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.
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