Between now and the 2007 NFL Draft, THN will be taking a look at all of the NFL teams’ offseason needs. Up first is the team with the first overall pick in the draft, the Oakland Raiders.
2-14 (4th in AFC West)
2007 Projected Cap Status:
$94,895,000 or $14.105 million under the Cap
2006 Season Recap:
The Raiders offense finished with a franchise-worst 168 points scored. It’s the 5th fewest points since the NFL went to a 16-game schedule. They ranked last in total offense (246.2 yards per game), 29th in rush offense (94.9 yards per game), 31st in pass offense (151.2 yards) and last in scoring (10.5 points). Raiders quarterbacks Aaron Brooks and Andrew Walter were sacked a league-high 72 times, threw 21 interceptions compared to just six TDs. They also lost 12 out of 16 fumbles.
Oakland’s defense played well, they were 1st in the league in total defense (284.8 yards per game) and pass defense (151.2) but had trouble stopping the run weekly and finished the year ranked 25th in rush defense (134.0). The Raiders finished last in the NFL in scoring (10.5 points per game) and total offense (246.2 yards per game) and first in sacks allowed (72) and turnovers (46), including a league-high 22 fumbles.
Four days after the season ended Al Davis fired Art Shell, again. So the Raiders’ first order of business was finding a new Head Coach; former USC Offensive Coordinator Lane Kiffin got the job. Kiffin is a play-caller so filling out his staff as soon as possible is priority number one.
The next step for the new coach will be to focus on the offense. QB should be the number one position to upgrade. Andrew Walter hasn’t been effective and doesn’t look to be the QB the Raiders had hoped he would be, nor the QB of the future. Aaron Brooks could actually be released after a disastrous 2006 season, and with three QBs rated in the top ten picks of the upcoming draft. JaMarcus Russell from LSU looks to be a good QB option for Oakland, but with players like Jeff Garcia and Matt Schaub expected to hit free agency soon, Oakland will have options. They could even trade for disgruntled QB Byron Leftwich from Jacksonville.
The Raiders also need to try and fix the offensive line. Tackle Robert Gallery was the second pick in 2004, but was moved from the left to the right side, and since then his sacks allowed total has shot up. Both guards are rookies and appear to need time, but something could be be done here if they could sure up the position.
The other skill positions also need to be addressed. The receiver position is set on paper with Moss, Porter and Curry, but getting two out of the three on the same page is something the old regime couldn’t seem to do. LaMont Jordan missed seven games and rushed for less than 500 yards in 2006, and replacement Justin Fargas did even less. The TE position could also use some competition for Randal Williams and Courtney Anderson.
The Raiders need help virtually everywhere on the offensive side of the ball.
2007 draft picks:
Rd. 1 (1st) Rd. 2 (33rd) Rd. 3 (65th) Rd. 4 (96th) Rd. 5 (128th & 155th) Rd. 6 (160th) Rd. 7 (192nd &195th)
Free Agency Status:
Exclusive Rights Free Agents:
TE James Adkisson, LB Isaiah Ekejiuba, RB DeJuan Green, DT Anttaj Hawthorne, DE Kevin Huntley, DT Michael Quarshie,
Restricted Free Agents:
RB Adimchinobe Echemandu, DT Tommy Kelly, RB ReShard Lee
Un-Restricted Free Agents:
S Derrick Gibson, OG Corey Hulsey, LB Grant Irons, DT Terdell Sands, OT Chad Slaughter, CB Duane Starks, LB Robert Thomas, QB Marques Tuiasosopo, WR Alvis Whitted
Editor’s Note: If you are reading this article somewhere other than THN’s exclusivesection, be sure to check the link for even more draft news, articles and coverage.
Edit: This blog was archived in May of 2016 from our original articles database.It was originally posted by Bernie Marshall