Jan 04, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Texas A

Why the Oakland Raiders Must Draft a Pass Rusher

Dec 30, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers wide receiver Danario Alexander (84) runs in a touchdown catch while defended by Oakland Raiders free safety Matt Giordano (27) during the third quarter at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Dennis Allen admitted it, Raider Nation saw it, and opposing offenses benefited from it. The 2012 Oakland Raiders lacked every aspect of a defense. Peyton Manning put on a clinic in Mile High while the Muscle Hamster, Doug Martin, looked like Forrest Gump in Oakland. Even Cleveland Brown’s rookie receiver Josh Gordon put up triple digits in receiving against the pitiful Oakland secondary.

In fact looking back on the season it would seem as if the secondary was the biggest problem of the wretched defense. Ron Bartell and Shawntae Spencer clearly failed in the expectations of keeping the secondary contending with receivers. So wouldn’t it make sense for the Raiders to draft a corner with high expectations such as Dee Millner of Alabama? Maybe then Michael Huff could go back to playing Safety and save fans the horrible experience of watching Matt Giordano look more confused then a wild psyduck.

If the Raiders do indeed decide to roll tide in the draft it still leaves a lot of questions in the defense. Such as who will make an immediate impact in the front 7? Current players such as Lamarr Houston, Phillip Wheeler, and Andre Carter show promise, but there are still some big holes to fill. Holes like the ones left by Richard Seymour and most likely Tommy Kelly. Free agency will answer some of these problems, but will it be enough to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks?

The simple solution is to draft a dominant pass rusher. This year’s draft is full of players who seem capable of making an impact on day one. Damontre Moore, Bjorn Werner, and Jarvis Jones would all find a great fit in the silver and black. The Detroit Lions drafted Ndomikin Suh to do the very same thing the Raiders will need in their 2013 rookie. That is to take pressure off the secondary by accruing sacks. Shortly after drafting Suh the historically dismal franchise found themselves in New Orleans competing in the playoffs.

The selection of a pass rusher in the draft is only the start for the Raiders. Dennis Allen better learn all he can during drills at the combine because it will take some gems late in the draft for the Raiders to have any chance at a winning season. Making the acquisition of a number three corner late in the draft would be ideal for McKenzie and company. Free agency should allow experienced veterans to fill holes the size of Michael Strahan’s infamous gap in Oakland’s front 7. Of course one little trade could change the landscape completely, leaving the Raider Nation with nothing other then hopeful speculation.



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