Raiders re-sign Sam Williams, rethink BJ Raji

Tom Cable continues his workmanlike rebuilding of the Raiders by starting from the ground up.

The reconstruction of the Oakland foundation shifted from the offensive line to the defensive side of the ball with a signing and yet another re-signing.

Linebacker Sam Williams checks in as the 11thRaider re-signing posted on Raiders.com in ’09, while defensive tackle Ryan Boschetti makes his entry as just the 5th signing and is the first new defensive lineman to arrive in Oakland. It should be noted that cornerback Chris Johnson would make it 12 re-signings, but his status still has yet to be officially announced by the Raiders.

Boschetti is a Bay Area native who might have crossed paths in the doorway with Tom Cable at UCLA . Williams is a holdover from the last time a 3-4 was attempted in Oakland.

John Marshall’s defense now takes the center stage as the draft nears. Ranked 31st in the NFL against the run in 2008, it’s pretty clear what priority number one is for the former Seahawk coordinator.

Ryan Boschetti’s arrival does not mean that B.J. Raji is out as a choice at number 7, but the latest news on Raji does indicate he might very well be available to the Raiders.

Raji is on a list of names that failed drug tests at the recent NFL draft combine.

Most anticipate his draft status will fall. Many have already gone to the, “Look what happened with Warren Sapp” argument.

Raji is not Sapp. Sapp has concluded a stellar career in the NFL that began in controversy amid reports of a drug issue. So it’s unfair to compare Raji’s situation to Sapp’s at this point. Both were considered the best defensive tackles of their respective drafts, but Sapp was considered a top 5 pick if not number one overall.

The Raiders desperately need to make changes on the defensive line. Raji could very well be the best solution available in the draft. Now that there are character questions, his stock is rumored to be slipping, and he looks to be available when the Raiders are on the clock.

You can now throw B.J. Raji’s drug test in with Michael Crabtree’s injury and Andre Smith’s disappearance. One, if not all, of the three best players at their respective positions in the draft could be available to the Raiders at 7, yet each one comes with a warning label.

The 2009 draft takes yet another violent turn and again proves it is not for the faint of heart. For the time being, Tom Cable appears to be done with Jim Michalczik and is moving on to Dwaine Board.

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Tags: Andre Smith B.J. Raji Chris Johnson Dwaine Board Jim Michalczik John Marshall Michael Crabtree Ryan Boschetti Sam Williams Tom Cable Warren Sapp

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