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Oakland Raiders: Five Positions They Need to Address When Free Agency Starts

Ramone BrownSenior Writer IMay 24, 2011

Oakland Raiders: Five Positions They Need to Address When Free Agency Starts

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    ALAMEDA, CA - JANUARY 18:  Hue Jackson looks on after he was introduced as the new head coach of the Oakland Raiders on January 18, 2011 in Alameda, California.  Hue Jackson was introduced as the new coach of the Oakland Raiders, replacing the fired Tom C
    Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

    Despite lacking a first round draft pick the Raiders were still able to make a few improvements through the draft. They improved the offensive line, added depth at corner and receiver, and even landed a few luxury picks.

    With that said the Raiders still have a ways to go and could improve a few positions they were unable to address in the draft.

    Here's a look at positions and players who I think the Raiders should look at in free agency

Outside Linebacker

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    SAN FRANCISCO - OCTOBER 17:  Manny Lawson #99 of the San Francisco 49ers intercepts a pass intended for Zach Miller #80 of the Oakland Raiders at Candlestick Park on October 17, 2010 in San Francisco, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Lets face it, linebacker was the weakness of the Raiders defense last year.

    Rolando McClain didn't light things up his rookie year like many were expecting. Well, Darren Sproles and Danny Amendola, both victims of his raw power and ability, would beg to differ.

    Trevor Scott, Quentin Groves and Thomas Howard all struggled mightily at weak outside linebacker, and none of them seem to be the answer.

    The only Raider linebacker who really performed well was Kamerion Wimbley, who played the roles of strong-side linebacker as well as pass rusher.

    The Raiders need to bring in a a qaulity player to start on the weak-side opposite of Wimbley and shore up the run defense. That position is the weak link on this defense and needs to be addressed.

    To fill this need I like Manny Lawson because of his elite athleticism and versatility. Simply put, he has Raider speed.

    Other options: Rocky Mcintosh, Dhani Jones, James Anderson, Kirk Morrison, Eric Barton, Ben Leber, Keith Bullock

Wide Reciever

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    EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - NOVEMBER 25: Terrell Owens #81 of the Cincinnati Bengals catches a pass under pressure from Darrell Revis #24 of the New York Jets at New Meadowlands Stadium on November 25, 2010 in East Rutherford, New Jersey. The Jets defeated the
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    I really don't care if you think this will be the year Chaz Schilens stays healthy, or if this is gonna be the year that Darius Heyward-Bey breaks out, or you have high hopes for one of the Raiders rookies receivers.

    I've heard all of this before.

    Bottom line is the Raiders had the least productive receiver corps in the NFL and a struggling passing offense. If Jason Campbell is to succeed in Oakland, the Raiders have to address this problem.

    There has been talk of Steve Smith wanting to be traded to Oakland, but I personally like Terrell Owens.

    I also don't care if you have a problem with his character either. Despite being 37 Terrell Owens had 72 receptions last year, which is more than any Raider since Randy Moss had 79 in 2005.

    Other options: Randy Moss, Braylon Edwards, Santonio Holmes, Sydney Rice, Steve Smith, Malcolm Floyd, Santana Moss, Steve Breaston

Offensive Tackle

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    ATLANTA - DECEMBER 14:  Tackle Tyson Clabo #77 of the Atlanta Falcons lines up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers  at the Georgia Dome on December 14, 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
    Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

    As far as pass protection is concerned the Raiders were arguably the worst in the NFL.

    If the Raiders do not address this issue Jason Campbell will not make it through the sixteen game season.

    To make matters worse Mario Henderson, Khalif Barnes and Langston Walker are all becoming free agents, leaving Jared Veldheer as the only offensive tackle under contract for the Raiders.

    Raiders coach Hue Jackson said he wants to turn the offense into a bully. The best way to build a bully is by bringing in big nasty offensive linemen.

    Personally I like Tyson Clabo, the dude is a mauler.

    Other options: Willie Colon, Doug Free, Jamal Brown, Jared Gaither, Alex Barron

Offensive Guard

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    LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 4:  Derrick Dockery #66 of the Washington Redskins defends against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at FedExField on October 4, 2009 in Landover, Maryland. The Redskins defeated the Buccaneers 16-13. (Photo by Larry French/Getty Images)
    Larry French/Getty Images

    The Raiders offensive line is ugly and hasn't performed up to par in pass protection.

    Though the guard position isn't in as bad shape as the tackle position, it could still use some help. Currently the Raiders have Bruce Campbell, Cooper Carlisle and Daniel Loper under contract.

    With just those three it's obvious the Raiders are in great need of an upgrade, as well as solid depth.

    I like Derrick Dockery, he was a force at guard for the Redskins until they changed to a zone blocking scheme under Shanahan, a scheme Dockery doesn't fit.

    The Ravens placed a third round tender on him, though it is not yet clear whether that tender will be recognized under the new CBA.

    Regardless though he would be worth the price-tag.

    Other Options: Harvey Dahl, Chris Chester, Justin Blalock, Kyle Kosier, Davin Joseph, Mike Brisiel, David Baas

Quarterback

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    ST. LOUIS, MO - DECEMBER 26: Troy Smith #1 of the San Francisco 49ers looks to pass against the St. Louis Rams at the Edward Jones Dome on December 26, 2010 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Rams beat the 49ers 25-17. (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Let me start off by saying, this is not a knock on Jason Campbell and I already know the Raiders are fully invested in him as the starter.

    With that said though the Raiders only have two QBs on the roster: Jason Campbell and Kyle Boller.

    It is a must that they bring in at least one more, for depth if not anything else.

    I personally like Troy Smith as a backup to Jason Campbell, because his athleticism could add another dimension to the Raiders offense and he has ties to Hue Jackson.

    Other option: Matt Hassleback, Alex Smith, Bruce Gradkowski, Tavaris Jackson, Rex Grossman, Matt Leinart, J.P. Losman, Brodie Croyle, Charlie Frye

Conclusion

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    OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 31:  Michael Huff #24 checks on injured teammate Nnamdi Asomugha #21 of the Oakland Raiders during their game against the Seattle Seahawks at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on October 31, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Notice I didn't include corner or safety.

    Thats because I don't beleive either is a glaring need for the Raiders, and I believe that regardless of whether the Raiders lose Michael Huff and Nnamdi Asomugha.

    With that said I would like to know what the rest of Raider Nation thinks. What are the Raiders' biggest areas of need, and which players are the best choices for the Raider?

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