Oakland Raiders: The Way I See It- Defensive Backfield

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Aug 23, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders linebacker Nick Roach (53) sacks Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) after Cutler bobbled the snap during the second quarter at O.co Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

This will be a weekly segment in which I provide my opinion on the state of the Oakland Raiders.  I encourage each, and every reader of this blog to comment or ask questions, whether you agree or disagree with the opinion I provide. 

I feel robbed of the NFL Draft.  Seriously, any other year the draft would have been concluding.  All of us pundits would be spinning our yarn about this player and that player, which team had the best draft and which team improved the most, etc…  Yet, here we are waiting for something that has taken forever to get here.  The way I see it, I’m tired of all the draft talk.  I imagine the readers must be too.  It’s time to make some picks.

Well, not me.  I stand by my continuing belief that the Oakland Raiders will trade down.  I don’t know how far down, but I imagine it will be anywhere from 8th to 15th.  Reggie likes the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th rounders.  Hell, he likes undrafted free agents.  In any event, let’s talk about our team, the Raiders.

The way I see it, the defensive backfield improved greatly over the last few months.  With free agent acquisitions (CB-Carlos Rogers & CB-Tarell Brown) and re-signing free agents (FS-Charles Woodson & FS-Usama Young), it will be much improved from 2013.  Add these players to the cast including CB/DB’s-Johnny Adams, Chance Casey, Chimdi Chekwa, D.J. Hayden, Taiwan Jones, Neiko Thorpe, Tony Dye, S-Shelton Johnson and SS’s-Brandian Ross and Tyvon Branch, and you have depth mixed with veteran leadership and youth.  These are the cornerstones of producing an outstanding defensive backfield.

That, of course, is just covering the secondary.  As far as the Raiders linebackers corps goes, 2013 was a vast improvement from 2012.  Questionable acquisitions made in the off-season of 2013 proved their worth.  LB’s Nick Roach and Kevin Burnett spearheaded the 2013 free agent acquisitions, and along with 2013 3rd round draft pick Sio Moore, they became a tackling force in 2013.

The improvements were dictated in their stats as indicated here:  Nick Roach (112 tackles, 5.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, and 1 interception), Kevin Burnett (105 tackles, 2.5 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, and 1 interception), and Sio Moore (50 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and 1 forced fumble).  Let’s put their numbers into retrospect with Pro-Bowl selected LB’s: San Francisco 49ers Patrick Willis (104 tackles, 3 sacks, and 2 forced fumbles), Kansas City Chiefs Derrick Johnson (107 tackles, 4.5 sacks, and 2 interceptions), SF 49er Navorro Bowman (145 tackles, 5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, and 2 interceptions), New England Patriots Jerod Mayo (55 tackles and 1.5 sacks), and finally Arizona Cardinals Daryl Washington (75 tackles, 3 sacks, and 2 interceptions).

This does not cover all the Pro-Bowl caliber LB’s, but it gives a good depiction of what kind of numbers a Pro-Bowl type LB must possess.  Nick Roach, Kevin Burnett, and even Sio Moore had those types of numbers, but they weren’t on a playoff team.  Something that I guess counts more than stats and ability.  The funny thing is, Roach and Burnett’s numbers were above average as far as stats are concerned, but less tacklers were selected due to popularity or their teams placement at the end of the season.

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Tags: 2013 NFL Draft 2014 NFL Draft Charles Woodson Kevin Burnett Nick Roach Oakland Raiders Reggie McKenzie Sio Moore

  • Raider Grant

    A great Linebacker is just as important as a QB, and I personally can’t wait for that player to be signed/drafted! Other then that; spot on with adding another playmaker in the secondary. You saw what not being able to pass efficiently did for DONKEYS in the super bowl. Any hoot, Go Raiders!!!

  • Josh Boone

    If Khalil Mack is somehow available at five then draft him, otherwise I’m a supporter of trading back.

  • Bob

    If the Raiders have a choice of a top OL, LB, WR, then why trade down? Eventually, the Raiders need to draft impact players.

  • Pridenpoise

    Yes, IMPACT players I’m tired of the Raiders having a high pick, and trading down, or screwing it up. It’s time for Reggie to go and get us a our top 5 guy, not trade down.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    There in lies the question: Will McKenzie trade down to get more picks or take the best player off the board at #5 (Khalil Mack, Mike Evans, Jake Matthews, Anthony Barr, Taylor Lewan, Aaron Donald, or Justin Gilbert). One of these players will more than likely be there…

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Khalil Mack would definitely make our LB corps better than they are now.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    I agree, because there is such a thing as a QB of the defense. That position is usually the MLB. We definitely need a stud at CB or S. I would prefer CB, as they are the ones who run with the big name receivers, but a stud S would allow for a lot of wiggle room. We need a defensive backfield much like the one up in Seattle.

  • Josh Boone

    I’d also be fine with trading down and taking Anthony Barr for the right value. Seattle has laid out the blueprint and proven defense still wins championships. We def need help on offense but I’d like to see our first pick used on the defensive side of the ball.

  • bigninaross

    I agree Shane, I’m done with all the draft experts and the Pro Bowl selection process is lame. I also agree that we should trade down. If you look back at draft history, very seldom is an elite player taken in the top 5. It’s usually mid to late in first round or after that, when the real players are found. That’s why they say the draft doesn’t really start until the 2nd round. I would like to see them trade down and pick up an extra 2nd, 3rd or 4th rounder or 2. We need those hard working players with chips on their shoulders. It seems like more often than not, an early 1st round pick turns into a mediocre player or worse, when you could have traded the pick and worse case got 2 mediocre players for depth.

  • gdubb

    If clowney, watkins, mack,Robinson are gone by the 5th pick then absolutely yes tried down

  • Nicholas Spencer Baker

    Lol, obviously one of those picks will most likely be there…. We pick at 5 not 8+

  • RaiderJohn

    I agree, I think the RAIDERS have improved significantly and will surprise a lot of the NFL faithful’s. With that said, to trade down and get additional picks of young guns on the D-line and in the Secondary would be beneficial for rotational purposes, keeping a strong core fresh. I love it!!!! Get-her done Reggie!!!!

  • Shane Schilperoort

    1st is always a gamble, and there hasn’t been much return for the Raiders of late, but the right player could change all of that. Along with winning…

  • Shane Schilperoort

    True, get that rotation within the D-line to keep the others fresh.

  • John Thomas Hurdle II

    Shane, this is a great report. I did not know our LB did so well. Thank you for the numbers think how well it would have ben if the D-line was not so tired do to so many 3 and outs or penalties. So If Kali Mack and Sammy Watkins are gone by the fifth pick I see us trading back as well. I ready think we have a strong wide receiver corps, they just was young and injured. Along that the O-line did not give the QB’ time to set and the receivers to get into their breaks and come open. Timing is very important with QB’s and receivers. This is why I say Pryor was not treated right but the way Allen threated him he felt the negative from Allen. So he did what he felt was best for him. Now the O-line I see we have on paper looks to be great to give Matt Schuab time to set up and find receivers. I still am worried about Von Miller and Ware coming from the same side at once. When we play Denver. I also think D.J. Hayden was still mentally worried about his life threatening injury from college. So that held him back last year. Why I felt we could have wait for 2nd round for him. We could have gotten Star Louleti with the 12th pick. But we got great heart players with Rivera, Moore. So we now have vet’s that can show rookies different tricks on how to be better.

  • John Thomas Hurdle II

    We want our top 5 but if Clowney, Mack, Watkins is gone trade back. We don’t need to pick and O-line men that high.

  • John Thomas Hurdle II

    I was sad that RM did not go after Browner, even with the 4 game suspension he would be a force with the big receivers. We have the NFC west, who has big receivers this season.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    They just might be gone, then again, you never know…

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Unfortunately, I think Brandon Browner wanted to go to a team he believed would be a contender for the playoffs. Since Seattle wasn’t offering, New England swooped in and grabbed him up. He would have been nice for the Raiders, but I think you’ll be pleased with both Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers.

  • Pridenpoise

    As long as they don’t drop out of the top ten, and I can’t see all three of these guys being gone.

  • John Thomas Hurdle II

    OH yeah I think they both will be good. Carlo, is not known for hitting. So I like that physical DB. Like Woodson was when he came in the league. That’s why when he went to safety I just felt he was going to be a beast. This year I think we will be battling for division if injuries don’t plague us. I do not think SD. is that good. KC I think was lucky with their schedule last year.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    I, too, believe that we have some of the best wide receivers in the game. What is unfortunate, is that they were not properly utilized last year. Between Streater, Rivera, Butler, Holmes, and Moore, there should have been a bunch more passing TD’s. Factor in Reece, McFadden, and Jones-Drew, and there will be a plethora of options for Schaub when he throws. This will, however, be incumbent upon the running game of the Raiders. The bolstered offensive line will allow the Raiders to be more effective and extend drives. This will allow the defense the much needed rest. Hayden will be a very good CB, he wasn’t fully healed last year. He made rookie mistakes, and that is to be expected. Better tackles will mean better guard play, and this will eliminate the Miller/Ware effect. Besides, Ware has to stay healthy, and for him in 2013 that was difficult.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Top 5 can be nice, but Top 10 isn’t bad either. If RM can stay in the Top-10 and still scoop up a couple extra draft picks by trading back to 8 or 10, then he is doing his job right. Within the Top-10, players like Evans, Donald, Matthews, Gilbert, Mack, and Robinson should be available. Especially if Bortles and Manziel go within the Top 10.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    I agree about the “Media Hyped Up” San Diego Chargers. They are not as good as they are made out to be. Their offensive line is not going to be that good this year, and Rivers is a blow up away from being replaced. They don’t have very good receivers, and their running game has struggled. Defensively, they are getting older, not younger, so it will be interesting to see where they go from here. I believe the Chargers will bring up the rear in the AFC West. Only reason they made the playoffs was due to poor play from other AFC teams in 2013.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    Wouldn’t it be something if the Raiders trade down to 10 and scoop up Justin Gilbert to compliment Hayden, Rogers, Brown, Woodson, Young, Johnson, Branch, Ross, etc… Might not be a bad first pick…

  • Jaime Olguin

    Like always Shane great article and I always
    said that we have some of the best line backers on this league, but as far as the draft
    goes I really believe that Reggie is going to trade down with Frisco as it’s been reported that they are in discussion, but what I don’t like about that trade is we would get a first way late around the thirty and I think three in the 2
    something like that, what ever it is I know Reggie will get what we need, I have faith in
    him.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    I’m wouldn’t be upset with a trade between Oakland and San Francisco, especially if we get two additional 2nd round picks, or a 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round pick as compensation. The Raiders would still find a darn good CB, S, DE, DT, or OL in the 1st round, then counter it with two 2nd rounders, two 3rds and two 4ths. Potentially the future of the franchise in those 7 picks. Reggie has something up his sleeve, but I believe in the path he is taking.

  • Shane Schilperoort

    So Bob, would you be upset with a trade down to say 8, 10, 15, or 30 if the Raiders don’t waste it on a QB? More than likely, that would give the Raiders at least 2 or potentially 3 2nd round picks, one or two 3rds, and one or two 4ths depending on who the trade is with and at what pick. Plenty of impact players will be available between the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th rounds this year. A lot of depth. Your thoughts on that?

  • Bob

    Look at it this way. Mack is there, but the Riders trade down. Mack becomes the next Junior Seau for some other team for ten years. How is that good to trade down? You say it can’t happen? The Raiders have been doing this for years.