Raiders draft outlook: safeties

Raiders draft outlook: safeties
April 15, 2013, 2:30 pm
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Fresno State's safety Phillip Thomas intercepted eight passes and record four sacks during his senior season. (USA TODAY IMAGES)

Raiders Draft Outlook
Specialists
Cornerbacks
Safeties
Outside Linebackers
Inside Linebackers
Defensive Lineman
Offensive Linemen
Tight Ends
Wide Receivers
Running Backs
Quarterbacks

Raiders Draft Outlook
Specialists
Cornerbacks
Safeties
Outside Linebackers
Insider Linebackers
Defensive Linemen
Offensive Linemen
Tight Ends
Wide Receivers
Running Backs
Quarterbacks

As the Raiders continue their rebuild, their secondary is a microcosm of the task at hand. Because while Oakland has a plethora of cornerbacks already on the roster, the same cannot be said for the last line of defense. We continue our position-by-position series on the Raiders' draft outlook, then, with a look at the safeties…

Who's here: Tyvon Branch, Reggie Smith, Usama Young, Brandian Ross.

Draft needs: So while the Raiders are loaded with bodies at cornerback, they are thin at safety as Branch and Young figure to be the starters, at strong and free, respectively, with Smith likely backing up Branch. For the sake of numbers, we are moving Ross over from cornerback to free safety. So yeah, the Raiders need more safeties. The question, then, is, how many do they draft?

Good fits: With no true franchise cornerstone safeties in this draft, the Raiders just might have the luxury of sitting and waiting for one they are familiar with to drop into their lap. Of the four safeties the Raiders coached in the Senior Bowl, only Florida International's Jonathan Cyprien is considered a second-rounder. Fresno State's Phillip Thomas is seen as a potential third-rounder while USC's T.J. McDonald is looked upon as a fourth-rounder and UNR's Duke Williams a fifth-rounder.