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December 30, 2012; San Diego, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Terrelle Pryor (6) under center during the fourth quarter against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium. The Chargers won 24-21. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Should The Raiders Draft Offense


December 9, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers former head coach Jon Gruden talks during a presentation celebrating the 10th anniversary of the 2002 Super Bowl Champions during halftime against the Philadelphia Eagles at Raymond James Stadium. The Eagles won 23-21. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Super Bowl XXXVII featured one of the league’s best offenses vs. the best defense. At the end of the day everybody found out that Jon Gruden’s great defense beats the Raider’s  great offense. After a decade of dismal play the Raiders have neither a great offense nor a great defense. This leaves them with the number three overall pick in the 2013 draft. Most NFL experts have the Raider’s taking defensive tackle Sharif Floyd or even trading the pick away. Seems reasonable, after all the offensive situation isn’t too bad. Compared to one of the worst defenses to ever wear the colors, silver and black. In fact the offense is talented all across the board with the exception of the offensive line. Leaving one to ponder, perhaps the Raiders may draft an offensive lineman come draft day.

Anybody who has ever wore spiked shoulder pads or punched a friend for uttering Jamarcus Russell’s name in public can attest to the horror show that was the Raider’s defense. I emphasize the word was because GM, Reggie McKenzie, went all Ty Pennington and remodeled the entire defense. The only three remaining starters are linebacker Miles Burris, safety Tyvon Branch, and defensive end Lamarr Houston. The free agent signings strengthen the linebacker and defensive back corps, but leave the defensive line in rough shape. Not to mention the depth of these positions are about as deep as an episode of MTV’s “The Osbournes”.

The offense on the other hand isn’t quite as bad. As of right now the offense has a list of potentially deadly weapons. Darren McFadden is the face of this offense. A face who has yet to complete an entire season. Of course when healthy he is one of the most dangerous backs in the league. The addition of Rashad Jennings, a back with plenty of upside, goes without saying that the Raiders are prepared to win McFadden-less.

Dec 2, 2012; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars running back Rashad Jennings (23) runs the ball against the Buffalo Bills during the first quarter at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

When the running backs aren’t running the ball, a speedy and lethal receiving corps can snag the ball. Lead by draft gems Denarius Moore and Jacoby Ford, the receivers are young and prove to be threats after the catch as well. The receivers also have depth as undrafted free agent, Rod Streater showed last season. When all are healthy this unit has the ability to perform amongst the elite, and with three different potential starters at quarterback odds are they land at least a half decent thrower if not a pro bowler.

Injury and poor coaching has kept this unit from coming together and performing up to its true potential (I feel as if I have said that word a thousand times when talking about the Raiders). However, the exile of offensive coordinator Greg Knapp and the addition of his replacement, Greg Olson, shows that the Raiders are returning their offense back to the power running bully that it was under Hue Jackson. First things first, the Raiders must solidify their offensive line.

Jared Veldheer is by far the best hog the Raiders have. He is both, an affective pass and run blocker. The versatile Stefen Wisnewski lands the spot as the next to best blocker. Like his uncle before him, Wisnewski is likely to be a force on Oakland’s offensive line for years to come.

After those two things become a little sketchy. Khalif Barnes and Mike Brisiel both proved to be mediocre fill ins for a team without draft picks. Meanwhile a vacant guard position can be filled by the young and untested, Alex Parsons or Tony Bergstrom.

All of this information brings me to ask myself, will the Raiders draft an offensive lineman at number three? Eric Fisher out of Central Michigan would sure give Darren McFadden some space to work with. Picturing one side of the field being blocked by powerhouse monsters Veldheer, Fisher, and Wisnewski has to be awful tempting if your Reggie McKenzie. If not then why hasn’t McKenzie made any attempts of signing a one year contract with a, bottom of the barrel guard.

Feb 23, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Central Michigan offensive lineman Eric Fisher runs the 40 yard dash during the 2013 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Even if McKenzie drafts a defensive tackle on the big day it still leaves Oakland with a mediocre defense and a penetrable offense. Doesn’t it make sense to sign another defensive tackle who has something to prove, and draft a second defensive tackle in a later round. This would certainly make for a much better offense. In the end isn’t it better to be good, possibly great, on one side of the ball rather then pitiful on both sides? The Raiders have made it to the Super Bowl relying on their offense before why not try again.

The clock is ticking and soon these questions will be answered. In my opinion the Raiders will come out on top with Sharif Floyd or Eric Fisher. Both players take Oakland one step closer to the return to greatness.

Comment who you think the Raiders should draft and why!

 

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  • http://www.facebook.com/tracy.stapleman.7 TracyJon Stapleman

    That was Tony Dungy’s defense that Chucky took over. It was his offense too. He and Rich Gannon worked side by side for a number of years. Too bad Al Davis was too stupid to trade Gruden away. Raiders would have 4 rings now. Al was intimidated by anyone that was smarter than him.

  • Pridenpoise

    It was pretty easy for Gruden to beat the offence that he built, and Callahan was to stupid to at least throw a few wrinkles into, to at least try and confuse the Bucs defence a little bit.

  • http://www.facebook.com/doug.guelich Doug Guelich

    we had a great defense that superbowl year. charles and rod woodson? easily stopped the pass all year. bill romanowski?? chris cooper?

  • http://www.facebook.com/pat.jardine.336 Pat Jardine

    Gruden was not smarter than Al Davis ,look at ADsm resume

  • http://www.facebook.com/tracy.stapleman.7 TracyJon Stapleman

    I believe Al Davis was a genius one time but he crossed the fine line to insanity about the time he traded Marcus Allen to the Chiefs. Al missed a step and became paranoid. Jon Gruden built the “new” Raiders and Al Davis couldn’t handle it.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tracy.stapleman.7 TracyJon Stapleman

    I agree . Callahan is a Bozo. Probably sabotaged Superbowl 37 against Bucs.he didn’t do any homework

  • Pridenpoise

    The worst thing that happened to the raiders in that Super Bowl happened, we played the only team that year that we were not capable of beating, because Callhan didn’t feel the need to change up the offence, even a bit so that the guy (Gruden) on the other sideline was basically facing the offence he designed. I can’t think of an easier way to win a Super Bowl. Thanks Callahan u Asshole. And people can say I am delusional, but I know had Oakland’s piece of shit coach changed it up a bit we would have stood a chance. We didn’t get blown out by anybody that season and your telling me Brad fukin Johnson and the Bucs beat us that Bad, ya right. Not a chance. I hate u Callahan I hope you rot in Dallas. POS

  • DondiRaider

    We will not win without a pass rusher so get the best one as early as you can- with or without a trade…then add an OL with your next pick…luckily we needa RT so a good one should be there for us woth our second pick

  • Kip Grosso

    Defense defense defense. If you can’t stop em in the NFL, you never give your team a chance. Ask yourself, why has the Ravens been so good for so long? Defense!!!