Needs: The Oakland Raiders didn’t lose too many pieces in free agency besides Latavius Murray and Malcolm Smith, and they’re in good shape to once again compete for a Super Bowl. There are holes that still need to be filled on both sides of the ball, particularly on defense.
In the draft, look for Oakland to address needs at linebacker, running back, defensive tackle and cornerback.
Picks: First round (24), second round (56), third round (88), fourth round (129), fifth round (168), sixth round (208), seventh round (242, 244).
Getty ImagesBrian Blanco
Haason Reddick, LB, Temple
Reddick should be one of the top targets on Oakland’s draft board because of his versatility. He can play inside or outside linebacker, rushing the passer on sub-packages and dropping into coverage on early downs. Essentially, he can do it all, and he showed that on tape and at the Senior Bowl.
There’s absolutely no guarantee he’ll be there at No. 24, and it’s more likely that he’s picked in the top 20, but the Raiders should be his floor. He’d be a perfect fit in Oakland and would bring some much-needed athleticism to the second level of the Raiders’ defense.
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Jarrad Davis, LB, Florida
Davis is an explosive athlete with the necessary speed to roam sideline to sideline as an inside linebacker. That’s something the Raiders don’t have, especially after losing Malcolm Smith in free agency. They need a player in the middle of the field who can both hit and cover, which Davis can do.
He’d be an immediate upgrade at linebacker for the Raiders if he’s the pick at 24, which he very well could be. Although Reuben Foster could potentially slide and be sitting there along with Davis, he’d be too much of a risk for them to take after the Rolando McClain debacle. Davis would be the wiser choice.
Wayne Gallman, RB, Clemson
The Raiders are still waiting on an answer from Marshawn Lynch, but he should do little to impact the team’s position on drafting a running back. With DeAndre Washington and Jalen Richard already in the mix, the Raiders need a bigger back to handle first and second down. Gallman doesn’t have Lynch’s power, but he has NFL size and gets downhill quickly.
Gallman is a one-cut back with good vision and balance despite not boasting elite straight-line speed. That’s OK because the Raiders already have two home run-hitters in Washington and Richard. Gallman would be a good value on Day 3.
Chidobe Awuzie, CB, Colorado
The Raiders have shown serious interest in Awuzie, hosting him for a top-30 visit and workout. He fits exactly what the Raiders like to do on defense, which is stick their corners on receivers in man coverage while hoping to generate pressure to force the quarterback into a bad decision. He has prototypical size (6-foot) and good enough speed (4.43) to hold up as a boundary corner, as well as the quickness to play the slot.
As long as Sean Smith and David Amerson play up to expectations, the Raiders could have a nice trio in the event that Awuzie is the pick at 24. He won’t make it to their second-round pick.
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Dalvin Tomlinson, DT, Alabama
Many people believe defensive tackle is a huge need for the Raiders, and it is a legitimate one. However, it doesn’t need to be addressed in the first round. They can get a guy like Tomlinson on Day 3 and plug him in as a Day 1 starter.
He’d be a big run-stuffer in the middle of Oakland’s defensive line, eating up blocks for guys like Khalil Mack, Bruce Irvin and Mario Edwards on the edge. The Raiders need to add someone at defensive tackle in the draft, and Tomlinson is someone who can contribute right away.