The draft takes place Saturday-Sunday with the Oakland Raiders already having been active on the trade front and, who knows, they might not be done after all. First of all, the Raiders traded the No. 7 overall pick in the draft and linebacker Napoleon Harris to the Minnesota Vikings for wide receiver Randy Moss.
Within a matter of 24 hours, Oakland did more moving and shaking. The Raiders traded cornerback Phillip Buchanon to the Houston Texans on Tuesday for an additional second and third round draft choice to the ones they already had in that round. On Wednesday, Oakland traded tight end Doug Jolley and a second-round draft choice to the New York Jets for the 26th overall pick in the draft. The trade reportedly also included a pair of sixth rounders going to the Jets and a seventh rounder coming to Oakland.
Confused yet? Chances are the Raiders might not be done dealing. Oakland has reportedly been looking to deal cornerback Charles Woodson and his 10-plus million dollar price tag.
As for which direction the Raiders go with their picks, logic says it would be a defensive heavy draft. After all, there's a reason why the Raiders ranked 30th in total defense last season and dead last in 2003.
Except for perhaps adding a little late round insurance at quarterback, running back and offensive line, Oakland's offense is in good shape.
Defensively, however, the Raiders need help virtually across the board.
Despite signing defensive end Derrick Burgess as a free agent from the Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland's defensive is still crying for a pass rusher. The problem is that quality pass rushers are not a dime a dozen so the Raiders might not find one to their liking. If Oakland employs more of the 4-3 look after the 3-4 looked like an experiment gone bad, defensive tackles Ted Washington and Warren Sapp could be productive but the Raiders need more depth behind them.
At linebacker, Danny Clark was an outstanding find after signing as a free agent from the Jacksonville Jaguars but the rest of the linebackers face issues. Travian Smith and Sam Williams have trouble staying healthy while Tyler Brayton did not look like a good fit at linebacker after converting from a defensive end position. In a nutshell, the Raiders could use either an outside linebacker or an inside linebacker who can stuff the run.
In the secondary, the Raiders need cornerback help even if they do not trade Woodson as well as safety help.
Vince D'Adamo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org