The Raiders struggles to find a competent group of linebackers has been well documented and it has not been for a lack of trying, at least through the draft. The Raiders have used 12 picks on linebackers since 2010 but only two in the first round, Khalil Mack at 5th overall in 2014 and Rolando McClain at 8th overall in 2010. Mack was more of a DE coming out of college so even that pick is debatable.
Other notable picks included Sio Moore at 66th overall in 2013 and Marquel Lee at 168th overall in 2017. In short, the Raiders have not used a day 1 pick on a true linebacker in a decade and this year it must change. There are a number of talented linebackers in the draft that are versatile enough to cover tight ends or stuff running backs at the line of scrimmage and the Raiders need to use one their first or third round picks on one.
Options include Oklahoma’s Kenneth Murray, LSU’s Patrick Queen, and Wisconsin’s Zack Baun. Clemson’s Isaiah Simmons is the dream selection but there is very little chance he will be available when the Raiders are on the clock.
There are a number of high-level players available through free agency and the Raiders absolutely need to land one of them to turn around the defense. Cory Littleton, Joe Schobert, or Blake Martinez would all immediately be the best true linebacker the Raiders have had in a decade and all present different strengths.
Littleton is the ideal signing because of his pass coverage ability but if they end up with Schobert or Martinez it would still be a massive improvement. Other veteran options possibly available at a discount are Alec Ogletree, Nigel Bradham, or Josh Bynes but they should be looked at as depth signings more than anything.