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Raiders top 5 draft needs after free agency

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Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Free agency is basically over. There will probably be a few more signings and perhaps even a trade. Most things that happen now won't be adding a player who is the answer at that position. With that in mind, here are the top five needs for the Raiders.

1. Wide receiver

Derek Carr really needed a dominant wide receiver last season to help get him out of a few jams. He didn't have that. The result was forcing balls to the likes of Andre Holmes in the hopes he could imitate the number one receiver he needed and it never quite worked out. James Jones was the most reliable receiver but he's not a big play threat. Rod Streater returns after being out all last season which will help. But in a perfect world, Streater would be the number two receiver and Jones would work the slot, leaving an added number one receiver long overdue.

2. Defensive end

The Raiders put up among the fewest sacks in the league last year. They picked up Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley in free agency, but only Tuck would work out and he is on the downside of his career. For the first time in this new regime's three years on the job, they must make defensive end a top priority in the draft.

3. Right guard

Austin Howard was not the answer last season at right guard and is moving to right tackle. They didn't pick up a guard in free agency, leaving them with Kevin Boothe and Khalif Barnes to battle it out for the position. The Raiders drafted Gabe Jackson at left guard last year and it worked out quite well. They need to do the same for the right guard spot this year.

4. Cornerback

Reggie McKenzie let Tarell Brown leave in free agency, saying he was going to give the young guys a chance. Those young guys are D.J. Hayden, T.J. Carrie, and Keith McGill. Thing is though, Carrie is best suited as a slot corner in the nickel and Keith McGill has not proven he is capable of being an NFL starter. They have Neiko Thorpe and added James Dockery, but another corner to push for the starting job is needed.

5. Tight end

There was an attempt to sign Jermaine Gresham at tight end but as it turned out, he has a herniated disc in his back that will require surgery. The Raiders added blocking tight end Lee Smith and Mychal Rivera has done a serviceable job as a receiver, but are still without that big time talent as a receiving tight end.