We’re over a hunch for the busiest part of the NFL off season. Eye of the storm, if you will. Where we have been since the introduction of free agency for the same amount of time as we have been since the NFL draft.
That means most of the big free agents are signed by each team—at least those whose additions could change their draft plans.
The Raiders were very busy, signing over 20 free agents and adding a few others to the trades. The majority of their additions were not fixed starts, which gives them some insurance if they do not meet a requirement in the draft, while offering them some flexibility in the hope that they may resist arriving.
Bear in mind, however, that the team’s most important addition – Davante Adams – caused him to be without his top two selections, making his first selection in this draft at No. 86 in the third round. And they currently have a total of four pickups, so they won’t cover all of their needs. In fact, they’ll be lucky to be able to actually address a couple of them.
That being said, here are his top five roster requirements as we sit here today.
Estimated Starts: Colton Miller, Denzel Good
Who will play right tackle? I have a good pencil as he went in the right tackle for a few games in 2020 and was serviceable. No other tackle on the roster has done this. But he’s a trade watchman so he’s there. Even if Alex Leatherwood somehow manages to win the job back, banking on that without some competition and depth for the job is unwise.
Estimated Starts: Jonathan Hankins, Bilal Nicholso
When you let almost all of your defensive interior run in free agency and your best addition is Bilal Nichols, there’s a need for more competition and depth. The return of Hankins has been of great help as he is a proven opening nose tackler. After that there is this big question mark. One needs to prepare immediately to compete for a spot in the rotation.
Predicted Starts: Davante Adams, Hunter Renfro, DeMarcus Robinson
He added Davante Adams, giving him the perfect number one. And they have good depth with free-agent additions like DeMarcus Robinson and Mac Hollins. But one element that is still missing is an increasingly profound threat.
Estimated Starts: Trayvon Mullen, Nate Hobbs, Rock Ya-Sin
There’s a reason why even after Extra he made it this off-season that rumors were still flying interest in Stephen Gilmore. and also with three possible starts And some added depth, more talent is needed to make sure they have at least five roster-qualified cornerbacks in the season.
Predicted Starter: Andre James
Andre James is a replacement level player who is the team’s starting center. He may prove to be worthy of that task. But he has to win the job even against tough competition. And right now, they don’t have that. Not to mention, if he gets a decent center in the draft, chances are he might even play guard if needed. That kind of depth is necessary.