Poll Time!

8 Million Frees up, Where do we Spend it?

Since it is now June 3rd we have cleared some cap space due to the cuts of Michael Huff and Richard Seymour. If this is played correctly, which judging by how this off-season has gone so far(AMAZING), we should be able to make some late signings with big upsides. My targets if I’m the Oakland Raiders are two guys, former Chiefs RT Eric Winston, and former Falcons DE John Abraham, both garnering 1 year deals. Eric Winston was rated one of the best RT’s in the league last year, there’s rumors circulating that he is demanding too much money, I hear it’s only 3-4 million which I’m completely fine with signing him for $3.5 million. That leaves about 5.5 million dollars left in cap space to bring in John Abraham whom would sign for 1.5-2 million dollars. We would have 3-4 million dollars left in cap space for anything else we desire(perhaps Dallas Clark) so what does this give us?  Well, the offensive line now has 2 great tackles and a great center, with two mauler guards, the result? Power blocking will already dramatically improve our run game, and Winston would dramatically increase pass protection on the right side, the left we all know is already well protected. As for Abraham lets just hope he has some more left in the tank, he did produce well last year with 10 sacks coming from the RDE position. Opposite of him will be Houston who would benefit as he would probably see less attention. Outside of these two guys, we would probably platoon/rotate in Andre Carter and David Bass giving us a very nice pass rush. I already strongly feel like this could be a playoff year, as a wildcard, if these two additions are made I don’t see any reason why we couldn’t legitimately be a playoff team, and a very scary team regardless. Get ready Raider Nation, we potentially could see some action in the coming days/weeks. Post comments or questions below, thank you!

Ol’ Reg: The New Regime

The first season under Reggie McKenzie to the casual football fan seems like a complete failure. He comes in fails to resign Wimbley, and lets Bush walk,the Raiders go from an 8 win team to a 4 win team, boom, bad year right? Not necessarily, once you figure how much Bush and Wimbley would’ve cost to keep, and given the fact that we wouldn’t be a playoff team, he did the right thing by signing inexpensive serviceable to players to one year deals. So the season ends a disappointing 4-12, then it all happened. He cut Seymour, Kelly, Huff, and McClain, decided to not resign Bartell, Spencer, Bryant, Myers, Wheeler, Lechler, or Shaughnessy. Holy hell, losing nine players that started at some point during the season on defense, the best tight end since Zach Miller, actually he was better than Miller, and the cornerstone punter?! They’re screwed!! Then I stepped back and looked at the situation, King replaces Lechler, not so bad, Reggie then signed Rashad Jennings, Nick Roach, Kevin Burnett, Kaluka Maiava, Pat Sims, Jason Hunter, Vance Walker, Mike Jenkins, Tracy Porter, and Usama Young. Umm so we replaced our entire secondary with better players, our entire linebacking corps with better players, and got players that will actually put forth effort on the defensive side of the ball. On top of that we traded off Carson Palmer, and then traded for Matt Flynn? DAMN! The Raiders receive the 3rd pick in the draft, nevermind the mocks saying we were taking Geno Smith or Sharrif Floyd, Reggie trades down to Miami grabs a second rounder and selects DJ Hayden a true cover corner with an inspiring story. In the second round we nab Menelik Watson a RT out of Florida State with the potential to be a starter this season or next. Sio Moore in the third gives us an effective pass rusher and some linebacker depth. My favorite pick came in the 4th round, Tyler Wilson, in my opinion the best QB in the draft was a steal this late, was a surefire 1st round pick last year and then endured a circus at Arkansas to still put together a respectable season. With no pick in the 5th round the Raiders had a busy 6th round grabbing a pair of tight ends in Nick Kasa and Mychal Rivera, who I think compliment each other very well, Kasa is more of an all -around tight end while Rivera is more of a receiving tight end. The Raiders also snagged a big, and fast running back out of UCF, Latavious Murray, who I project to open the season as the back up to McFadden. Out of character for McKenzie the Raiders selected Stacy McGee with the last pick in the 6th round, McGee has had numerous run ins with the law in the past few years but is an outstanding defensive tackle prospect, if he keeps his nose clean he could contend for a starting sport on the defensive line, McGee is thought to be able to play DT in a 4-3 and DE in a 3-4 his versatility will suit the team well. Our two 7th round picks, to me, are complete steals, Brice Butler formally of USC came out of San Diego State, he is a big wide receiver with average speed, a crazy vertical, great hands, great body control, and good route running. David Bass, the final selection for the Oakland Raiders 2013 draft is a DE/OLB prospect out of Division II Missouri State University, he’s a little small to see as a full time DE unless he puts on about 20 lbs, I see him in the same role as Sio Moore, a stand up pass rusher off the edge in a 3-4. After the draft we have added multiple players with the potential to start right away(Hayden, Watson, Moore, Wilson, Kasa, McGee) and the rest our back-ups at worse(Murray, Rivera, Butler, Bass). After the draft my favorite UDFA signing of the Raiders is Conner Vernon out of Duke, he reminds me of Wes Welker, and before the signing of Josh Cribbs I thought he’d make the team, I now think we will only keep two players out of Vernon, Cribbs, and Ford. Cribbs and Ford have a history of injuries, Ford has proven to be very versatile and injury prone, Cribbs is strictly a return man coming back from a meniscus injury, while Vernon is strictly a slot receiver with greats hands and route running. To me the most ideal thing would be to keep Cribbs and Vernon, Ford simply is off the field too often, besides it’s been shown in recent years how effective the slot receiver can be. After the draft the Raiders signed Chris Kluwe to come in and challenge Marquette King for the punting job, I ultimately think King will win the position battle because of his booming leg, while Kluwe is more consistent King will be a special teams cornerstone for years to come. The biggest free agent signing came Just days ago with the Raiders acquisition of Charles “Chuck” Woodson, the former Defensive Player of the Year is back where he started his career and will be taking the free safety job from Usama Young. This signing pushes the Raiders to a top 5 secondary, with a top 10 linebacking corps already set in, the only question rising on the defensive side is the suspect defensive line, which I think will be mediocre, but not bad. Ultimately I think the Raiders have a top 10 defense, not bad considering what we had a season ago. On the offense things are more less strung together. A cornerstone LT and C are nice building blocks for the offensive line, I project Bergstrom to play at LG and Nix to fill the gap at RG with Brisiel coming off the bench. The only offensive line battle in camp should be for back up roles and the battle between Watson, and Barnes at RT, which ultimately will probably end with Barnes winning, at least for week 1. Two UDFA signings I love along the offensive line are RT John Wetzel out of Boston College and OG Lamar Mady of Youngstown state, I see both of the them making the team along with Conner Vernon. The five wide recievers I would rotate in game would be Moore, Streater, Criner, Butler and Vernon, all very young, no player with more than 2 full seasons worth of experience, and 2 rookies of the bunch, this group is extremely talented though. Could be the most dangerous receiving corp in the NFL this season. McFadden’s health will be the biggest determinate of how this offense produces, if he stays healthy this is a top 10 offense, if he is hurt it could range anywhere from 15th to 20th in the league. Make no mistake this Raiders team isn’t to be taken lightly. The biggest camp battle I want to see is Tyler Wilson versus Matt Flynn, I give a slight advantage to Wilson here, I know how smart, tough, and talented he is, I truly believe he gives us the best chance to win. Needless to say it will be an interesting season for the Raiders, I see us at least winning 7 games and at most winning 10. I know, that’s a BOLD prediction, especially with odds makers putting us at 5.5 wins for the season, but really review the information I’ve given you, do the Raiders seem as bad as you thought they did before reading this? Next year will be an even crazier offseason with the Raiders projected to have more than 60 million dollars in cap space, this may not be a playoff year for the Raiders, but next season very much should be. Comment below and let me know your thoughts! Thank you!

Trade down to Dallas is what we should

Trade down to Dallas is what we should do.

 

1. DJ Hayden CB Houston

2. Kyle Long RT Oregon

3. John Jenkins DT Georgia

4. Tyler Wilson QB Arkansas

5. Kwame Geathers DT Georgia

6. Omoregie Uzzi OG Georgia Tech

6. Jordan Mills OT Louisiana Tech

6. Denard Robinson Utility Michigan

7. Lawrence Okoye DL England

 

 

UDFA

1. Miguel Maysonet RB Stony Brook

2. Keith Pough MLB Howard

3. Ray Polk FS Colorado

4. Armonty Bryant DE East Central University

5. Brice Butler WR San Diego State University

6. Philip Lutzenkirchen TE Auburn

 

 

Trade down with Cleveland this is what we should do.

 

1. DJ Hayden CB Houston

3. John Jenkins DT Georgia

4. Tyler Wilson QB Arkansas

5. Kwame Geathers DT Georgia

6. Omoregie Uzzi OG Georgia Tech

6. Jordan Mills OT Louisiana Tech

6. Denard Robinson Utility Michigan

7. Lawrence Okoye DL England

 

 

UDFA

1. Miguel Maysonet RB Stony Brook

2. Keith Pough MLB Howard

3. Ray Polk FS Colorado

4. Armonty Bryant DE East Central University

5. Brice Butler WR San Diego State University

6. Philip Lutzenkirchen TE Auburn

Where does the Raider Nation start?

You have to think it would start with restructuring the rest of our out of whack contracts. Palmer, Kelly, DHB, and Huff all need their deals re-done. Those moves would free up enough space to bring back Wheeler, Myers, and Bryant; while still leaving enough money in the bank to pursue some veterans who could help for a couple years. If I had my choice of who were pursued I’d definitely like to see some old Raiders return. Asomugha, and Woodson could help this secondary for sure, yes there are overwhelming question marks about both; but I see nothing wrong with putting Woodson at free safety and sliding Huff to cornerback for a season or two. Asomugha would definitely be an upgrade over last years starters, I personally think he was misused in Philadelphia and I think that will show this year. Other targets would include Freeney, Butler, Maualuga, Rodgers-Cromartie, Jenkins, and Bushrod. The Raiders won’t be able to sign all of these targets obviously but a combination of these players will make a dramatic change from the team we saw go 4-12 last year.