2013 NFL Draft primer: Oakland Raiders
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The future stars of the NFL are almost here. The first round of the 2013 Draft kicks off on April 25, and every team will look to build for both present and future. This is the third in a two-a-day, 30-part series that looks at each team and which potential first-round picks would be a good fit.
PICK NO. 3: OAKLAND RAIDERS
2012 record: 4-12
Key offseason acquisitions
Matt Flynn, quarterback
Kevin Burnett, linebacker
Khalif Barnes, offensive tackle
Alex Barron, offensive tackle
Nick Roach, linebacker
Vance Walker, defensive tackle
Tracy Porter, cornerback
Mike Jenkins, cornerback
Key offseason departures
Carson Palmer, quarterback
Richard Seymour, defensive tackle
Brandon Myers, tight end
Phillip Wheeler, linebacker
Tommy Kelly, defensive tackle
Desmond Bryant, defensive tackle
Darrius Heyward-Bey, wide receiver
Michael Huff, cornerback/safety
Dave Tollefson, defensive end
Matt Shaughnessy, defensive end
Shane Lechler, punter
Mike Mitchell, safety
Rolando McClain, middle linebacker
Biggest holes in roster: Defensive tackle, defensive back, wide receiver.
With Lamarr Houston the only returning member of last season's defensive line, the Raiders are dangerously thin along the front four. Luckily, there are a few defensive line prospects worth taking at No. 3 -- though you never know what to expect when the Raiders are on the clock.
Florida defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd would be the most logical pick here. Floyd is a versatile pass rusher who can plug up the middle or slide out to the edge. His college stats weren't gaudy -- 4 1/2 sacks in two seasons -- but he has the raw talent to succeed at the next level.
If the Raiders aren't enamored with Floyd, they could stay in the state of Florida and pick up FSU end Bjoern Werner. The German-born Werner racked up an impressive 23 1/2 sacks and 18 passes dedefensed in just two seasons. He has a good combination of speed and strength, and could be a very disruptive force for many years to come.
The defensive front isn't the only issue facing the Raiders, though. Their secondary is depleted following Michael Huff's deal with the Baltimore Ravens and the departure of safety Mike Mitchell. The Raiders signed Tracy Porter and Mike Jenkins to help fill thee void, but could still use some help. Enter Alabama cornerback Dee Milliner. He's a prototypical cornerback who has good speed (4.38 40-yard dash at the Combine), hands (six interceptions in three seasons) and the ability to get physical with his receiver. Milliner could shore up a secondary that hasn't had a good cover corner since Nnamdi Asomugha.
After trading for Seattle's Matt Flynn, it appears unlikely that the Raiders will draft West Virginia passer Geno Smith. But the Raiders are known for pulling off draft-day surprises, and picking Smith and forcing Flynn into yet another QB competition wouldn't be totally out of the realm of possibility.