Rodney Hudson
RG: Gabe Jackson
RT: Kolton Miller

Starting Defense

RE: Arden Key
LE: Shilique Calhoun
NT: Justin Ellis
3T: Maurice Hurst
MLB: Vontaze Burfict
WLB: Brandon Marshall
SLB: Tahir Whitehead
LCB: Daryl Worley
RCB: Gareon Conley
SCB: Nevin Lawson
FS: Lamarcus Joyner
SS: Karl Joseph

Team Needs

Silva's Analysis

Edge Rusher: Head coach Jon Gruden traded Khalil Mack to the Bears, then spent the season explaining away the Raiders’ lack of pass rush, which was indeed historically nonexistent. Oakland finished dead last in both sacks (13) and quarterback hits (48). The Giants had the NFL’s next-fewest sacks at 30, and the Panthers’ 72 QB hits ranked second to last. 2018 third-round pick Key is the Raiders’ top in-house pass-rush prospect; he had one sack as a rookie.

Tight End: Gruden has talked up Darren Waller as a big part of the Raiders Offense, but Waller can’t be counted on with 18 career catches and multiple suspensions on his four-year resume. Oakland has an obvious need for a dynamic threat in the middle of the field.

Cornerback: The Raiders have no shortage of needs, extending to left guard, linebacker, running back and arguably quarterback. Conley took a step forward in his sophomore season but continued to battle injuries, while Worley is another player with a past suspension playing on a one-year deal. Lawson was a liability in Detroit. Last year’s Raiders Defense allowed a league-high 8.2 yards per pass attempt.


Raiders 2019 Draft Picks

Norris' Options

1 (4). iDL Quinnen Williams, Alabama - If the Cardinals don’t select Kyler Murray, the Raiders certainly seem like the next destination. With Nick Bosa off the board as well, this pick likely comes down to Josh Allen or Williams, whoever is still on the board. With the Jets showing interest in Anthony Barr, Allen makes a ton of sense. I know the Raiders have some young talented interior linemen, but none of them should prevent the team from adding a player like Quinnen Williams, a building block.

1 (24). Acquired from Bears in Khalil Mack trade - CB Rock Ya-Sin, Temple - I know the Raiders coached the opposite Senior Bowl team, but they certainly got a close look at the Temple corner. His future projects at a number of spots, both outside and inside.

1 (27). Acquired from Cowboys for Amari Cooper - RB Josh Jacobs, Alabama - I don’t view a single running back in this class as a first-round talent, but I’m not naive enough to think NFL teams see it the same way. Jacobs is an easy evaluation, as he creates contact on his own and impressed in passing down duty when given the opportunity. That easy evaluation can mean a lot for a team with an obvious need at the position and two previous first-round picks.

2 (35). EDGE Jaylon Ferguson, Louisiana Tech - It hasn't been a clean process for Ferguson, who posted brutal agility scores. But teams will feel comfortable in their evaluation of him, whatever side it lies on, thanks to his participation at the Senior Bowl and interviews in Indy. The Raiders have a major need at the position opposite Arden Key and could fall back on the production.

4 (106). TE Drew Sample, Washington - A true inline tight end who is an excellent blocker, a role that was surprisingly highly paid in free agency. He will help the running game immediately.

5 (140). Acquired from Jets in Kelechi Osemele trade - EDGE Carl Granderson, Wyoming - Another Senior Bowl prospect. Based on the team’s depth chart, the Raiders might exit this class with two edge rushers. Granderson loves the inside move and won with it often.

7 (218). iOL Keaton Sutherland, Texas A&M - One of the better athletes in the interior class. Might have a ceiling of a utility inside lineman.

7 (235). Acquired from Seahawks for Shalom Luani - LB Troy Reeder, Delaware - A Penn State transfer. I can just see Mike Mayock targeting this kind of player in the later rounds.

Evan Silva
Evan Silva is a senior football editor for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .