ALAMEDA, Calif. — The Oakland Raiders have been more than just a small busy since the NFL’s new year officially rang in on March 1-3. Not only have there been moves independently enough to surely make HBO’s”Hard Knocks” overlords just take notice — a trade for Antonio Brown, the largest contract passed out for an offensive lineman to Trent Brown, signing the coveted and oh-so-throwback-to-the-Badass Raiders Vontaze Burfict — however the team has also addressed real and specific needs while doling out more than $101 million in guaranteed contracts.
To make certain, there are a lot more needs. The Raiders were 4-12 at Jon Gruden’s tear-down season of 2018. But all the motions give the Raiders options going in to next month’s draft.
“The longer you do in free service, the more operative you can be at the draft,” general manager Mike Mayock mentioned.
And Mayock, combined with Gruden, has positioned himself pretty nicely.
Notably with 50% the Raiders’ eight picks coming from the first 35 selections, at Nos. 4, 24, 27 and 35.
Go ahead, consider cobbling together a thickness chart — in March, actually — using the 71 players now on Oakland’s roster and see what jumps out at you.
Authentic, the Raiders have a great deal of shuffling to do on the offensive line and probably need to draft a road-grading shield. Still, there are options now on the roster, like putting Trent Brown at left handle, moving Kolton Miller to directly handle, switching Gabe Jackson from right guard to some more natural left protector, including Denzelle Good at right guard and ongoing to ride Pro Bowler Rodney Hudson in centre.
The Raiders had the fewest sacks in the NFL this past year with 1-3 and surely, if Nick Bosa or Josh Allen is there at No. 4, then they will strike. If the Raiders do not really”like” the bunch of players sitting at the selection, there isn’t any doubt in gambling down several areas and addressing the positioning with famous brands Rashan Gary, Montez Sweat or Clelin Ferrell.
And think about running back? Does Oakland’s beloved kid, Marshawn Lynch, have an additional ride for Your City ? Does Gruden actually want him back, or might Doug Martin become more palatable? As nice a person as Jalen Richard is, he doesn’t figure to be an every-down back. Much like fellow Mighty Mite DeAndre Washington.
Oh, and with Jared Cook reportedly closing in on signing with the New Orleans Saints, would be the Raiders ready to anoint Darren Waller the top pass-catching tight end to the roster, or might either of this Iowa tight endings, T.J. Hockenson or Noah Fant, fit the bill late at the first round?
Same at safety, as Lamarcus Joyner can be a good buy for Oakland, he probably gets more run at nickel corner back, together with Nevin Lawson, therefore someone like Delaware’s Nasir Adderley may be a late all-purpose goal to match with Karl Joseph.
“We do not want to have a good receiving corps,” Gruden said. “I would like to have the most useful receiving corps in football.”
Yes, Mr. Big Chest is the newest Alpha-dog from the area, and Tyrell Williams is a nice No. 2, however Seth Roberts stays a trimming candidate. J.J. Nelson is fast, whilst Marcell Ateman can be a large target down the sideline. Combine warrior D.K. Metcalf, anybody? And what if the trimming Jordy Nelson comes home to a less costly deal?
Yeah, there are holes to fill. But having had what seems to be a thriving start to free service — Oakland has about $27 million staying in salary-cap distance and needs a few $13 million to $15 million of the because of the current eight draft picks — Mayock, Gruden & Co. have positioned themselves well for April.
“We’ve gotten better, we have some funds from the draft which could continue that process so when I have said all together, I don’t think you can rush this,” Gruden said. “You’ve got to do what you deem is right. Players do not become available all of the time. You can’t make all of the vital improvements. It will take just a little bit of time. But we’re convinced that we’re going in the right direction.”
Previously 19 decades, only the 2, 000 ny Jets have had more first-round draft picks in one season, together with four. The Jets turned those picks to some 9-7 record at the ensuing season. The 20 17 Cleveland Browns (0-16), 2013 Minnesota Vikings (5-10-1) and 2001 Rams (14-2 and also a Super Bowl appearance) had three first-rounders, just like the Raiders perform at the moment.
Mayock, ever the realist, waxed .
“I presume we need to secure better anyplace,” he explained. “once you make significant signings, what exactly it does out of a team-needs perspective is it allows you to concentrate in some other locations. I have always been a huge believer in the draft which value is value no matter position.
“We are excited about those first four choices from the first 35. That is outstanding, but we have going to anyplace else and that’s the game plan.”
Makes sense, right?