Team Needs: Oakland Raiders
By: Stephen Zorio
Category: Washington Redskins News
2008 Projected Cap Status: $3,460,620 under the cap
2007 Season Recap:
The 2007 season was a bad one from start to finish for the Oakland Raiders. First-year head coach Lane Kiffin faced a holdout from No. 1 overall draft pick QB JaMarcus Russell and RB Dominic Rhodes missed the first four games as a result of his suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy.
The team stumbled to a 4-12 finish and own the fourth overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft. As befitting a team that struggled like the Raiders did, the team has several needs. The defensive secondary is actually solid, finishing 8th in passing yards allowed and yielding the third fewest passing touchdowns. The addition, via trade, of CB DeAngelo Hall should make this a formidable unit next season. The rushing defense is another story; the team had the league's second-worst rush D, allowing a league-worst 4.8 yards per carry.
The story on the other side of the ball is not much brighter, the team needs help at wideout, they lack depth at that position. RB Justin Fargas was a bright spot, notching 676 yards rushing in seven starts and Russell showed some flashes of the potential that made him the No. 1 pick. The team has been proactive in free agency, spending an astounding $178 million thus far. But the overall struggles, the retirement of Warren Sapp and the team's young quarterback means the team will look to the draft to address several needs.
1) Defensive Line - Sapp's retirement leaves the team with a hole on an already weak unit, the team had the fifth fewest sacks in the league, allowed 121 first downs on the ground (third worst) and allowed a league worst 24 rushing touchdowns.
2) Wide Receiver - The team's 260 total receptions were the second fewest in the league and it had fewer receiving first downs than any other team. The team did sign Javon Walker but the presence of a young QB and the defection of unrestricted free agent Joey Porter, who lead the team in receiving touchdowns, and the lack of depth means this is still an area of need.
3) Offensive Line - This unit actually performed admirably, all things considered, but the starters are aging and the team could use some additional depth here to keep its franchise QB upright for the next several years.
2008 Draft Picks:
1st Round - 4th overall
4th Round - 104th overall
6th Round - 169th overall
7th Round - 213th overall
7th Round - 226th overall
Free Agency Status:
DE Tyler Brayton (signed w/Panthers)
DE Chris Clemons (signed w/Eagles)
DB Jarrod Cooper
QB Daunte Culpepper
WR Tim Dwight
RB Justin Fargas (resigned)
OT Cornell Green (resigned)
DE Tommy Kelly (resigned)
RB Rashad Lee
QB Josh McCowan (signed w/Dolphins)
C Jeremy Newberry
WR Jerry Porter (signed w/Jaguars
DB Chris Carr (signed w/Titans)
LB Isaiah Ekejiuba
DT Josh Shaw (resigned)
OT Barry Sims
CB Nnamdi Asomugha (resigned)
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