The Raiders were caught off guard last season at the middle linebacker spot when Rolando McClain was injured. Their MLB depth was at first Travis Goethel who went down in camp and was lost for the season. Then they re-signed Ricky Brown and he took went out for the season with an injury. That left the team without a pure middle linebacker. That can't happen again.
Not only that, but with the 3-4 base, the team will need to add bodies for the additional inside linebacker position. Best case scenario at this instant is that both McClain and Goethel could line up at those spots. But there are no guarantees there and the team needs depth at very least.
Here are a few guys that could either start or add depth to the unit:
Dan Connor (CAR) - He wants a chance to be a starter and he deserves to be. He is a young star on the rise and if he sees a chance to start alongside Rolando McClain or possibly supplant him, he might see opportunity in signing with the Raiders. He is just the type of linebacker McKenzie loves.
Joe Mays (DEN) - Dennis Allen enjoyed his 83 combined tackles last season. Allen would also like to re-create some of that solid defense he ran in Denver last season and bringing in Mays would certainly help with that.
Jameel McClain (BAL)- He is young and is just coming into his own, starting all but one game the past two seasons at inside linebacker for the Ravens. He had 83 tackles last season and five passes defended. How confusing would that be having two McClains manning the inside linebacker corps? Or perhaps Jameel could replace Rolando. Switch out one McClain for another.
Jonathan Goff, Chase Blackburn (NYG)- Either of these two could come over from the Giants. It appears the Giants will focus on trying to sign Goff who is younger and had the starting middle linebacker job until he was lost for the season with a torn ACL. It was Blackburn who came in late in the season and saved the Giants to go on their Super Bowl run.