2017 Oakland Raiders Offseason Preview
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2016 Season Recap
It was a successful, yet disappointing 2016 in Oakland. The Raiders finished with an AFC West-best 12-4 record, resulting to a playoff berth for the first time in 13 years. But when Derek Carr broke his leg in Week 16, their season basically ended. Depth became a clear issue for the Raiders, who looked powerless without their starting quarterback. They were eventually booted out in the Wild Card round against the Texans.
Still, Oakland fans should be happy with their club’s resurgence. They can expect a better outcome next season as long as the Raiders stay healthy and make the right moves in the offseason.
Top Free Agency Need(s)
Oakland enters the offseason possessing just over $50 million in cap space. Yes, that’s good news but the team can’t overspend, especially with Carr and Khalil Mack in line for major contracts. And speaking of Mack, who, arguably, is the best edge defender today, the Raiders need to add more help in the front seven. They were the worst in the league in sacks this season with 25.0. That’s unacceptable for any defensive unit.
Top Draft Need(s)
Linebacker. This has to be the top priority. There will be options in free agency, but if nothing comes to fruition, there are more options in the early rounds of the draft like maybe in Jarrad Davis of Florida. If the Raiders can nab him or someone similar, their defense should improve dramatically. Davis is regarded as the second-best linebacker in the 2017 draft class.
Cornerback. As mentioned previously, Oakland lacks depth and that includes their secondary. The Raiders only have one reliable backup cornerback in T.J. Carrie.
Running Back. This will be plan B or C if Latavius Murray leaves in free agency. And even if he stays, there’s no harm in taking advantage of this year’s loaded running back class.
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