The Oakland Raiders have brought in nine new players this offseason, eight signed as free agents and one acquired through a trade. They have also re-signed a number of their own players and added a couple guys who were not on NFL teams before free agency began. But given how many holes the Raiders roster had before they started the rebuild this offseason, it is not surprising that they still have some major holes, even with the influx of new players.
General manager Reggie McKenzie has clearly been focused on building the Raiders through the lines, signing six different players who will have their hands in the dirt next season: offensive linemen Austin Howard, Kevin Boothe and Donald Penn, two defensive linemen in Justin Tuck and Antonio Smith, and a former outside linebacker who will be playing defensive end in LaMarr Woodley. But with every starting defensive lineman from 2013 not under contract, the Raiders still have a big need at defensive tackle.
As it currently stands, the Raiders starting defensive tackle duo would be Smith and second-year player Stacy McGee. While the coaching staff likes what McGee did as a rookie, he was still a sixth round pick who has a lot of developing to do. Plus, even if that duo makes a solid starting pair, the depth behind them is borderline pathetic. Whether it be through free agency, re-signing Pat Sims (pictured to the right) or through the draft, the Raiders desperately need more bodies for their defensive line.
There is also a serious need for more cornerbacks. The Raider saw both of their starting corners in 2013, Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins, leave via free agency. While they did sign Tarell Brown, who is probably the best corner Oakland has seen sine Nnamdi Asomugha was in town, he is not enough. The Raiders clearly hope D.J. Hayden will pan out in his second season, but even if he does, they need a starting nickel corner as well as added depth.
The team also has big needs for depth all across the roster. Without improving in these areas, the Raiders will be hard-pressed to put up a record much better than they did in 2013.