The NFL offseason is in full swing for the Oakland Raiders. The team was as active in free agency as it was last year, but the Raiders didn't have as many needs this year. With the NFL draft less than a month away, it's time to take a look at the top three Raiders team needs.
The Raiders have several needs they still need to address and have enough picks to do just that. Although fans might want a new coach, general manager, owner or whatever, only positional needs are detailed here. Needs already addressed via free agency (like signing TE Jared Cook) are not included. With all that in mind, here are the 3 biggest Raiders team needs for the 2017 NFL Draft.
3. Running Back
Latavius Murray is in Minnesota, leaving the Raiders with Jalen Richard and DeAndre Washington as the top two options in the backfield. They're nice players, but are more change-of-pace or third down backs. A new feature back is needed. The Raiders could try to add a vet like LeGarrette Blount or Adrian Peterson, but the draft has plenty of quality backs. Christian McCaffrey and maybe Dalvin Cook could be options in round one. If they want until Day 2, Texas' D'Onta Foreman, BYU's Jamaal Williams and Toledo's Kareem Hunt stick out as quality fits.
I'm not as down on the Sean Smith/David Amerson combo as some are. But even if those two play up to their potential, a nickel corner is needed. I don't think T.J. Carrie is the ideal answer. It's a loaded cornerback class and the Raiders should spend one of their first two picks on the position. Jourdan Lewis was an ideal target in Round 2 before a domestic violence accusation (which, if true, would complete eliminate him from the Raiders' board given their zero tolerance policy). But Miami (FL)'s Corn Elder would look pretty good in the Silver and Black.
If the season started today, the Raiders two starting linebackers (not including Bruce Irvin) would be some combination of Jelani Jenkins, Ben Heeney, Cory James and the always-hurt Nerion Ball. So yeah, it's a huge need. I do expect Perry Riley to be re-signed (and/or get Zach Brown), but that only fills one starting spot. With Malcolm Smith on the other side of the Bay, the Raiders need to add another starter. The good news is that at least one Zach Cunningham, Haason Reddick, Jarrad Davis and Raekwon McMillan should be on the board for the Raiders in the first round.