The Remaining Holes on the Oakland Raiders' Roster

Nick NasiriCorrespondent IApril 8, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 21:  Johnnie Lee Higgins #15 of the Oakland Raiders returns a punt for an 80 yard touchdown as Dominique Barber #34 of the Houston Texans defends during an NFL game on December 21, 2008 at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

The Raiders are not that far from competing for the AFC West title. They have a great, young offense with players like JaMarcus Russell, Darren McFadden and Zach Miller to build around, just to name a few.

On defense, Oakland has players like Nnamdi Asomougha, Derrick Burgess, Tommy Kelly and Thomas Howard to build around.

Now let's take a look at the remaining need the Raiders have heading into the draft.



Backup tight end

The Raiders need a tight end that could block in order for Zach Miller to get free in the passing game.


Franchise left tackle

They need to get Eugene Monroe or Andre Smith and move Mario Henderson to right tackle.

No. 1 wide receiver

They could look at Torry Holt or Plaxico Burress to bring in veteran talent, or the Raiders could take a guy like former Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree in the draft.




Tyvon Branch could be a starter, but there is a gaping hole in the other safety position. Bay area product Roy Williams is still available, or there is always the draft to snag a safety.


Defensive end

They have a stud defensive end in Derrick Burgess and youngsters Trevor Scott and Jay Richardson can also get the job done. However, the Raiders need a star to line up next to  Derrick Burgess.

Denver Bronco DE Ebenzer Ekueban would work nicely, as would former Texas Longhorn Brian Orakpo or Penn State product Aaron Maybin.


Defensive tackle

Tommy Kelly and Gerard Warren are fine, but Terdell Sands and William Joseph are not the answers.

Oakland could snatch B.J Raji in the draft, or pick up an experienced free agent tackle.



Thomas Howard is great, and they need to move Kirk Morrison to outside and draft a middle linebacker.

A veteran like Zach Thomas is available, and would bring a lot of experience to the position, and there is a lot of talent at linebacker in this year's draft as well.


I still think that, if we improve offensively, the defense will not be as big a problem as some people might think. Having a sustainable offense tremendously  improves the defense.