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As best as can be projected, the Raiders will rely on Travis Ivey to be their space-eating defensive tackle in 2012. Ivey is unproven and isn't even a lock to make the 53-man roster.
Star Lotulelei is widely regarded as the best defensive tackle in college football and is drawing comparisons to Haloti Ngata for his size and football abilities. Lotulelei and Ngata are both 6'4" and weigh between 320 and 330 on any given day.
The Raiders haven't ranked higher than 22nd in the NFL against the run since 2002. Not coincidentally, the Raiders haven't been to the playoffs since 2002.
Richard Seymour and Tommy Kelly also have large contracts that could be cumbersome for McKenzie in 2013 and beyond. Seymour will be 33 and Kelly 32 by the end of the 2012 season and it's not a bad idea to start planning for the future.
The Raiders brought in two players from Utah in 2012, guard Tony Bergstrom and cornerback Conroy Black, so it's reasonable to assume McKenzie and his staff already have a report or two written on Lotulelei.
The Packers selected B.J. Raji with the ninth selection of the 2009 NFL draft while McKenzie was in Green Bay, so he's no stranger to taking a nose tackle in the first round.
Lotulelei is projected to go in the first round, but unlike Raji, he may be able to play the nose tackle position in both the 3-4 and 4-3 schemes. Well worth the selection if the Raiders get the opportunity.