2014 NFL Offseason: Oakland Raiders

Oakland Raiders (Last Year: 4-12)

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2014 NFL Season Preview:

Veteran Additions:
QB Matt Schaub, RB Maurice Jones-Drew, WR James Jones, OT Donald Penn, OT Austin Howard, G Keith Boothe, DE Justin Tuck, DE/OLB LaMarr Woodley, DE/DT C.J. Wilson, CB Carlos Rogers, CB Tarell Brown.
Early Draft Picks:
DE/OLB Khalil Mack, QB Derek Carr, G Gabe Jackson, NT Justin Ellis, CB Keith McGill. Raiders Rookie Forecast
Offseason Losses:
RB Rashad Jennings, WR/KR Jacoby Ford, OT Jared Veldheer, G Mike Brisiel, DE Lamarr Houston, DT Vance Walker, CB Mike Adams, CB Tracy Porter, CB Philip Adams.

2014 Oakland Raiders Offense:
Head coach Dennis Allen recently called Matt Schaub a "top-10 quarterback." Allen was probably projecting Schaub as a fit in the CFL because there's no way he is anything close to a top-10 NFL quarterback. Top-10 NFL quarterbacks don't set the record for consecutive games with a pick-six. That's the most noteworthy thing Schaub was able to accomplish this past season. As a result, angry Houston fans showed up to Schaub's house to threaten him, prompting the soon-to-be 33-year-old signal caller to lose all of his confidence. Once an above-average system quarterback, Schaub turned into a complete disaster.

There's a chance Schaub could rebound a bit in his new home under offensive coordinator Greg Olson's tutelage. Olson is one of the best in the business - he has gotten more out of scrubs like Josh Freeman, Chad Henne, Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin than anyone else ever has - but there's only so much he can do with a declining quarterback whose arm strength has been sapped a bit. The best the Raiders can hope for from Schaub is a mediocre campaign. But given that they have to compete with Peyton Manning and Philip Rivers, that just won't be good enough. Derek Carr, chosen in the second round because owner Mark Davis insisted upon it, won't be ready until at least 2015, but he could conceivably win the starting job this summer.

There is cause for a bit of optimism on this side of the ball, however. Darren McFadden is projected to have his best season yet. McFadden has been an injury-prone bust in his career, but he accepted less money to return to Oakland for one year because he has finally been shown proper offseason workout habits. McFadden has never trained properly, so there's a good chance he'll have his best year yet. If not, Maurice Jones-Drew is now two years removed from a brutal leg injury, so he's projected to improve as well.

The Raiders also dedicated some resources to their offensive line. They tried to sign Rodger Saffold, but Davis embarrassed his front office by vetoing the move. Instead, they were able to land Donald Penn and Austin Howard, who will play left and right tackle, respectively. The Howard acquisition was fine, but Penn has always endured weight problems in Tampa. There's no reason to think he'll just get over it in his new home.

Oakland bolstered the interior of the front by signing Keith Boothe and spending its third-round choice on Gabe Jackson. They figure to sandwich center Stefen Wisniewski, who was the best blocker on the team last year. Boothe and Jackson will be upgrades, as they've displaced the pedestrian Mike Brisiel and anemic Lucas Nix.

The Raiders added some help to the receiving corps as well, bringing in James Jones. The former Packer has posted some impressive numbers, but keep in mind that those were compiled with Aaron Rodgers. There's an obvious drop-off from Rodgers to Schaub, so as with Greg Jennings, Jones could be the latest Green Bay wideout to disappoint in an inferior offense.

Assuming Jones doesn't meet expectations, the Raiders will need Andre Holmes to take another step forward. As a second-year receiver, Holmes caught 25 passes in 2013, but didn't even snag a single reception until Week 11. He posted a 7-136 line against Dallas, so that could be a sign of things to come. He, Jones and Rod Streater figure to be Schaub's top weapons along with tight end Mychal Rivera, who is entering his second season. Rivera, who hauled in 38 balls as a rookie, was called a "foundation piece" on offense by Allen. Then again, Allen did call Schaub a "top-10 quarterback," so it's a bit difficult to put stock in that.

2014 Oakland Raiders Defense:
The Raiders need stability. It's just something they don't have right now. They entered the 2013 season with just two returning starters. This season won't be as bad, but they'll have at least five new defenders in the lineup. Those players are more talented than what they had before, but they're mostly short-term rentals.

The most changes came up front. The team added Justin Tuck and LaMarr Woodley via free agency. Both struggled at times this past season and happen to be past their primes - Woodley will be 30 in November and hasn't registered double-digit sacks since 2009, while Tuck turned 31 in March - but they're capable of playing well when healthy. The Raiders also spent the No. 5 pick on Khalil Mack to help rush the quarterback. He'll move around on defense, so it's unclear where he'll play most often, but there's no doubt that he'll bolster the pass rush right away.

Antonio Smith is another aging defensive lineman who was brought in this offseason. Smith, 33 in October, could provide some decent interior pass rush, but could just as easily fall off because of his age. He'll start next to Pat Sims, a stout run-stuffer.

The Raiders made some additions in the secondary, particularly at cornerback. This was a major problem area for them last year, so they were able to sign Carlos Rogers and Tarell Brown from the 49ers. Rogers, like some of the new defensive linemen, is a declining player, as he didn't perform very well this past season. Brown, on the other hand, is solid, and could be a decent No. 2 corner. The problem is that the Raiders don't have a top-caliber cover guy. Last year's first-round choice, D.J. Hayden, is there, but he was awful as a rookie. On the bright side, he has shown up to OTAs bigger and stronger, and Allen said that he is "light years" ahead of where he was this time last year.

Speaking of declining players, Charles Woodson was brought back as a starting safety. The future Hall of Famer will be 38 in October, so the wheels could completely fall off at any moment. Luckily, Tyvon Branch will return to the lineup to pick up the slack. Branch played in just two games last year because of a leg injury. When healthy, he's one of the better safeties in the NFL, so having him back in the lineup will help tremendously.

Oakland is most stable in the linebacking corps, but only because all three starters from last year - Sio Moore, Nick Roach and Kevin Burnett - have returned. Moore, a 2013 third-round choice, is coming off a decent rookie campaign. Roach struggled, but at least Burnett was solid in run support. The latter would be best off in a two-down role.

2014 Oakland Raiders Schedule and Intangibles:
The Black Hole seems like an intimidating place to play, but the Raiders are a sub-.500 team (69-83) as hosts since 1995. They were 3-5 at home last year, with four of the defeats being by eight or more.

Sebastian Janikowski signed a 5-year, $18.9 million contract last August, but he didn't live up to it. He had one of his worst years ever, connecting on just 21-of-30 tries. The last time he was worse than 80 percent was 2007.

Marquette King, who beat out the controversial Chris Kluwe, was in the middle of the pack in terms of net punting and attempts placed inside the 20.

Oakland struggled mightily in the return game in 2012. It improved a bit in this area last season, but the opposition still outgained them. The Raiders failed to score at all, while their opponents found the end zone once.

The Raiders have a tough schedule. They have to deal with the Broncos and Chargers twice each, as well as the Patriots and the entire NFC West. Easy games are mixed in, but there aren't enough of them.

2014 Oakland Raiders Rookies:
Go here for the Raiders Rookie Forecast, a page with predictions like which rookie will bust and which rookie will become a solid starter.

2014 Oakland Raiders Positional Rankings (1-5 stars):
Offensive Line
Running Backs
Defensive Line
Special Teams

2014 Oakland Raiders Analysis: The Raiders spent the entire offseason signing veterans who could help them be competitive. They'll be exactly that against most foes early on, but once it's apparent that they won't have a shot at the playoffs, the wheels could completely fall off, and the team could quit on head coach Dennis Allen. Best-case scenario: Oakland goes 6-10 and fights hard in most of its games. However, a three- or four-win campaign seems more likely.

Projection: 3-13 (4th in AFC West)

2014 Fantasy Football Rankings

More 2014 NFL Season Previews

Follow @walterfootball for updates.


NFL Draft Team Grade: B Grade

Goals Entering the 2014 NFL Draft: As with the Browns, the Raiders haven't been in the playoffs since the 2002 season when they lost to the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl. They hit rock bottom earlier this spring when owner Mark Davis embarrassed Reggie McKenzie by vetoing the Rodger Saffold signing. Since then, McKenzie has made some moves to stay competitive, but the Raiders still barely have any depth. They need to improve that area, all while finding a long-term answer at quarterback. That could be a problem, however, considering that the front office needs to win now to stay employed.

2014 NFL Draft Accomplishments: I pretty much like everything the Raiders did in the draft except for taking Derek Carr in the second round. I was never a fan of Carr even before watching him be completely overwhelmed against USC in his bowl game. There's a reason he fell out of the first frame. Offensive coordinator Greg Olson is one of the best in the business, so he'll get the most out of Carr, but he may not be able to coach him very long, since another poor season could prompt the inept Mark Davis to send everyone packing. That's why the Carr selection was strange - it won't help the Raiders win now, so what good will it do for everyone currently on staff?

Otherwise, Oakland had a very solid draft. It was able to obtain a premiere pass-rusher in Khalil Mack, thanks to Jacksonville's incompetence. Gabe Jackson was the No. 1 guard on some boards (not counting Zack Martin because he can play tackle), so he was a steal in the third round. Keith McGill, meanwhile, was secured in the fourth frame despite being a second-round prospect. I wasn't a fan of some of the Raiders' late choices, but players taken in the final round usually don't make the roster anyway.

I'd say the Raiders improved overall. Had they opted for Marqise Lee, Allen Robinson or Jordan Matthews in the second round, I would've put them in the A- range.

NFL Draft Individual Grades:

5. Khalil Mack, DE/OLB, Buffalo: A+ Grade
Absolutely love this pick. Khalil Mack was the No. 2 prospect in the 2014 NFL Draft, so the Raiders are getting great value with the fifth pick, thanks to Jacksonville's incompetence. Reggie McKenzie signed a bunch of aging pass-rushers this offseason, but they need young blood at the position. Mack might even have a bit of a chip on his shoulder after falling to No. 5, so that makes this selection even sweeter.

36. Derek Carr, QB, Fresno State: C- Grade
I don't understand this pick very much. It's not terrible because there's good value with Derek Carr here, but he's not going to help the Raiders win now. That's exactly what they need to do though because Reggie McKenzie and the coaches will be fired otherwise. I get the feeling that incompetent owner Mark Davis stepped in and made this selection for the team, because it doesn't match what McKenzie has done this offseason. Plus, it's not like Carr is a great talent anyway. He was absolutely awful against USC.

81. Gabe Jackson, G, Mississippi State: A- Grade
Gabe Jackson was the top guard on some teams boards - I thought the Raiders would take him in the second round in my re-mock - so it's pretty remarkable that they were able to land him in the middle of the third. With Jackson in the mix, Austin Howard can play right tackle, and that should completely shore up Oakland's offensive line.

107. Justin Ellis, NT, Louisiana Tech: B Grade
I don't feel very strongly about this pick either way. There were some better players available, but Just Ellis fits the range and fills a need for a team that has some major defensive tackle issues.

116. Keith McGill, CB, Utah: A Grade
This is a steal. Keith McGill easily could have gone in the second round. He's a big corner who has great athleticism, and it's not like he didn't play well throughout his college career. The Raiders wanted to add to their cornerback corps, so this selection just makes so much sense.

219. Travis Carrie, CB, Ohio: C Grade
The Raiders added another corner, which is hardly a surprise. They were better players at the position available, however.

235. Shelby Harris, DE, Illinois State: C Grade
Another undraftable player, Shelby Harris will provide depth on the defensive line if he makes the roster. There were many better players available.

247. Jonathan Dowling, S, Western Kentucky: B Grade
The Raiders hadn't addressed the safety position yet, so they might as well do that now. Jonathan Dowling was seen as a late-round prospect, so this choice makes a lot of sense.

Season Summary:
The Raiders were 3-4 at one point during the 2013 campaign, and coming off an upset victory over the Steelers, it appeared as though they'd be a factor in the playoff race. But things quickly fell apart, beginning with Nick Foles' record-setting seven-touchdown performance. Oakland decided to retain its front office and coaching staff, so maybe it'll have more success in 2014 with the quarterback it decides to draft this May.

Offseason Moves:
  • Raiders cut G Mike Brisiel
  • Jets sign WR/KR Jacoby Ford
  • Raiders sign CB Carlos Rogers
  • Raiders sign DE/DT C.J. Wilson
  • Raiders re-sign DT Pat Sims
  • Raiders sign RB Maurice Jones-Drew
  • Seahawks sign CB Phillip Adams
  • Raiders acquire QB Matt Schaub from Texans for late-round pick
  • Raiders re-sign S Charles Woodson
  • Buccaneers sign CB Mike Jenkins
  • Raiders sign OT Donald Penn
  • Raiders sign G Kevin Boothe
  • Raiders sign WR James Jones
  • Raiders re-sign S Usama Young
  • Raiders sign DE/DT Antonio Smith
  • Raiders sign CB Tarell Brown
  • Chiefs sign DT Vance Walker
  • Raiders sign DE/OLB LaMarr Woodley
  • Raiders sign DE Justin Tuck
  • Redskins sign CB Tracy Porter
  • Raiders sign OT Austin Howard
  • Giants sign RB Rashad Jennings
  • Cardinals sign OT Jared Veldheer
  • Raiders re-sign RB Darren McFadden
  • Bears sign DE Lamarr Houston
  • Raiders re-sign G Khalif Barnes

    Team Needs:
    1. Quarterback: Offensive coordinator Greg Olson got the most he could out of Terrelle Pryor and Matt McGloin, but the Raiders need to find some stability at the quarterback position for the first time since 2002 league MVP Rich Gannon led the franchise to the Super Bowl. One of Teddy Bridgewater, Blake Bortles or Johnny Manziel will be available at No. 5, though they may like someone else... Traded for Matt Schaub

    2. Left Guard: I wrote this in my 2014 NFL Mock Draft, but Lucas Nix was the worst starting guard in the NFL this past year. Oakland desperately needs to upgrade this spot, perhaps with a second-day selection. Signed Kevin Boothe

    3. Two Defensive Ends: Lamarr Houston, Oakland's best player, happens to be a free agent. He'll have to be franchised. There is also a need across for an upgrade across from him. Signed Justin Tuck, Antonio Smith and LaMarr Woodley

    4. Two Cornerbacks: D.J. Hayden didn't play well as a rookie, but he'll be asked to start in 2014. Tracy Porter, Mike Jenkins and Phillip Adams will all be free agents, so the Raiders will need to find some new corners. Signed Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers

    5. Safety: The Raiders had the league's worst pass defense in the month of December, thanks in part to Brandian Ross' awful play at safety. Charles Woodson, meanwhile, is a free agent. He's a mere shell of his former self. Tyvon Branch will be back, but one more safety will need to be added. Re-signed Charles Woodson

    6. Running Back: Rashad Jennings and Darren McFadden are both free agents. Jennings shocked everyone by performing well in 2013. Raiders re-sign Darren McFadden; signed Maurice Jones-Drew

    7. Middle Linebacker: Nick Roach did not get the job done this past season, as he happened to be a major liability against the run. Oakland needs a three-down linebacker to man the middle so that Kevin Burnett doesn't have to be on the field in passing situations.

    8. Defensive Tackle: Pat Sims is a nice run-stuffer, but the Raiders don't have anyone to rush the quarterback from the interior. Re-signed Pat Sims

    9. Left Tackle: Jared Veldheer missed a big chunk of the 2013 season with an injury, but he played well upon returning to the lineup. He's a free agent, however. Signed Donald Penn and Austin Howard

    10. Wide Receiver: Andre Holmes, Rod Streater and Denarius Moore have all flashed at one point or another, but none of those wideouts are capable of being No. 1 options. Sammy Watkins could be Oakland's first-round pick if all of the quarterbacks are gone. Signed James Jones

      Follow me @walterfootball for updates.

    2014 NFL Free Agent Signings:
    1. Tarell Brown, CB, 49ers. Age: 29.
      Re-signed with Raiders

      Tarell Brown has been an excellent cornerback for the 49ers over the past few years. However, he missed some time with a rib injury this past season and lost his job to the emerging Tramaine Brock.

    2. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jaguars. Age: 29.
      Signed with Raiders (3 years)

      Maurice Jones-Drew's 2013 campaign was easily the worst of his career, but two things to keep in mind: First, he was running behind an offensive line with no talent whatsoever, all while opposing defenses were stacking the box against him. Second, he had a terrible injury in 2012, so he wasn't 100 percent. I wouldn't be surprised if he bounces back in 2014, assuming, of course, he lands in a much better situation.

    3. James Jones, WR, Packers. Age: 30.
      Signed with Raiders

      James Jones is a talent receiver who struggled with drops early in his career. He fixed that problem while catching 14 touchdowns in 2012. However, teams better make sure they don't overpay a 30-year-old wideout who has never tallied more than 1,000 receiving yards in a season.

    4. Austin Howard, OT, Jets. Age: 27.
      Signed with Raiders

      The once-beleaguered Austin Howard has improved every single season and is now viewed as a solid right tackle. He did a great job of improving his pass-protection skills this past year.

    5. Justin Tuck, DE, Giants. Age: 31.
      Signed with Raiders (2 years, $11 million)

      Justin Tuck was always strong against the run, but did nothing in terms of rushing the quarterback in 2013 - until he racked up a whopping four sacks against the Redskins. He put consistent pressure on the quarterback after that.

    6. Antonio Smith, DE/DT, Texans. Age: 32.
      Signed with Raiders (2 years, $9 million)

      Antonio Smith will be 33 in October, but he can still get after the quarterback. He can be a 4-3 left end who moves inside on obvious passing situations, but he's best off staying in the 3-4.

    7. LaMarr Woodley, DE/OLB, Steelers. Age: 29.
      Signed with Raiders (2 years, $12 million)

      LaMarr Woodley notched 13.5 sacks in 2009 and then nine sacks in just 10 games two years later. However, it's all been downhill since then. He was out of shape and consequently mustered only four sacks in 2012. He got off to a hot start last season, logging a sack in all but one of his first six games, but a calf injury derailed the second half of his 2013 campaign. Woodley has major potential to bounce back if he can stay healthy and motivated, but he's definitely an injury risk.

    8. Donald Penn, OT, Buccaneers. Age: 31.
      Signed with Raiders

      An overweight underachiever, Donald Penn failed to live up to the $41.7 million contract he signed in 2010. He has talent though, so with the right coaching, he could be a fine, short-term starter. Perhaps he'll be motivated after being released. Penn turns 31 in April.

    9. Carlos Rogers, CB, 49ers. Age: 33.
      Signed with Raiders

      Carlos Rogers had a stellar campaign in 2011, but has regressed in each of the past two seasons. He can still pass for an OK No. 2 corner, but given that he'll turn 33 in July, he won't be a starting-caliber player for much longer.

    10. Kevin Boothe, G, Giants. Age: 31.
      Signed with Raiders

      Kevin Boothe isn't a spectacular starter, but he's not bad either. His best attribute is his versatility; he can play all three positions in the interior.

    11. C.J. Wilson, DE/DT, Packers. Age: 27. -- Signed with Raiders

    Oakland Raiders Free Agents:

    Salary Cap: TBA.
    1. Lamarr Houston, DE, Raiders. Age: 27.
      Signed with Bears (5 years, $35 million)

      Lamarr Houston, the Raiders' best player, is a strong pass-rusher and is even better at shutting down the run. He'll only be 27 in June, so he deserves a massive contract.

    2. Jared Veldheer, OT, Raiders. Age: 27.
      Signed with Cardinals (5 years, $35 million)

      Jared Veldheer missed the first 12 weeks of the season with a triceps tear. Perhaps the Raiders will be able to retain him at a cheaper price as a consequence. If so, they should be happy because Veldheer is a solid blind-side protector.

    3. Darren McFadden, RB, Raiders. Age: 27.
      Re-signed with Raiders (1 year, $4 million)

      Darren McFadden has been through so many injuries that he's been sapped of all explosiveness. He's averaged 3.5 yards per carry or worse the past two seasons. Perhaps he can rebound in a better offense and become a legitimate threat again.

    4. Rashad Jennings, RB, Raiders. Age: 29.
      Signed with Giants

      Rashad Jennings was given a chance to prove himself when Maurice Jones-Drew suffered an injury in 2012, but struggled mightily. That's why it was so surprising that he thrived with the Raiders, outplaying Darren McFadden by a wide margin.

    5. Charles Woodson, S, Raiders. Age: 37.
      Re-signed with Raiders (1 year)

      Charles Woodson is playing on his last legs. He'll be 38 in October.

    6. Vance Walker, DT, Raiders. Age: 27.
      Signed with Chiefs

      Vance Walker is a jack-of-all-trades, master-of-none defensive tackle. He's passable as a starter.

    7. Mike Jenkins, CB, Raiders. Age: 29.
      Signed with Buccaneers (1 year, $1.5 million)

      Mike Jenkins never lived up to expectations, but he started at corner for the Raiders in 2013 and didn't fail miserably. He wasn't very good either, however.

    8. Pat Sims, DT, Raiders. Age: 28.
      Re-signed with Raiders

      Pat Sims is a solid run-stuffer who provided a good push in the pocket this season.

    9. Khalif Barnes, OT, Raiders. Age: 32.
      Re-signed with Raiders (1 year)

      Khalif Barnes was forced to play left tackle in the wake of Jared Veldheer's injury. This was viewed as a disaster area, but Barnes actually held up pretty well, surrendering only three sacks in 11 starts on the blind side.

    10. Jason Hunter, DE, Raiders. Age: 31.
    11. Jacoby Ford, WR/KR, Raiders. Age: 27. -- Signed with Jets
    12. Tony Pashos, OT, Raiders. Age: 34.
    13. Usama Young, S, Raiders. Age: 29. -- Re-signed with Raiders (2 years)
    14. Tracy Porter, CB, Raiders. Age: 28. -- Signed with Redskins
    15. Andre Gurode, C, Raiders. Age: 35.
    16. Phillip Adams, CB, Raiders. Age: 26. -- Signed with Seahawks (1 year)
    17. Mike Brisiel, G, Raiders. Age: 31.
    18. Chimdi Chekwa (RFA), CB, Raiders. Age: 25.

    NFL Free Agent Tracker:
    QB | RB | FB | WR | TE | OT | G | C | DE | DT | OLB | ILB | CB | S | K/P | FA Grades | FA Rumors

    NFL Free Agents

    NFL Picks - Feb. 7

    2017 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 5

    2016 NFL Mock Draft - Feb. 4

    2016 NBA Mock Draft - Feb. 2

    Fantasy Football Rankings - Jan. 15

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    Big Stoner (Anonymous Poster)
    18 day(s) 14 hour(s) ago - hide

    The pass rush fell off after Mario Edwards got hurt. It actually improved a little after Aldon was suspended. Everyone needs more edge rushers. 

    They don't necessarily need 2 LB's although it wouldn't hurt. What they need is a better coverage LB/SS because the TE's burned them all year. 

    You're also mistaken about center depth. Bergstrom was adequate as the backup. They need greater guard depth or a new RG.  

    2    0 Reply
    Kidkash3000 0 Posts (0)
    4 month(s) 11 day(s) ago - hide
    Sticking to your 3-13 prediction? 
    0    0 Reply
    annoyed by ignorance (Anonymous Poster)
    6 month(s) 21 day(s) ago - hide
    This article is impossible to take seriously as soon as you say hiring Del Rio was a poor decision and rank the coaching staff (who have Ken Norton Jr, Mike Tice, Bill Musgrave and many others who have experience and PROVEN track records) with one star. 

    4    0 Reply
    Roy (Anonymous Poster)
    9 month(s) 11 day(s) ago - hide
    Ben Heeney is trash
    0    7 Reply
    Rem (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 9 month(s) ago - hide
    Can someone tell me why did not draft WR? Nothing potent on roster?
    1    4 Reply
    Zen (Anonymous Poster)
    9 month(s) 13 day(s) ago - hide
    @Rem Nice question 11 months ago.  They did just that.  Good eye.
    6    3 Reply
    Draft (Anonymous Poster)
    9 month(s) 20 day(s) ago - hide
    1 Leonard Williams (DT)
    Form a new williams wall!
    2 Andrus Peat (OT)
    LT of the future, could move Penn to RT or start him out there
    3 Danielle Hunter (DE)
    Potential is all there; might take a year for it to flash, but should get the time
    4 Ifo Ekpre-Olomu (CB)
    Can recover and provide a starter
    5 Vince Mayle (WR)
    Give it a year and he will be great - can grow with Carr, great athlete
    6 Robert Myers (OG)
    Potential starter, can form the inside of the line for a long time
    7 Anthony Jefferson (S)
    Woodson prodogy
    2    1 Reply
    J. Gabel (Anonymous Poster)
    11 month(s) 24 day(s) ago - hide

    An update to the OT situation, it is being reported that Austin Howard will be kicked out to RT to compete with Menelik Watson. While LT of the future should still be addressed, I don't think that is the second biggest need for the Raiders anymore. Howard played much better at RT with the Jets, so this should be an immediate improvement (assuming the interior is addressed).

    Looking at MLB, RE, WR, RG as the four glaring needs, with DB and RB depth as tertiary concerns.

    2    0 Reply
    A. Rice (Anonymous Poster)
    11 month(s) 24 day(s) ago - hide

    Obviously we (Raiders) have many holes to fill.  Roach, Branch, Rogers, MJD, D. Mcfadden, need to go in my opinion.  Our coaches have a defensive mindset so lets build there.  

    FA Defense: Jerry Hughes, Jabaal Sheard, Akeem Ayers, Brandon Spikes, Byron Maxwell, Da,Norris Searcy, T. Knighton   

    Draft D: L. Williams, if not L. Collins. I know a lil high for him but there aren't very many safeties available right now and hes the best out of next years draft.

    FA Offense: Mark Ingram, Antone Smith(kick returner too), Mike Iupati, Kenny Britt, Jordan Cameron, Cecil Shorts

    Draft O: Green-Beckham, Hroniss Grasu, speed wr 

    1    1 Reply
    TIberiusRising (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide
    Burris was third string MLB for us. He is backup WLB. Roach is still supposed to come back as our starter and Maiva is now no longer with the team after his latest injury. I think a guy like Mason Foster in FA would fit perfectly and give us some insurance on Roach. 
    0    1 Reply
    Sac Raider fan (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 0 month(s) ago - hide
    I agree with most of these team needs, however I keep seeing in the early mocks and here about the Raiders needing an upgrade to Miles Burris at ILB. He's really not a starter, Nick Roach was before getting hurt. Burris filled in due to injury. I actually think with Roach, Moore and Mack, the LB corps is pretty solid. Biggest need to me is getting someone else on DL who can get the double a triple teams off Mack to free him up to do more. Watch the Buffalo game, Mack was getting tripled and still got into the backfield... that guy is a stud. With another threat up front, he's gonna be even better.
    0    0 Reply
    Bearpig (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 1 month(s) ago - hide

    Hey Walter and Charlie,

    Now that the season has played out, I'm genuinely curious to know what you think of the Raiders draft class and, in particular, Derek Carr. I thought you guys did a fair and accurate review of their picks post-draft...save for your analyses of Carr.

    In what ways has your opinion of Carr changed since draft day?  Do you recognize him as head and shoulders abover his rookie QB classmates? Have you been able to appreciate his significant intangibles, as well as his ability to stand calmly in the pocket and take the nasty hit, which was supposedly what everyone was concerned about after watching tape vs USC?

    I have a theory as to why Carr, in retrospect, appears to have been so undervalued last year...it relates to how many analysts, media types, talent evaluators  were absolutely burned, humiliated, etc. by his brother a decade earlier. Indeed, the elder Carr cost many up and coming media personalities their credibility, thier jobs, even their futures in the industry...and those in "power", those that were cutting their teeth on what was then becoming known as the internet, those who were still in their early to mid 20s/early 30s, swore off ever supporting and promoting any QB named Carr again.

    1    0 Reply
    Bearpig (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 1 month(s) ago - hide


    And before you scoff at my theory, consider that this same phenomenon exists currently amongst those that call themselves professional economists. Most influential economists are well into their 50s and 60s and, thus, experienced first hand the debilitating inflation that damaged this country in the 1970s.

    Now, 40 years later, these neophytes cannot differentiate between their own, explicit, extraordinary experience and the objective reality of the supply shock (during a cold war that dramatically reduced trade, as well) that lasted but a few years...and continue today to warn citizens about the danger, if not imminence, of inflation...when any intelligent NFL scout, errr...financial type...recognizes that the country is literally on the verge of a massive deflation, a greater depression, if you will, the reality of which will become all too apparent once our central bankers are no longer able to pump the pump so to speak.

    And its too bad...because I think Derek Carr is a lot better than even his most fervent advocates even realize.

    1    0 Reply
    njdskh43367 (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 6 month(s) ago - hide
    The NFL record for most pick sixes in a single season is six, set by Peyton Manning in 2001.  It included a a stretch of three consecutive games in which a defender returned an int for TD.  Peyton Manning is a top-ten quarterback.  Let me be very clear.  That  has no bearing whatsoever on Schuab's ranking among other QB's.  What it does mean is that throwing more pick sixes in a certain number of games than any other quarterback has over the same period is not disqualifying per se of top-ten status.  There are any number of stats that place Schaub outside the top ten, often way outside it.  Using one that does not makes you sound silly, and since it has been mentioned by others around 27,000 times already, it makes you sound lazy.  Typically, your work is neither, so when you say something that belongs on Around the Horn it immediately stands out.
    2    0 Reply
    Wyvol 27 Posts (13 )
    1 years 7 month(s) ago - hide
    I'm an avid fan of the CFL as well as the NFL, and I will say that Schaub would not be a good fit in the CFL. But then again, we're talking about Dennis Allen.
    0    4 Reply
    Beebs (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 7 month(s) ago - hide
    I think the Raiders made a lot of great moves this offseason, but they assembled a 'win now' sort of team out of mediocre or end of their career players. It's still impressive to see how active they were this offseason... part of me wants to see then do better than 3-13, but there's no room for error in their division. 
    1    1 Reply
    KevinBootheRaiders (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 7 month(s) ago - hide
    Walt, it's Kevin Boothe not Keith.
    3    0 Reply
    #17 (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 7 month(s) ago - hide
    If Derek Carr can play it will be evident this season in games and/or practice.  If the staff gets canned, the new staff will already know if he can play at this level.  NFL teams film EVERYTHING.  It's not like he's going to fly under  the radar and disappear.  If he deserves to be in the NFL, he will be in the NFL. 
    0    1 Reply
    UDFA (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 9 month(s) ago - hide
    <p>They have brought in some decent guys for competition, but there are some positions where a guy there could be really beneficial, but they haven't done it. I think they should try to bring in:</p><p>-A pass rushing DT (they brought in two hole creators and run stuffers like lesser Pat Sims and Justin Ellis players. Maybe will get a spot in rotation or something. Still could use a guy who can rush in the middle on his own right, like a young, lesser Antonio Smith). E.g. Davon Coleman, DE/DT, Arizona State (58 tackles, 8.5 sacks) would be a good pickup. Super athletic and versatile.</p><p>-Inside linebackers: They have a good crop of outside linebackers, including some young depth. They may find another guy or two, but they are generally set. Inside Linebacker is a major spot that needs to be filled though. They have a couple of two downers whom are veterans. They have brought in Carlos Fields who can play all LB positions in a 4-3, but they should probably bring in another to really compete against Roach or Mailuka or whoever else was the stopgap for ILB. Even if they just compete with them or displace one of the backup veterans, it's greatly needed. E.g. Caleb Lavey, ILB, Oklahoma State or Tavarus Wilson, ILB, Alabama State.</p><p>-Free Safety. Right now, it's 7th round safety Jonathan Dowling, Charles Woodson and Special teamer Shelton Johnson. Perhaps they should just bring in one more guy for competition for the spot. E.g. Avery Patterson, FS, Oregon. Super athletic, could grow to become a decent starter. Will provide plenty of competition with the other three guys. </p><p></p>
    0    0 Reply
    Carr (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 9 month(s) ago - hide
    The only thing I don't get is why they say McKenzie has to win "now". I'm pretty sure the owner knows it'll take at least a couple of years to get this team back on track, and making the expectation that they should risk the future just to win now is ridiculous. If the C- grade for Carr was justified because of his ability, then I'd think it's fair. However, when it is said that the Quarterback position is the number 1 need (as you listed), and that the best player at the position and probably the best player available falls to you (and was probably number 1 on their board too), it deserves a better grade. Definitely not the Raider's best pick, but that's only because all of their other picks (minus the first two 7th round picks) were so good. If I am their owner, I have trust in these guys to improve.
    6    0 Reply
    BearPig (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 9 month(s) ago - hide

    You all need to give Walter a break...and realize that you, yourselves, even as diehard Raider fans (or especially as diehard fans), are likely just as "conditioned to expect the worst" from the Raiders.

    And given that old habits die very hard, as well as the nature of the beast that is analyzing (objectively) draft picks, I'm actually quite impressed at just how insightful (and objective) Walter's draft pick analyses are, no less in real time.

    Originally, I was going to post this immediately subsequent to the Carr pick. I'm glad, now, that I waited another day to do so, as Walter's subsequent real-time grades of A-, B, and A, for picks 81, 106, and 117, respectively, make my case for me (better than I ever could).

    Having said that, I would add that Walter's specific comments (putting aside the grade) about Carr DO appear to be a bit "nonsensical." At the least, as isolated comments, they lack the "substance" that characterizes his usual work. For example, Walter writes: "Plus, it's not like Carr is a great talent anyway." That's an odd thing for a smart analyst to suggest - even Carr's biggest detractors recognize that Carr is remarkably talented. Walter further adds that: "He was absolutely awful against USC." Another odd remark. So what? To use a rare exception to attempt to discredit an entire body of work is silly, at best. As I mentioned, kind of pointless remarks in isolation...and when contemplated as part of a greater whole, these comments smack of grasping at straws, suggest that the writer may have an agenda.

    But, in light of what I broached earlier, that old habits die hard, and in the context of the reality that has been the recent Raider incompetence,  I can certainly understand Walter's reluctance to hand out consecutive, solid grades to the Raiders. For one, his reputation is at stake. And then, well, let's be honest...even I (or maybe I should say, "especially I"), as a diehard Raider fan for 40 years (the last 10+ of which weigh most heavily on my psyche), find it hard to believe that my Raiders are making these remarkable picks...find myself questioning whether this is actually "real."

    Knowing Walter, I bet that, upon further review, he reconsiders the Carr grade...especially when he considers the pick NOW, in light of the "immediate gratification" that the subsequent picks appear to have provided to the franchise.

    FWIW,  I love the Carr pick. I truly believe that he is a franchise-caliber QB around whom RM will build the offense for years to come. That he was available at 36 makes the pick an A, in my mind, versus the B+ it might have been had the Raiders traded down (in Round 1) to get him, versus the lower grade yet it could have been had the Raiders decided to get their man at any cost.

    I sense that "human nature" has made it difficult for Derek Carr to be evaluated objectively. And I'm glad for that. Were his last name not Carr, and had David not embarassed entirely so many evaluators/prognosticators a decade earlier, and had the Texans not become synonomous with the disaster that is "guessing wrong on a can't-miss QB," then, at the least, I suspect that the Raiders would never have had the opportunity to draft him, even at #5.

    17    2 Reply
    RaidersFan (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 9 month(s) ago - hide
    This is probably the most tastefully written and well articulated comment that I've ever seen anybody post on here. I especially agree with your comments regarding Walt's 'analysis' of the Derek Carr pick. Thank you for representing Raider fans in a positive light for once.
    7    0 Reply
    RaidersFan (Anonymous Poster)
    1 years 9 month(s) ago - hide
    This is probably the most tastefully written and well articulated comment that I've ever seen anybody post on here. I especially agree with your comments regarding Walt's 'analysis' of the Derek Carr pick. Thank you for representing Raider fans in a positive light for once. 
    2    0 Reply
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