Why the Oakland Raiders Should Start Ben Heeney

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September 20, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders inside linebacker Ben Heeney (51) blocks Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Albert McClellan (50) during the first quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Raiders defeated the Ravens 37-33. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Position must be addressed before offseason

If Heeney doesn’t solidify himself as the answer for Oakland at inside linebacker, whether he doesn’t perform well or doesn’t get the opportunity, it will be an obvious position of need for Oakland heading into the offseason. 

With several talented linebackers projected to enter free agency, Oakland could use a bulk of their cap space to bring in someone like Danny Trevathan or Derrick Johnson of the position can’t be solved internally. 

Another option for Oakland could be to focus their efforts on using a high draft pick for a linebacker like Myles Jack out of UCLA. 

Given the severity of Oakland’s needs in the secondary, it’s important that they explore all options within their own locker room before looking elsewhere, for GM Reggie McKenzie can’t afford to make a significant investment outside of his secondary unless it truly is necessary. 

While it isn’t necessarily up to McKenzie, Del Rio is sill likely planning for the future this late in the season and should be looking for Heeney to fill their inside linebacker need in order for McKenzie to invest in the other holed within his defense this offseason.