Oakland Raiders Rebuilding Process: Free Agents, Draft, and Trades

frank petrelliContributor IApril 5, 2010

OAKLAND, CA - JANUARY 03: Head coach Tom Cable of the Oakland Raiders walks off the field after losing to the Baltimore Ravens during an NFL game at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on January 3, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

The Oakland Raiders are in better shape than most people think.  There are key players on both sides of the ball already set in place that provide a solid foundation.  The problem is inconsistency and underachieving.  Two positions need to be addressed immediately, the RG and DT/NT position.  Some people feel the need to upgrade the LT spot and I agree but its not as imperative as the RG spot, and here's why: 

Offensive lines are better being built from the inside out, not outside in.  We need to be stronger with our guards and centers to form pockets that wont crumble in 2 seconds.  The weak link in our line is the RG spot.  Drafting a guard like Iupati or Jerry would solidify our line from the inside out.  This would improve the play of Gallery, Satele, and who ever our RT is.  It would also improve our running game because now we can run up the middle to the left or right side of the center in the 1 gap, which would also allow playaction and rollout plays to develop and be more effective.  With the recent signings of Barnes and Walker I don't see Oakland drafting a LT with the 8th spot because we still have Erik Pears and Mario Henderson on the roster, it probably will happen in the later rounds or through free agency to add depth, some people want Flozel Adams but I don't think he would be worth the money at age 34.

That is our only problem on offense THATS IT!!!!!! Strengthen the O-line and our offense will explode, I guarantee it! 

And another thing for all of you DHB haters, your comments clearly show that you know nothing about football.  First of all, the guys a rookie and is playing for a team with one of the worst offenses in the NFL, on a team with the biggest problem at the QB position in the NFL and you wonder why he sucked last year.  DHB is a burner, he is faster than Chris Johnson, he will be most effective as a deep ball threat in the slot (think of Nate Washington his last year in Pittsburg only 10x better).  The problem is our O-line can only keep a pocket intact for 2 seconds.  A deep ball threat needs time to stretch the field and let plays develop, he will also be double teamed alot because their is not a safety in the league that can run with him stride for stride.  This will open the field and create more opportunities for Murphy, Schilens, and Miller.  Lastly, anyone who knows anything about WRs knows that its not until a WRs third year before true value is show.

The other position that needs to be addressed immediately is the DT/NT position.  This is why Oakland is more likely to draft McCoy with the 8th pick and he will be available (I'll tell you why later).  He will make our D-line a run stopping machine and he will improve the play of everyone around him especially Tommy Kelly who had his best years when Warren Sapp was still playing.  Presently, he gets doubled alot and is not the type of player who can beat a double team (he's not Albert Haynesworth).  He would also help the play of Kirk Morrison, if he stays, because Morrison is not MLB like Ray Lewis or Brian Urlacher, those guys don't need help from their DTs to make plays. He would also provide good pressure up the middle, which we dont have any right now.  Our DEs are good, Seymour is a beast and Shaughnessy is a diamond in the rough.  Stopping the run and getting to the QB will take alot of pressure off the rest of our defense.

And as for CB, some people want to see Oakland draft Joe Haden, bad move, sorry guys.  If you want help at CB, I would rather see Oakland sign Lito Sheppard or Fred Smoot.  We should of signed Nathan Vasher but SD got to him first.

Here is my mock draft based on the teams needs ahead of us.  

1 St. Louis Rams  - Sam Bradford                                                                       2 Detroit Lions - Russel Okung                                                                           3 Tampa Bay Bucs - Suh/McCoy or Bulaga/Williams                                                4 Washington Redskins - Bulaga/Williams                                                              5 Kansas City Cheifs - Suh/McCoy or Bulaga/Williams or Berry                                   6 Seattle Seahawks - Berry or Bulaga/Williams                                                      7 Cleveland Browns - Jason Paul-Pierre/Derrick Morgan or Ronaldo McClain or Joe   Haden or Dez Bryant                                                                                         8 Oakland Raiders - Mike Iupati or Dan Williams (there is a chance McCoy will be here) or Ronaldo McClain (only if Kirk Morrison leaves)  If we go Iupat in the first then we need Cam Thomas or Brian Price in the second.  If we go Dan Williams in the first then we need John Jerry in the second.  

But there will still be alot of moves made before the draft so I'm sure this will change again in weeks to come.

Tell me what your think...........................Frank Petrelli