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Oakland Raiders Offseason Team Needs – TSJ Sports

Oakland Raiders Offseason Team Needs - TSJ Sports NFL PW McMahon via Flickr



The Oakland Raiders had an incredible season coming to a screeching halt when Derek Carr was injured in Week 16, leaving many fans worried about the many issues that had light shed onto the up and coming team. Addressing the Raiders team needs will be essential if they hope to make a deep run into the playoffs. The Oakland defense struggled to stop even the slowest offenses last year, as giving up over 350 yards a game became “the norm” for the Raiders and their fans alike. The offense also seemed to deteriorate once Carr was out of the game. The rushing game fell apart without the offensive leader, and it nearly goes without saying that the passing offense was abysmal without Derek Carr. Without the team MVP, Oakland struggled to reach over 225 yards per game offensively, and will need to address these team needs in order to remain a contender in the ever advancing NFL.


The Oakland Raider defense is the first point of concern for the franchise going forward. The defense was seventh worst in the league, allowing 375 yards per game. The addition of Mario Edwards Jr was a great move, but the defensive line needs more run support up the middle if they want to slow down the running game. Over 117 of those yards were given up on the ground, a figure that must be shaved down moving forward. The team needs on the defensive line is top priority moving forward, as their front seven was ranked middle of the pack by Pro Football Focus while being carried by the likes of Khalil Mack. Caleb Brantley, defensive tackle out of Florida, could provide the run stopping ability in the middle of the line that the Raiders need to add.

The passing defense had their struggles as well, losing defensive backs left and right. DJ Hayden will look to make a strong return following a season riddled with injury, while Nate Allen and Karl Joseph can hopefully be healthy at the same time creating a potent depth at the position. Health is no excuse for allowing over 250 passing yards and 27 touchdowns through the air. An additional safety/cornerback hybrid in the middle round of the upcoming NFL Draft could only bode well for the Raiders. Malcom Smith will need to return to Super Bowl MVP form if he expects to stick around Oakland(possibly Las Vegas). The Oakland Raiders could turn to Cornerback Jourdan Lewis out of Michigan early in the draft to fill this hole as he is an aspiring talent with great hands.

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The Oakland pass rush flaunted two bullies while the rest of the defense struggled to create pressure. The Raiders only forced 18 sacks in all of last season. That is a terribly low number, especially when considering that Khalil Mack accounted for 11 of those sacks on his own. Bruce Irvin was also a constant figure in opposing Quarterbacks faces, but need more production in the pass rush moving forward. The Raiders could turn to free agency in hopes of picking up someone like Nick Perry during the offseason. He may fit in well, but the NFL Draft also offers many prospects like Taco Charlton out of Michigan. The Defensive End is known for getting after the Quarterback and could serve as a great addition.

The Oakland Raiders are currently an offensive juggernaut, but that is not to say there is room for improvement on this side of the ball. With Donald Penn out in their Wildcard matchup with the Texans, the offensive line was constantly breaking down. Cook was sacked three times, more than any single game Carr was featured. In all fairness, his replacement Denver Kirkland, did not stand much of a chance against the beast that has re-awoken in Jadeveon Clowney and the Houston Texans number one defense. The real issue for Oakland is that without Carr they failed to reach 175 passing yards in two weeks, along with averaging a measly 60 rushing yards per game. A good second round pick for the Raiders could be Forrest Lamp, a strong Right Tackle from Western Kentucky. Donald Penn will make a return next year, but Lamp could become a versatile lineman with the ability to be plugged in nearly anywhere.

The Oakland Raiders will need to become more well rounded as they hope to grow and dominate the AFC West. They are knocking on the door of growing into the next perennial Super Bowl contender and can do so with the right offseason moves and correct addressing of their team needs prior to the 2017 season.