Oakland's weakness not at running back

Lane Kiffin put a dent in the theory that the Raiders will use their first-round draft choice on running back Darren McFadden but that shouldn't come as much of a surprise.

Oakland has more pressing concerns along its defensive line that need to be addressed, which is why LSU's Glenn Dorsey or USC's Sedrick Ellis would be a perfect fit for Al Davis and Co.

The reason is simple.

For the past five years the Raiders' biggest weakness has been their inability to stop the run. Forget about the offensive line, the quarterbacks or the safeties. Time and time again Oakland's failures defending the run have proven to be the most costly and consistent mistake the team has made.

That coincides with the Raiders' playoff drought. In 2002 when they won the AFC and went to the Super Bowl, they owned the NFL's third-ranked run defense and allowed 90.8 yards a game on the ground. Since then the numbers have gone through the roof.

Oakland has finished no better than 22nd against the run since ‘02, has given up more than 11,000 yards in the five seasons combined and have allowed an average of 138 yards a game over the 80-game stretch.

Getting Dorsey if he's still available and Ellis if he's not would be a major step toward plugging the hole in the leaky dam. Though there's been questions about his health, Dorsey had a very strong pro day workout and looks to be every bit the player he was at LSU. Strong, agile and a great pass rusher, Dorsey also has the ability to stuff the run and would form a nice inside tandem with Tommy Kelly.

Kelly is coming off ACL surgery and recently signed a $50 million contract with the team. Oakland also has veteran Gerard Warren and Terdell Sands -- who essentially fell off the map after signing a fat contract extension prior to last season -- to play inside.

If the Raiders can't get Dorsey then the call here is for them to go after Ellis or Chris Long. Long, of course, is a defensive end and despite Oakland's recent signing of Kalimba Edwards there's no guarantee he'll win the starting job. Many expect Long could be the first overall pick while Ellis could easily still be on the board when the Raiders go on the clock.


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