NFL Draft Needs: Oakland Raiders

Joe WillettSenior Writer IApril 8, 2008

Previous Teams

NFL-College_Football-Miami_Dolphins-LSU_Football-NFL_Draft_Needs_Miami_Dolphins-040408">Miami Dolphins

Rams-NFL_Draft_Needs_St_Louis_Rams-050408">St. Louis Rams

Falcons-NFL_Draft_Needs_Atlanta_Falcons-060408">Atlanta Falcons

Oakland Raiders

Time to venture into Raider Nation.  A lot of people are going to be upset with what I am about to say.

The Raiders have a chance to be good within a couple of years.

That's right, the Oakland bottom-feeders have some pieces in place that could create a decent young team.

This does mean that they need to have JaMarcus Russell progress into the QB that they hope he will be.  Justin Fargas will need to continue the production.  DeAngelo Hall will have to completely clean up his act.  But you never know.

This season, however, was not something that Raider fans will love to talk about for years to come.

So what will they do to help build on last seasons mini-surprises?

Possible Draft Directions

I am NOT going to make the same mistake I made in my Falcons article.  The Raiders don't need a #1 receiver.

Javon Walker and Ronald Curry should hold down the fort until they can acquire a star receiver, plus, you never know what Walker has left in the tank.  (Although they should not see him as a long term answer) 

I am also not buying the "Al Davis is so stupid that he will draft DeSean Jackson" argument.  You know your teams needs, and if you really want him, you can trade down to somebody that really wants Darren McFadden and get more for the pick and get Jackson anyway.

They need a LT, Mario Henderson has never played a pro game and hasn't exactly warranted a 3rd round pick through his first year.  Jake Long would be a good pick to help protect the Russell's blind side.

They need a defensive tackle, but most with a lot of money (too much I think) going towards Tommy Kelly, I don't think that they will spend the money that a #4 draft pick demands with everything already tied up there.

I also don't think that McFadden would be a smart pick because of the way that Fargas has played this year.  Not having a pick in the 2nd or 3rd round also makes McFadden an unintelligent pick.

With so many more pressing needs, a value pick would not be the best at this time.  Take care of what needs to be taken care of and don't worry about the glitz and glamour of a flashy player.

If the Raiders can do these things, they could jump back up into contention in, say, 2 years.

I'm Joe W.