With the NFL draft fast approaching and free agency going a tad quiet, I decided to look at the safety position as the Oakland Raiders could pursue this before the draft, leaving them in a stronger position to go “best player available” from Day One.
First off, another position being spoken about is the running back position, the Raiders have numerous backs at their disposal but this hasn’t swayed head coach Jon Gruden away from the idea of drafting one from a deep and talented class.
In fact, Gruden has made it no secret he wants to add weapons to help Derek Carr, and speaking at the recent meeting in Orlando, Florida he had this to say in regards to the RB position via Vic Tafur’s Twitter account:
‘Gruden plans to use RBs differently in a lot of packages like the Eagles did, “And we might draft an RB too. There are some great ones this year.” Was Gruden’s response regarding the RB position.’
Onto my main focus!
If the Raiders add a veteran safety before the draft it could leave them with all kinds of possibilities, taking a position of need or trading down and taking the best of the rest that’s available while adding picks.
Here is a couple of names who are still searching for a team to play for in 2018 that could be good additions for the Raiders and could be a good value for the money.
Eric Reid, S, 6’1″, 213 pounds
A former first-round pick in 2013 and only 26 years-old, Reid has spent all his career to date with the San Francisco 49ers. Reid could add depth and talent to a secondary in need of a combination of youth, experience, and talent.
Also note that he would be perfect for Guenther’s 4-3 scheme, last season he lined up all over the safety spots and even linebacker on certain plays.
Since his first season, he has failed to make another Pro Bowl appearance but he could be a low-risk-high-reward type player who could fit in several spots throughout a long season.
Career Stats: 70 Games, 264 Tackles, 10 Interceptions, Two FF’s, Three FR’s
Kenny Vaccaro, S, 6’0″, 214 pounds
Another option is Vaccaro who’s still only 27 years-old with five years experience to date, his career has been spent with the New Orleans Saints after being drafted in the same round and class as Eric Reid in 2013.
Vaccaro has a blend of experience and talent mixed in with being young enough to have many years left in the NFL. Best used at free safety, he could add vital competition to that position.
Much like Reid he can perform multiple tasks in the secondary, has a good reading of the game and can often pressure the quarterback from blitz packages amassing seven and a half sacks as a safety over his career.
Career Stats: 68 Games, 283 Tackles, Eight Interceptions, 4 FF’s, 3 FR’s