Raiders Offseason Needs NFL 2022: Free Agency And Draft Preview
Ah, finally my beloved Raiders. It should be known that I could write a novel about my Raiders. As I start this blog, I have no idea how long it will be, but be aware that I will leave no stone unturned about this offseason. It is a big one and could show the direction of the Raiders as we know it. (As if the Raiders haven’t sucked in 2 decades except for 2016). This offseason is big because a lot of shit happened in-season. From Jon Gruden to Henry Ruggs to no offense to whatever happens with the Raiders that will be crazy. It’s time to make sense of it all and see what we can do to get this team to contend again NEXT YEAR. I do believe the Raiders are knocking on the door, ringing the doorbell, or doing something to illustrate that they are almost a playoff team. How can this team address the Raiders offseason needs?
Before we even get to free agency to talk about the Raiders offseason needs, we have to talk about the thing that happened BEFORE free agency: such as finding a Head Coach. Due to the Jon Gruden situation, the Raiders were out of HC, and in an attempt to not alter the offense or defense too much, Rich Bisaccia took over as HC for the Raiders, being the ST coordinator. I don’t mind the guy, he’s just not a head coach. Didn’t want the Raiders to get rid of him as the ST have been fine this year. But the Raiders desperately needed a new HC and OC to go with that. There’s a reason why Greg Olsen doesn’t get more respect than he does, he sucks. I would love for the Raiders to get with the times on offense and be more aggressive and creative on offense. It finally happened when the Raiders hired Josh McDaniels. I liked Josh McDaniels hire (no I didn’t forget the Colts thing) since the beginning. McDaniels has made Mac Jones look like a seasoned QB while being creative and made the Patriots be ready to contend again. Josh McDaniels seems ready for an HC job and I don’t hate him going to the Raiders.
Raiders Free Agency
NOW we can go to free agency to address the Raiders offseason needs. The Raiders have about $50 million in cap space and are in the top 10 in cap space. They should be big spenders in this free agency. Here’s what I would like from them. Could the Raiders draft a WR in the draft in a deeper class? Absolutely. Does that mean they shouldn’t get a top WR in free agency anyway? No way. The rumblings right now are that the Raiders want to pair old college teammates Davante Adams and Derek Carr. *Chef’s kiss* Yes, please. With the situation unclear in Green Bay, the opportunity for the Raiders to get Davante Adams has me salivating. If that’s too unrealistic for you, I get it. We can look elsewhere at WR in free agency. Allen Robinson might have buy-low written all over him. He has underwhelmed this season and with 2 feet already out of the door in Chicago, he’ll be ready for a new team and might be cheaper than his original contract. I’d love that for the Raiders. I have other options that might be great for the Raiders too: Michale Gallup (for next year), DJ Chark, Christian Kirk, or even Mike Williams. These are all guys I wouldn’t mind. The guys I just named are all WR2s, but any talent for the Raiders at WR would be beneficial. If you’re wondering why I didn’t put JuJu, I’m going to let you think about that real quick, good, I’m not touching that guy with a 10-foot pole. I’d also like Chris Godwin on a longer deal too. He won’t play in 2022, but signing him on a long-term deal and letting him come back next year would be a great idea. His market might go down due to injury and that might work out for them. The situation for the OL will be harder to address in free agency with it not being the best class for that. So let’s wait until the draft for that. I also wouldn’t mind a backup RB, Josh Jacobs is okay, having two RBs to play would be better though.
On the defensive side for the Raiders, Solomon Thomas has been stupendous for the Raiders at DT. Him only being 26, he’s worth re-signing. That should be a focal point on the re-sign front. The Raiders are pretty good on the DL considering, Maxx Crosby and Yannick Ngakoue’s pairing has worked really well. They might try to find some depth, but they do not need to make a splash on the DL necessarily. This year is not the best if you’re looking for an LB in free agency, but any younger talented players they can find, let’s go ahead and take that flyer. I’ve waited for a while to find a prominent LB for the Raider, it looks like I will need to wait longer. I love the direction the Raiders are heading in the Secondary, The young talent has been there and is improving, you know what would help that progression? Adding some veteran talent to teach and help compete. The Raiders have drafted great pieces for certain situations, but in the secondary, we just don’t have that player that plays every down and makes offenses fear them. That’s what we need in the secondary while the young secondary continues to grow. Throw your money in there and get a couple of splashes to help these secondary out.
The Raiders have the money to make splashes in free agency, it’s where they deem they need to throw money at. But they should be aggressive and grab the best talent they can. WR, secondary, if they can get the better OL in free agency, go for it. But as far as the draft, that’s where the Raiders needs to be better. How much can the Raiders blame their first-round blunders on Jon Gruden OR Mike Mayock, this is the draft to decide that. The Raiders have draft way better in the later rounds than the 1st. That seems to be an indication that Mike Mayock can draft pretty well, while Jon Gruden might have had a heavy influence on the 1st round picks. However, Mayock has defended the Damon Annette, Clein Ferrell picks, so who can really tell? Doesn’t matter though, both are gone in what is a new era in Raider Nation. Thus begins the Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniel Era. What are the first picks for the duo looking at to address the Raiders offseason needs?
OFFENSIVE LINE. That’s the idea here. The Raiders have to draft OL. That’s a priority for the Raiders offseason needs. I’m on record for saying that this could be a top 15 line after getting rid of 60% of their line, and I was wrong. Happens. The absolute dream is that Kenyon Green, the best guard in the draft, drops to the Raiders. I don’t think it happens but from there, that is the best scenario. From there, the Raiders have a decision to make. Do they pick one of the better tackles in the draft? Evan Neal and Ikem Ekwonu are off the board at this time, but will Charles Cross, Trevor Penning, or Nicholas Petit-Frere still be there? Maybe. Those guys would likely replace Brandon Parker at RT, who is less than ideal at this point. Do the Raiders target Tyler Linderbaum at Center despite Andre James not being that bad for them this year? That’s surely an option. The Raiders can not and SHOULD not be allergic to trading down here. The Raiders have reached, and reached, and reached on 1sts for a while now, can we change that here? If we’re not satisfied with what is on the board as far as value, can we do it and trade down? Let’s hope so.
I believe that is the only two acceptable options here. I’m talking as the Raiders did work in free agency as far as getting some WRs. But if they didn’t I don’t hate the idea of getting Garrett Wilson or Chris Olave. But, OL is the biggest need here and they have to hit on the RIGHT players. In the 2nd round, if they didn’t luck out on Kenyon Green, would be to hit guard here. Guard is too big of a need to not address it in the 2nd. The value for 2nd round picks at guard is way better than the first round. Wouldn’t mind a Zion Johnson, Lecitus Smith, or Ed Ingram pick here. Using your first two picks (considering that don’t trade down) on OL would be sending a message that you are making it a point to help this OL be better. In the 3rd, the Raiders can go a plethora of ways here. Do they want to add a 3rd OL? (might be overkill, but I respect it) Try to nab someone from a deep WR class to help the receiving corps? Go defense and pick the best defensive player off the board? Possibilities are endless. The Raiders should take the best available player in the 3rd. There should be no wrong answers as long as he is talented and isn’t a war daddy on special teams (Tanner Muse anyone?)
The Raiders offseason is a big one for them. They could move forward or backward, I don’t think it can go any other way. It starts with nailing this offseason. Making a home-run hire in McDaniels not only helps this team win games but also sets everything else in motion for this off-season. A splashy and attractive hire helps free agents come to Las Vegas with the Raiders having the cap space to spend. A lot of things go right in the off-season, then a lot of things should go right in the regular season. A great off-season might get the Raiders in the playoffs again and that would be a start to a consistent future. A bad off-season and I’ll be miserable longer. I should be used to it by now right? Let’s see what the Raiders do, it’s always fun to be a Raiders fan. Don’t mind me, I will be stressing and over-analyzing everything the Raiders do from here on out. Just Win Baby? Right?