The Oakland Raiders have five draft picks to work with in this month's draft. However, they do not have a first or second round pick. The team has glaring needs in overall depth and the linebacker position, but the lack of quality draft picks means the team will fail their fans in this year's draft.
When the Raiders draft in April, they will have one pick in the third round, one in the fourth, two in the fifth and one in the sixth. Compensatory picks cannot be traded, and the fifth and sixth round picks they initially had don't hold much value.
Reggie McKenzie is the new General Manager of the team. He had an excellent track record as the Director of Player Personnel with the Green Bay Packers. This, however, is his first time calling the shots in the draft room. The team can get some depth, but they will not be able to get the couple of impact players needed to keep up in the division.
The team is up against the cap already. They only have about $3.72 million left to spend on free agents. They don't have a strong side linebacker due to cutting ties with Kamerion Wimbley. Michael Bush is in Chicago now, causing depth at the running back position to be an issue with the oft-injured Darren McFadden. The team needs lineman on both sides of the ball and could use a backup quarterback. They won't be able to find all that with the picks they have.
The Carson Palmer trade was a mistake. They overpaid for a declining quarterback, and it cost McKenzie the chance to draft an impact quarterback in this year's draft. The team would have picked 17th overall. At that spot Illinois' pass rushing sensation Whitney Mercilus would have been perfect.
McKenzie will probably do a solid job drafting players to fit the team's needs. The issue is that he won't draft big name players and they won't be at any of the sexy positions. This will undoubtedly upset an anxious fan base.
Fans are looking for the Raiders to take the next step. They are looking for the team to finally start drafting quality players, but this is just not the year. Every player the team drafts this year will be a backup and special teams player. For the fans looking for the new GM to make a big splash in the draft this year, you will be disappointed. His hands are tied this first year.