Reggie McKenzie and his coaches are now looking towards the upcoming 2013 NFL draft. Let's break down each round and create a wish list of positions and players that can help the Oakland Raiders continue to build towards the 2013 season.
While much has been said about the Raiders' offensive struggles, their 24th-ranked defense has been a glaring concern.
Round 1 of this year’s draft offers some high-quality defensive players, including:
Star Lotulelei, DT
The 6'4", 320-pound defensive tackle from Utah is a stud. A two-time first-team All-Pac-12 selection, Lotulelei finished with 42 tackles, a team-high 11 tackles for loss and five sacks last season. A game-changer, he led the Pac-12 and is tied for second in the nation with four fumble recoveries.
Lotulelei is a strong, physical presence that the Raiders sorely need on the defensive line. If Oakland does not trade this draft pick (which is a strong possibility), they would be smart to grab him with their first pick.
Manti Te'o, ILB
From Notre Dame, Te’o has to be tops on the Oakland Raiders' wish list. Leading the Fighting Irish in tackles the past two seasons, he’s smart, runs well and reacts to the ball quickly.
He also brings an intensity that would be well-placed with existing Raider linebackers Philip Wheeler and Miles Burris.
Jarvis Jones, OLB
The linebacker from Georgia has 77 tackles, 22.5 of them for loss, and 12.5 sacks.
Jones is a versatile player that can play the run well and drop back into coverage. He has a motor that doesn't stop and, like Te’o, would help form the best group of linebackers in the division.
Unless the Oakland Raiders make a move, they have no selection in the second round of the NFL 2013 draft. So let's jump to Round 3:
Kyle Long, OT
The offensive tackle from Oregon is already an extension of the Oakland Raiders family as the son of Oakland Raiders Hall of Famer Howie Long.
And word from his father and younger brother, St. Louis Rams Pro Bowl defensive end Chris Long, says that Kyle is the most naturally talented player of the family.
Paired with Raiders left tackle Jared Veldheer, Long could help solidify the ends of the Raiders offensive line.
Logan Ryan, CB
The Rutgers corner was selected first-team All-Big East Conference for the 2012 season and ranks second on the team with 87 tackles.
Ryan has good instincts for the ball and adds some much needed depth at the corner position for the Oakland Raiders.
Sean Porter, OLB
Very good in pass coverage, Porter also has the speed to get after the quarterback. He does have a tendency to become engaged with lineman and has trouble with separation. With some NFL experience, this Texas A&M linebacker can become a quality all-around linebacker in the NFL.
Omoregie Uzzi, OG
He's a big, bruising 6'3", 300-pound guard from Georgia Tech who helped the Yellow Jacket offense average 312.5 rushing yards per game. Uzzi would be a much needed run-blocker for Oakland.
Ricky Wagner, OT
This Wisconsin tackle can play either side of the line, a valuable asset for any NFL team. Physically strong, he could still improve on his footwork and lateral movement.
Manase Foketi, OT
Manase Foketi has good hands and can handle speed rushers. He’s big (6'5", 320 pounds) and has the talent to add some good depth for the Raiders in coming years.
Trevardo Williams, OLB
Trevardo Williams is a fierce pass-rusher. Last season he collected 12.5 sacks, nine of which were in the final five games. He is undersized (6'1", 234 pounds), but Williams would bring linebacker depth and could be used on special teams.
Terry Hawthorne, CB
I really like Hawthorne in this round. He’s a playmaker on both sides of the ball, and because he’s played WR, he transitions well in coverage as a CB. He has good speed and very good hands. This could be the steal of the fifth round.
Cory Grissom, DT
Fast off the ball and able to clog up the line, Grissom is coming off of surgery for a broken ankle. Some teams may shy away from him because of that ankle, but if he’s healthy, Grissom could be a good grab in the sixth round.
Anthony White, DT
From Michigan State, the 330-pound defensive tackle is big and can also clog the line. Oakland’s run defense needs help, and White could be a big help in pushing running backs to the outside of the tackles.
Bruce Taylor, ILB
The Virginia Tech player has the potential to be a special teams standout and add depth at the linebacker position. He has a very good nose for the ball and makes intelligent decisions. There is concern over the continued health of his right foot, which he injured back in 2011.
Matt Summers-Gavin, OT
The Cal alumnus is not a top prospect at tackle, but a pick here and a move to guard would be a really good move. At the guard position, Summers-Gavin could be a diamond in the rough for the Raiders.
Josh Johnson, CB
Fast and aggressive, Josh Johnson needs to work on technique to be NFL-worthy. However, using a seventh-round pick on Johnson adds additional depth at the cornerback position.
Did I miss a player you think the Oakland Raiders should draft? Tell me who YOU would draft in the comment section!