Raiders' defensive draft needs


Raiders' defensive draft needs

No doubt the Raiders' defense was their Achilles' heel last season. Enter Oakland's first defensive-minded coach since John Madden in Dennis Allen and, oh yeah, a general manager who played linebacker in the NFL in Reggie McKenzie.That said, the Raiders figure to address needs on the defensive side of the ball in the draft...DEFENSIVE LINE
Who's here: DE Lamarr Houston, DT Tommy Kelly, DT Richard Seymour, DE Matt Shaughnessy, DE Mason Brodine, DT Desmond Bryant, DT Jamie Cumbie, DE Hall Davis, NT Travis Ivey, DE Dave Tollefson.REWIND: Signing with Raiders a homecoming for Dave Tollefson
Draft needs: Simply by pure numbers, it would seem the Raiders have it covered on the D-line. But not so fast. Especially not with Allen promising multiple fronts, which would necessitate at least contemplating taking a defensive tackle such as Alabama nose tackle Josh Chapman if he's still on the board at No. 95. The Raiders have also reportedly worked out Nevada defensive end Kaelin Burnett and South Florida defensive end Claude Davis.
Josh Chapman
LINEBACKERSWho's here: SLB Philip Wheeler, MLB Rolando McClain, WLB Aaron Curry, WLB Travis Goethel, OLB Carl Ihenacho.Draft needs: Extremely thin at linebacker, the Raiders might focus here early and often in the draft. Thing is, there might not be a difference-maker to be had. Oakland has reportedly worked out Houston's Sammy Brown and Washington State's Alex-Hoffman-Ellis but the most intriguing draft prospect out there is also the guy slipping off so many draft boards because of so many purported character issues -- Arizona State's Vontaze Burfict. It will be interesting to see how the Raiders react if Burfict is still on the board when they pick.
Vontaze BurfictDEFENSIVE BACKSWho's here: CB Ron Bartell, CB Shawntae Spencer, FS Michael Huff, SS Tyvon Branch, CB DeMarcus Van Dyke, CB Chimdi Chekwa, SS Mike Mitchell, DB Terrail Lambert, DB Pat Lee, DB Bryan McCann, DB Curtis Taylor, DB Brandon Underwood.Draft needs: A change in philosophy -- no longer simply a man-to-man coverage team -- will allow the Raiders to branch out when it comes to scouting potential DBs. The Raiders have shown interest in Iowa safety Jordan Bernstine and Albion cornerback Chris Greenwood, so they are interested in adding depth. Greenwood, though, is perhaps the most intriguing prospect, given that the Division-III All-American is tall (6-foot-1), fast (4.34 in the 40) and has already drawn comparisons to Antonio Cromartie.

Jordan BernstineSPECIALISTSWho's here: PK Sebastian Janikowski, P Shane Lechler, LS Jon Condo.
Draft needs: The three just represented the Raiders at the Pro Bowl in Hawaii and are the best at their respective positions in the AFC, if not the entire NFL. Hard to imagine the Raiders using a draft pick here. They'll sign someone for camp to spell their kickers in Napa, but that's about it.Projected starters in italics

Broncos RB Anderson undergoing knee surgery


Broncos RB Anderson undergoing knee surgery

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- A person with knowledge of the situation tells The Associated Press that Broncos running back C.J. Anderson will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Thursday and that the extent of the damage will determine how long he's out.

The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the team hasn't addressed specifics of Anderson's knee injury while awaiting medical reports.

Earlier Thursday, Anderson disputed a report that he had told people close to him that he was done for the season.

Anderson was injured on an 11-yard run Monday night against Houston but returned to the game and ran 14 more times for 84 yards and a TD, finishing with 107 yards in his best performance of the season.

Injury report: Taiwan Jones returns to Raiders practice

Injury report: Taiwan Jones returns to Raiders practice

SARASOTA, Fla. – Raiders special teams standout Taiwan Jones watched Wednesday’s practice from the bleachers. On Thursday, he got back on the field.

Jones was limited in a practice conducted at the IMG Academy, a sign that he’s close to full health after missing a game with a knee injury.

The Raiders were without their best cover men in Jacksonville, with Jones and Brynden Trawick sidelined with injury. It’s possible that both are back to play the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Sunday.

Trawick has been limited in practice this week. So were rehabbing offensive linemen Menelik Watson (calf) and Vadal Alexander (ankle). The Raiders hope to have one or both of them available in Tampa Bay. Austin Howard has started the last two games at right tackle.

The Raiders brought Mario Edwards Jr. out to Florida, though he hasn’t been formally cleared to practice.

Tampa Bay is still working without running back Doug Martin, who has been sidelined with a hamstring strain.

Raiders participation report
Did not practice:
DT Stacy McGee (knee)
Limited participation: RB Taiwan Jones (knee), Vadal Alexander (ankle), S Brynden Trawick (shoulder) OT Menelik Watson (calf), WR Andre Holmes (hip)

Buccaneers participation report
Did not practice:
RB Doug Martin (hamstring)
Limited participation: DE Robert Ayers (ankle), C Joe Hawley (ankle), DT Clinton McDonald (hamstring), DL Gerald McCoy (calf)