Reggie McKenzie has made a lot of quality short-term signings in his tenure as Raiders GM. The best of these signings was, unfortunately, a one-year deal to Phillip Wheeler before the 2012 season. Wheeler was Oakland's best defender last season and led the team in tackles with 78, before parlaying that success into a big free-agent deal with Miami where I'm sure he will be very successful.
That leaves Oakland with big shoes to fill. They have attempted to do so by signing Nick Roach, Kevin Burnett, Kaluka Maiava, and by drafting Sio Moore. They also released Rolando McClain, which ought to help the defense in myriad ways, since having a MLB that knows what they are doing is an important element in any successful defense.
Tyvon Branch was second on the team in tackles last season with 74. A lot of that was due to him being required to cheat up in run support, so with a better effort from the front seven he should record less tackles out of necessity. That being said it is a boon to this defense that Branch is such a sure tackler.
Miles Burris also made his presence felt in the tackling department despite being a backup last year, recording 62 tackles, good for third place in that category. In my opinion, Burris was, in my mind, the best value defensive draft pick in 2012 for any team and with more playing time he could easily reach 75 or 80 total tackles.
Lamarr Houston also contributed in the tackles department last season, recording 48. If he could improve on those numbers it would imply that the Raiders have improved against the run.
So,Raider Nation, who gets your vote to lead the team in tackles?