Raiders pre-draft position by position outlook: Defense

Ezra Shaw

We move to the defensive side of the ball now and take a look at how the current roster stacks up and how it affects the Raiders possible draft plans.

Defensive end

Roster: Justin Tuck, Lamarr Woodley, Jack Crawford, Ryan Robinson, Chris McCoy

Need: High

Draft outlook: After not getting a single defensive end out of last year's draft (they took David Bass with their final pick and cut him before the season), the Raiders must make it a priority in this draft. They brought in some talented players in free agency but none are long term solutions.

Draft pick to watch for: Scott Crichton, Oregon State

Defensive tackle

Roster: Pat Sims, Antonio Smith, Stacy McGee, C.J. Wilson

Need: High

Draft outlook: Sure, this roster might tide the Raiders over this season. Then again, it might not. Sims in on a one-year deal, Smith is almost 33-years old, and the others are backups until proven otherwise. Competition and eventual starter is needed.

Draft pick to watch for: Aaron Donald, Pittsburgh

Linebacker

Roster: MLB Nick Roach, OLB Sio Moore, OLB Kevin Burnett, Miles Burris, Kaluka Maiava, Marshall McFadden

Need: Moderate

Draft outlook: The Raiders found a gem in Sio Moore in last year's draft. He is the only sure thing among the group. Roach is great at the mental side of the middle linebacker job but his play on the field is not quite up to that standard. Burnett is not a sure tackler and is getting up there in years. His weak side linebacker position is in most need of an upgrade.

Draft pick to watch for: Jordan Tripp, Montana

Cornerback

Roster: D.J. Hayden, Tarell Brown, Carlos Rogers, Chance Casey, Chimdi Chekwa

Need: Moderate

Draft outlook: This position is still far from finished. The Raiders spent last year's first round pick on Hayden and added the 49ers two starting corners in free agency. But Rogers is getting up there in years and Brown is on a one-year deal. There is very little in the way of depth behind them either. This position must be addressed in this draft in the first four rounds.

Draft pick to watch for: Terrance Mitchell, Oregon

Safety

Roster: SS Tyvon Branch, FS Charles Woodson, Usama Young, Brandian Ross, Shelton Johnson

Need: Moderate

Draft outlook: Woodson is entering his final season and his replacement must be found either in this draft or the next. Young offers some insurance but has not proven he can be a reliable starter should he need to take over for Woodson or be his eventual replacement. Ross was a disaster last season in relief of the injured Tyvon Branch and an upgrade is needed over him.

Draft pick to watch for: Marqueston Huff, Wyoming

See the position by position outlook: Offense

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Silver And Black Pride

You must be a member of Silver And Black Pride to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Silver And Black Pride. You should read them.

Join Silver And Black Pride

You must be a member of Silver And Black Pride to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Silver And Black Pride. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker