This year the Raiders have a few holes they need to fill.
I would say the Raiders biggest needs are: the whole right side of the offensive line, a run stuffing DT, a nickel corner, and some added depth all around.
But with Al Davis you never know what will happen. He seems to just pick the biggest, fastest players he can find.
He is trying to build a team with the idea that you can teach someone how to play football, but you can't teach someone how to run a 4.3 40-yard dash time.
Here's how I think the Raiders draft should unfold.
Before the draft the Raiders still have the opportunity to change up the landscape of the roster with trades and free-agent signings. In this mock scenario these are the moves which take place.
Kirk Morrison was given an original tender, meaning a team only has to give up a third rounder to land him. In this scenario Kirk Morrison is gone and the Raiders receive an additional third rounder.
Troy Smith was also given an original tender, but he was drafted in the fifth round, so all the Raiders would need to do to land him is give up a fifth round pick.
In this scenario the Raiders take the bait and give up one of their two fifth rounders to bring in the former Heisman winner
Terrell Owens: Terrell Owens is currently a free agent who has visited a few teams so far, but to no avail.
His player representative recently made it known he wants $5 million a year. This likely will turn a lot of teams off, considering he is 36.
The Raiders are in need of a reliable receiving threat. So, they bring in the 36-year-old veteran signing him to a two year deal.
A reach? Maybe.
Does it fill a need? Definitely.
Trent Williams may not be able to match Bruce Campbell with pure physical ability...Oh wait, yes he can.
Sure Campbell had the fastest 40-yard dash time among o-linemen, but Williams was only three-one-hundredths of a second behind.
Williams also out-jumped Campbell by two inches in the vertical-leap and had a better broad-jump. Both of which(especially in big men) are direct measurements of lower body explosiveness.
Aside from that 40-yard dash Williams out-performed Campbell in every event except for bench press.
It is true Al Davis puts a lot of value on combine performances, but the 40-yard dash isn't all he looks at. He uses all measurables to decide who is best.
Look at Darius Heyward-Bey, sure he had the fastest 40 in the draft, but he also had the highest vertical leap among all receivers as well as great size.
Al Davis will take the offensive tackle with the best combine, Trent Williams not Bruce Campbell.
Plus Williams technique is far more polished and he has far better experience. He will be a solid and immediate contributor at right tackle for the Raiders.
But don't get me wrong this guy is not without his flaws. He has taken criticism for being beat on the play that resulted in Bradford's injury.
Sure there are weight and conditioning concerns. Some say he is only a two down linemen, and lacks pass-rush ability.
But this guy is a straight up beast, a dominate force, an immovable object.
Watch film and you will see the impact this guy makes. Even facing double teams this guy doesn't give up ground.
Teams don't run anywhere near him and are forced to find a way around. And when they do they run his way they find nothing but a brick wall, a log jam, a blockade of bodies.
Cody would have an immediate impact to the Raiders struggling run defense. A player like Cody is what the Raiders defense is missing. With him clogging up the middle with double teams the rest of the d-line would be able to make plays in the run game against single blocks.
Tommy Kelly, Richard Seymour, newly acquired Kameron Wimbley, and all the Raider line-backers would benifit greatly from Cody's pressence.
Dekoda Watson is absolutely ripped. And at a very lean 6'2" 240 he had a very impressive time posting one of the fastes 40-yard das times among line-backers at 4.56(the fast line-backer time was 4.54).
His vertical leap was also very impressive at 40.0 inches and he showed he was not only fast but quick as his 20 and 60-yard shuttle were both among the top three of all line-backers.
He also had a ridiculous 34 reps in the bench press at his Pro Day, outlifting many of the combines offensive and defensive linemen...Some of which out-weigh him by 100 pounds.
Watson easily had one of if not the best performances at the combine. Something Al Davis will not overlook.
He is not only an athlete, but an emotional leader on the field as well.
However,there are concerns with Watson: Despite starting 22 games his sophomore and junior year, he never eclipsed 50 tackles in a season until he was a senior.
He has had minor injuries throughout his career and scouts are citing a lack of versatility, claiming because of his size and skill set he is only capable of playing in the 4-3 defense. Fortuneately, that's the defense the Raiders run.
Watson could challenge for any of the Raiders starting line-backers. And would undoubtably add depth and be a special teams contributor.
Check out this youtube video on him http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pMZ6txMFR_Q
John Jerry is the Brother of Atlanta Falcons DT Peria Jerry. And as of late he has seen some heavy unwarranted criticism.
During his playing days at Old Miss he was often criticized for his less than flattering physique and admitted to playing at over 360 lbs.
But despite that I think John Jerry will be one of the biggest steals in the draft.
To appease the critics he lost weight showing up to the Senior Bowl at 328 and to the combine even lighter.
The same critics questioned the weight he lost asking what the weight loss cost him strength wise.
At the combine he did nothing but impress, including a 5.1 40-yard dash time, 34 reps in bench press, and a top 10 time in the 20-yard shuttle among o-linemen at 4.69(Tied with Bruce Campbell).
For a man his size he has great quickness and lateral movement.
This guy has a ton of talent and though he is expected to play RG he told reporters at the combine he can play RT as well.
He is a dominate run-blocker and an above average pass-blocker and can make an immediate impact as a starter in place of the aging Cooper Carlisle.
For a corner this guy has great size with over 200 pounds of muscle packed onto a 6'1" frame.
He not only has the speed but the athletic ability to be a great corner.
At the combine he impressed, show-casing his 4.4 speed. He also showed a 36-inch vertical leap, a 10'0" broad jump, and a 4.3 shuttle run. Pair that with his impressive showing at the Senior Bowl and this guy is shooting up draft boards.
Like Nnamdi, he is a big physical corner who excels in man coverage, a solid tackler, and he has a name no one can pronounce.
He is also an elusive punt returner, and when he intercepts the ball there is a serious danger of him taking it for six the other way.
If you don't know about him yet check out his highlight reel.
Another chiseled linebacker prospect, though Butler's combine 40-yard dash time wasn't amazing (4.77) many of his other measurables were.
He was the only linebacker to out lift Dekoda Watson with 35 reps.
What he lacks in speed he makes up for with instincts and experience. He is said to be very calculated in his pursuit angles and not only intelligent but very athletic when dropping back into coverage.
Though he is projected as a middle linebacker he has started outside as recently as 2008 and could add depth to any of the Raiders linebacker spots.
Manase Tonga is your prototypical lead blocking FB—short, stalky, and powerful.
Despite the fact he lacks the initial burst, has no second gear whatsoever, and often lowers his head while blocking, he is a very effective lead blocker because of his non-stop motor and effort.
He is also a capable receiver with reliable hands, excelling as a short yardage runner because of his powerful legs, vision, and tremendous effort.
Manase could further develop on the Raiders practice squad and would be great insurance in case Oren O'neal doesn't return from his injury or goes down again.