What the Raiders have: In terms of credentialed players, Oakland is stacked at this position but it's reasonable to wonder how much each player can produce at this stage because except for fourth-year man Chris Cooper, the rest are on the North side of 30.
The Raiders, who are likely to employ more 3-4 looks
under new defensive coordinator Rob Ryan, signed Ted Washington (New England) and Warren Sapp (Tampa Bay)
as free agents. Washington helped the Patriots win
their second Super Bowl in three seasons but is also
36 and, at that age, there's no way of telling "when"
a player will significantly decline. Sapp has also
been in a three-year decline after playing at the
really elite level from 1995-2000.
Oakland, which lost Rod Coleman (Atlanta) via free
agency, envisioned having John Parrella and Dana Stubblefield as its run-stuffing tandem but both were
slowed by injuries and combined to play in only 13
games. Parrella, who finished the season on injured
reserve after sustaining a groin injury, is likely to
play end in the 3-4 alignment and is expected to be
back at full strength.
Stubblefield on the other hand is less of a certainty. Stubblefield
that new head coach Norv Turner told him he fits into his plans. Then
again, with the Raiders, the head coach is often the last person to
know. Cooper, meanwhile, is capable of starting if necessary but is
better suited as a change of pace player in the rotation.
What the Raiders might do: Things look glowing on
paper and on reputation but Oakland could use a look
toward eyeing one for the future at this position.
Oakland might take a defensive tackle late on Day One.
If it goes in that direction, Clemson's Donnell Washington, Oregon State's Dwan Edwards, LSU's Chad Lavalais could be available as possible second or
third round picks.
Draft outlook: Defensive Tackle
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