The Raiders have been rumored to have interest in Donovan McNabb and now Jason Campbell, but as of yet nothing has materialized. While the quarterback position remains an area of need, trading for a high profile player like McNabb or Campbell would require Al Davis to accept the mistake he made by drafting JaMarcus Russell. At this point he seems unwilling to do so, which means the team may be more likely to target another quarterback late in the draft.
Oakland has not signed or re-signed anyone who is expected to start in 2010. However, they have added some depth at weak positions. Linebackers Sam Williams and Ricky Brown should both contribute in a reserve role on defense, as well as on special teams.
Defensive linemen Chris Cooper and William Joseph are both familiar with the team's defensive scheme, but they have not been very productive players. At best they will earn a spot as a back-up. The team still needs to acquire at least one defensive tackle with enough talent to shore up Oakland's porous run defense.
In the secondary, the Raiders have brought back S Hiram Eugene to back-up Michael Huff. Eugene lost his starting job to Huff last season, and will now be paid $1.7 million to contribute in a reserve role.
As far as the offense is concerned, the only transaction of note has been the re-signing of offensive lineman Langston Walker. The 31-year old showed some ability at left guard in 2009, and he could find himself starting there again net season. The team still needs to find a replacement for G Cooper Carlisle on the other side of the line.
It seems likely that the Raiders will target an offensive tackle like Bruce Campbell or Trent Williams with the 8th pick in the draft. Who do you think Oakland will select?
Team Needs and 2009 Draft results after the jump...
- Defensive Tackle: The team has re-signed William Joseph and brought in Chris Cooper, but neither of these players is likely to solidify the interior of Oakland's defensive line. Look for the club to continue to add depth at this position.
- Left Tackle: The Raiders have already have Mario Henderson, who has been solid at the left tackle position. However, if they can snag a more athletic player to take over the left side, Henderson could then slide over to the right side of the line. Theoretically, the team would improve both ends of their line by adding just one player. The team is rumored to have interest in Maryland tackle Bruce Campbell.
- Right Guard: Oakland needs to improve upon Cooper Carlisle at right guard.
- Quarterback: None of the players on the Raiders' roster is a legitimate NFL starting quarterback. Bruce Gradkowski and JaMarcus Russell are slated to "compete" for the starting job at this point. It seems likely that Gradkowski will be the starting quarterback to begin the season, and while he is an improvement over Russell, his physical tools leave something to be desired. If the team does not acquire another quarterback via trade, they will almost certainly select one in the draft.
- Cornerback: Nnamdi Asomugha has solidified one side of the field for the Raiders' secondary, but they could use a cornerback who can push Chris Johnson on the other side. Adding depth and competition at this position may improve the production Oakland receives.
- Middle Linebacker: Kirk Morrison misses a lot of tackles at the middle linebacker position. An upgrade here would help solidify the defensive front seven and improve their performance against the run.
2009 Draft Results
- Round 1, Pick 7: WR Darrius Heyward-Bey (Maryland)
- Round 2, Pick 47: SS Mike Mitchell (Ohio)
- Round 3, Pick 71: DE Matt Shaughnessy (Wisconsin)
- Round 4, Pick 124: WR Louis Murphy (Florida)
- Round 4, Pick 126: DE Slade Norris (Oregon State)
- Round 6, Pick 199: DE Stryker Sulak (Missouri)
- Round 6, Pick 202: TE Brandon Myers (Iowa)