Denver was destroyed in the big game this year after running buckwild through the AFC including twice defeating the Raiders with a combined score of 71-35.
The AFC is clearly the weaker of the two conferences, and the Raiders sadly sit at the bottom. But looking at the Seahawks, 9ers, and the Panthers gives a template for how the Raiders can rise to the top.
Physical, dangerous, killers on defense. Seahawks have Kam Chancellor and a host of hitters. 9ers have Donte "Hitner" and LBs that will boof WRs. The list of these NFC teams physical players go on. Raiders lack a presence like this that makes a receiver think twice about going up for a jump-ball. Getting a guy or two in this mold to be intimidators is essential to defending the pass in today's NFL. Getting WRs to flinch takes away the jump-ball element of the passing game.
Intimidating Pass Rush. All playoff teams have this ingredient that the Raiders sorely lacked. We need a pass rush to take away the deep ball. Pass rush is coverage's best friend. We were torched by the pass last year and all the blame fell on the DB's coaches. But the pass rush is the real reason to blame as Tarver had to frequently send blitzes in order to put pressure on the QB. Drafting a guy like Anthony Barr, Khalil Mack, or even Jadaveon Clowney will aide in this department. But Seahawks especially have proven that important pieces can be picked up in FA and later rounds so Reggie will be tested to find hidden gems.
Young Mobile QBs. Yeah I said it, the common theme on these teams is a dual threat QB who can make plays with his arms and legs. Russell Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, Cam Newton etc add an essential element to these teams, helping them extend drives and control the clock. Today's NFL is a young man's game at QB. Sure Peyton Manning set records, and Tom Brady still got within a game of the SuperBowl. But when your defense turns the game into a slug-fest you need a QB who can avoid contact and extend plays. Terrell Pryor has this ability but hasn't improved as a passer. Do we draft Johnny Manziel if he falls to 5? I say hell yes. Johnny football is an important element if we want to compete against the 3 playoff teams in our own division.