Las Vegas Raiders, Jalen Ramsey (Photo via Reigns Design)

Raiders’ Draft Needs Prioritized And How Jalen Ramsey Could Help

The Las Vegas Raiders have plenty of positional needs this off-season. With only approximately $21 million in salary cap space (as of now), the Silver and Black must focus on acquiring most of their talent in the 2023 NFL Draft. For the Raiders, years of consistently poor draft evaluation have hindered the organization’s roster development. With 11 total selections in the 2023 NFL Draft, general manager David Ziegler has no excuse not to acquire plenty of quality talent. The team has quite a list of needs. It is time to look at which ones loom the largest, aside from the quarterback position, which presumably will be addressed in free agency. 

The Decade Plus Void at Defensive Tackle

The Raiders have lacked a presence at the defensive tackle position for over a decade. Since Richard Seymour’s departure following the 2012 season, the Silver and Black have not had a consistent or effective presence at the position. In 2022, the story was no different, as they only had one interior defensive lineman that graded in the top 100 at the position per Pro Football Focus.

While Andrew Billings graded highly at 18th, he is set to be an unrestricted free agent this offseason. Fortunately for the Raiders, there are plenty of quality prospects at the position.

The Raiders Interior Offensive Line is Just as Lacking

If it wasn’t for the defensive tackle position being a sight for sore eyes, one could look at the other side of the trenches. While Dylan Parham did what he could as a rookie, veterans Alex Bars and Andre James were two of the NFL’s worst at their respective positions. Similarly, April’s prospective center class is underwhelming, but Parham possesses potential as a center.

He could take over the reins at the position with an entire off-season workout program. Subsequently, the Raiders could address the guard positions more efficiently with their numerous Day 2 and Day 3 picks of the NFL Draft.

The Back Seven can be Upgraded Significantly by One Player

The Raiders defense has the majority of problems, and between the linebackers and secondary – there is plenty of blame. The team lacks speed and talent; they finished 28th in tackling and 29th in coverage grades per PFF. Moreover, Raiders’ brass must look further here than just the NFL Draft. Maybe they will look into trading for estranged L.A. Rams cornerback Jalen Ramsey?

An injection of a player of his caliber alone would rectify many issues in the Raiders’ back defensive seven. In conclusion, the needs are plentiful, and the ones listed above are the ones the organization must focus on first.

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*Top Photo by @ Reigns Design

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