The Raiders came into this season's draft with quite a few holes. Defensive tackle, offensive tackle, offensive guard, and linebacker.
They filled the linebacker hole today when they drafted middle linebacker Rolando McClain, a big and physical specimen who can lead the Raiders defense.
By drafting McClain, the Raiders have officially told hometown hero Kirk Morrison that he isn't good enough. Sure, Morrison is consistently in the top 10 for tackles each season. Add in the fact that our defense is on the field a lot more due to the lack of offensive productivity and lack of pressure in the middle of the defensive line, and his stats are a little less impressive.
However, by drafting McClain, we could possibly fill in more needs than we expected and help Morrison keep his job.
In college and even previous levels of football, Captain Kirk played outside linebacker. Now that we have potentially a "true middle linebacker," we can move Kirk to the outside.
What about Kamerion Wimbley and Trevor Scott, you may ask? We can rotate them into the lineup as well.
For first and second downs, the defense should start Thomas Howard and Kirk Morrison on the outside while McClain plays the inside. Trevor Scott and Kamerion Wimbley can play the defensive end positions, containing the running backs from getting to the outside.
What about Richard Seymour? Move him to inside for first and second downs to play alongside Tommy Kelly to stop the run. With better defensive line penetration, the linebackers can roam freely and further improve the run defense.
On third and obvious passing downs, move Trevor Scott and Kamerion Wimbley back to linebacker to disguise blitz packages. Move Richard Seymour back to the end position and have Matt Shaughnessy come off the bench as he did last season.
Causing more pressure on the quarterback would greatly help our already good pass defense, which ranked near the top in the league last season.
For the rest of the draft, I predict the Raiders taking offensive Bruce Campbell of Maryland in the second, offensive guard Mike Johnson of Alabama in the third, defensive tackle Torrell Troup of Central Florida in the fourth, cornerback Alterraun Verner of UCLA in the fifth, fullback John Connor of Kentucky, and defensive end Chris McCoy of Middle Tennessee State in the seventh round.
Regardless of who the Raiders take, I know that our 2010-2011 season will be a great one. Is the rest of the Raider Nation ready to be back on top of the football world, because I sure am!