It’s been a while since we’ve done a Raiders Mailbag and with the NFL Draft right around the corner, it feels like there couldn’t be a better time to get back into it. So let’s do just that!
Personally, I don’t think the chances are very high at all.
I don’t think the lack of action on defense this offseason is just a coincidence. I think Jon Gruden is an offensive guy who is ok with spending less (both in draft capital and cap space) on defense so that he can get the toys he wants on offense. That’s not to say this is bad, you can absolutely win this way.
But with Clark and Clowney, you’re looking at big contract stand-offs that are not all that dissimilar to what we saw with Khalil Mack. No, neither of these guys are going to be in the conversation for highest paid defender, but they want top tier money, which is A LOT for a pass rusher. Not to mention the draft capital it would take to pry them away.
First let me clarify some confusion that may have been caused by me. It was reported that the Raiders would look at adding up to three new starters on offense. I interpreted that (probably incorrectly) to mean in the first two rounds since the Raiders don’t currently have a third rounder. But as many pointed out, you can find a starting running back in later rounds and maybe even other positions if you get lucky.
As I noted above, this doesn’t surprise me. I think we can expect Jon Gruden to always prioritize offense over defense. And again, that’s not to say they can’t win that way. They invested a lot in offense already this offseason so part of me says yeah, go ahead and make sure all those other investments pay off by making sure the offense is as good as it can possibly be.
The other part of me dies a little inside when thinking about having to watch this Raiders defense if they don’t add a lot of talent in the draft.
For the most part, yes. But with one major exception. And I think everyone knows where I’m going with this.
The Raiders HAVE to spend a high pick, preferably number four, on a pass rusher. I don’t care if it’s interior or edge (though I’d prefer edge) but they have to do it. With every other position, they did enough in free agency to just go get good football players.
But they HAVE to improve the pass rush in the draft.
I sure hope so. I’d be shocked if they don’t bring someone in to compete with Townsend. But I also don’t think they will spend draft capital on his competition.
Obviously it depends on who is taken, but in theory I am not at all opposed to taking an offensive lineman in the first round.
Partially, that’s because I’m of the school of thought that you build from the lines out. Going with that school of thought comes the even more devout school of thought that you can never have too many lineman.
I’d be fine with spending high draft capital on lineman, offensive and/or defensive, every single year. Regardless of need. That’s how important I believe they are.
So yeah, if they go get a starting guard to pair opposite Gabe Jackson? I’m into it.
I think it’s very likely to be honest. I think the most likely scenario is the Raiders trading back from four in order to take White while also adding more picks to their bounty. As for guard, I could definitely see the Raiders taking a guard early but my guess is that it’d be with 27 or 32 because I think there will be plenty of options available at that point while 24 would likely have some options that are more valuable.
For me, it depends on how far back they trade. If they can add some draft capital while still staying in the top 10-15 then I’m good with it. If they have to move further back than that, I’m not going to be very happy.
I think they have the chance to take a difference maker on defense with the number four pick. They can still get a difference maker in the top ten and maybe the top 15. Outside of that, you’re missing out on the top tier talent and I would not be ok with that.
Wow, this is a tough one. My guess is that the Giants would make the most sense. I could see them trading up a few spots to get a QB. That allows the Raiders to stay in the top ten and still add some draft capital. As for how much they’d get? I’m guessing a third and a fourth or something in that area.
I’m worried we may find out…
Best question yet!! I know most are gonna say dragon and for obvious reasons. For me, it’s the direwolf? Why? Because while the dragons can wreak havoc on a massive scale, the direwolf is like having the most badass bodyguard with you at all times. Dragons can’t help you if they’re chillin outside while The Mountain is trying to crush your skull inside a castle.
Nah, that makes total sense. Especially considering the Raiders don’t currently have a third round pick this year. That being said, I wouldn’t want to drop back more than a few spots. As I’ve said before, i think the Raiders have the opportunity to grab an elite defensive player but they have to stay in the top ten and maybe top 15 to still land one.
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