With the loss of future Hall of Famer Charles Woodson, Oakland was expected to land one of the top free agent safeties on the market this offseason, but this unfortunately wasn’t the case.
Similarly to their woes at cornerback, Oakland doesn’t have solid, experienced depth at safety behind Nate Allen and Travis Carrie, as Larry Asante and special teams player Brynden Trawick are the only two players behind Carrie and Allen that have entered the league prior to 2014. Also, even though Allen and Carrie are projected to start, neither of the two has proven that they can consistently play at a high level in this league.
When former San Diego Chargers safety Eric Weddle decided against taking his talents to Oakland when he signed a four-year, $26 million contract with the Baltimore Ravens, it was confirmed that McKenzie was going to invest a high draft pick in a safety in the 2016 NFL draft.
Though this is Oakland’s top need, McKenzie can’t afford to reach for a safety at No. 14 when there simply isn’t a safety in this class outside of Ramsey worth considering that high in the draft. With that being said, the Raiders will assumedly look to the second or third round for best safety available.
Former West Virginia strong safety Karl Joseph, a projected second-round pick, is a physical, hard-hitting safety that can excel both inside the box and deep in coverage. His versatility in coverage also pushes him ahead of a lot of the other safeties in this class, as he is capable of performing at a high level both in man and zone coverage. A non-contact knee injury that caused him to miss a majority of his 2015 season has led to him falling down draft boards, but if he checks out medically Oakland could come away with a steal on Day 2 of the draft.